I use an analogy of sailing often in my challenge groups when things get tough, and we are faced with a lot of temptations that holidays like Easter provide. When you are sailing, and drift off course, what would you do? You wouldn't turn off the engine and stop, you wouldn't ower the sails and just decide to drift aimlessly....you'd fix it, and move on because you'd have to in order to survive.
It's easy to SET goals when it comes to health and fitness, but it's much harder to meet them. All too often, we are tempted to just completely give up after not reaching success quickly enough, or with the first setback that life may present.
As for me.....I've been working out steadily, but my nutrition has slowly but surely been drifting off course lately, and I am really starting to feel it. I do NOT believe in deprivation, but my position sizes have consistently been getting bigger and the amount of sugar intake right along with it. I realized this morning, after an Easter full of mindless popping of chocolate into my mouth, that I'm not really even putting that much thought anymore into what I'm eating. I feel sluggish, low energy and bloated.
The way I eat is generally clean and healthy compared to many. I still have my challenges - portion sizes, eating mindfully and SUGAR (including alcohol) are all big ones. It's moments like this, when I know that I'm not being mindful, that I need to take some steps to get back on track. Below are a few of my methods that I've learned over the course of the last year:
- Forgive Myself. Love Myself. Move On: If I've made bad choices, or gone through a phase where I'm not even trying to stay attuned to my habits, I make note of it, remember that I'm doing the best I can, and move forward into thinking about how to fix it and make improvements.
- Formulate a plan (and stick to it): For me this is always a meal plan. I do this weekly, and it's a huge piece of staying on track. The trick is FOLLOWING it, which admittedly I don't always do...so I'll recommit to myself that I"m going to stick to the plan
- Mindfulness: Time to spend a few days, maybe a week, really being mindful about my food choices. I will crack open my potion control containers from the 21 Day Fix again, so that I can remember what I'm supposed to be eating. I also make note every time I mindlessly pick at my son's food or open the pantry when I'm hungry and it's not meal time. It can be shocking how many times we make unconscious choices related to food!
- Drink more water: When i'm feeling off, it's almost always because I haven't been drinking enough water. I'll re-commit to drinking my daily allotment (about 60 ounces).
- Revisit Goals: Goals are so important. It's critical to have something to work toward - big or small. I'll revise what I've been working on, and adjust accordingly based on how much inspiration I need.
- Exercise: Exercise for me is almost as essential as breathing at this point, but if I find it's getting stale I will switch up my workout program and try something new. There is no better way to get out of a rut.
- Support/Accountability: I'm the martyr type - which means I suffer in silence. Having support and accountability partners in my challenge groups has been so critical for me and is one of the reasons I became a coach. Having positive, supportive women to help support me in the my journey, encourage me when I succeed and console me when I fail has made all the difference.
In the end, DON'T give up if you find that you have strayed off course. You have the power to succeed...or fail, but I hope with these tips, the path to success is a little more clear.
I have a new challenge group starting on April 11. If you are interested in hearing more about improving your health and fitness in a supportive, positive environment let me know! I can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.