Win the Day: GET BACK ON TRACK!
Tips to get you refocused and back on the path to fitness!
We’ve all been there. After having strung together weeks and weeks of healthy, clean eating and consistent exercise, you experience something that causes you to go off track. Maybe it was a vacation, a special event, a major life stressor, a celebration after attaining a goal or perhaps just a weekend of weakness? This happens. Life happens. It’s okay, expected and even good for you from time to time. The problem is that once we get off track, it oftentimes feels much harder to get refocused. The allure of creamy, sugary, salty, fatty goodies becomes very irresistible and the gym becomes very resistible. In this state, you know that you need to get back to your healthy habits, but you just can’t seem to do it.
I have definitely been there before, and this is probably one of the topics women approach me on most often. In fact, I chatted with two athletes today who were lamenting about feeling way off track after a contest and struggling to get back to their healthy habits. When you are going through this, you can feel frustrated and even powerless. The truth is that we all have the power and the ability to get back on track whenever we are ready. To do so, one needs to just reframe, reset & relax:
Reframe: When you take a little break from your healthy regimen, intellectually, you know that you need to get back to your program. That knowingness mixed in with a little guilt can create a “have to” versus a “want to” mindset, which is not an empowered, motivated state. This mentality will not push you to your best; rather, it will keep you stuck and frustrated.
You can get un-stuck by reframing the “have to” mindset to one of choice and empowerment. I recommend re-examining and re-establishing why you are committed to a fit lifestyle. I have to do this from time to time when I’m feeling “off.” I remind myself that I choose a fit life, because ultimately I want to live in pursuit of my best.
Reset: Whenever I am trying to get back on track after a little break, I do a reset by going back to what I did to initially form my healthy habits. It’s kind of like going to boot camp for a bit until your habits are back in tip-top shape.
1) Eliminate Temptation: Once my healthy habits are firmly established, I can go into the pantry, fridge or most any scenario and not even see the food that once tempted me. However, when I first was attempting to change my diet years ago, the sight of the jar of peanut butter would trigger old snacking patterns and cravings. So to eliminate this issue, I removed all items from sight that would tempt me by putting them in an inconspicuous location. Some people eliminate items from their homes altogether, but I don’t want to make my hubby miserable.
2) Take Your Mind Out of It: Take all thinking out of your eating and training when you are re-establishing your habits. Have a plan, do all the preparation ahead of time and work the plan. Prepare your food for the week on one day and get each meal packaged at least a few days in advance. If you allow yourself to think about what you are going to eat or train too much, you risk your mind resisting the changes you’re trying to make and rationalize your eating a little of this or substituting that. Before you know it, you are off track and in diet debt again before your good habits could be established.
3) Train Harder: Some people believe in easing back into the gym after a break. While I believe that it’s important to start back training at an intensity that is safe, I do not believe in coasting. Why? I find myself a lot more motivated and focused when what I am doing is challenging. So, I always try to find ways to make my workouts a bit more challenging by adding a high-intensity cardio interval between weight training sets, lifting a little heavier, pushing out a few more reps, adding a few more sets or increasing the intensity of my cardio.
Relax: The worst thing to do when you are in the process of resetting your fit life is to beat yourself up. Don’t dwell on the calorie fest you had over the weekend or the workouts you missed, reminding yourself of the damage you believe (not usually reality) you have done. It causes you to stay stuck in an unempowered mindset, which I previously mentioned, will not help you achieve your best.
The best thing you can do is to focus on the present moment, as all of your power is in the present. Your ability to change, evolve, re-establish your healthy habits and continue on your path to your best depends on what you choose to do now and then in each moment that follows. Remember, if you can win the moment…you will WIN THE DAY.
Because this is such a popular topic among fit women, I would LOVE to hear more from you on how you have gotten yourself back on track after taking a little hiatus. PLEASE share your strategies with me on Facebook and Twitter.
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Until next week, WIN THE DAY!
Your sister in fitness,
IFBB Pro | Team Gaspari Athlete
Team Gaspari: http://Jaime.GaspariNutrition.com/
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