Too many people, fitness professionals especially, put a short term emphasis on health and wellness. Even when you look at the fitness industry as a whole, most focus on short term fixes rather than life long changes. A new 90 day fitness program. A new 6 week diet. They are great ways to get started, but most people fall into the “whats next” conundrum and have no idea where to go after the initial time frame. This causes most people to go right back to where they started, only to jump into another diet or workout program that will only yield the same results. This creates the yo-yo effect that sadly too many people go through when it comes to their health.
Another issue of these “short-term” fixes is the “falling off the bandwagon” effect. Most people will stick to a program for a while, then have a bad day, week, month, whatever, and fall off the bandwagon and completely stop what they are doing. I have seen people literally tell me “Oh, I have a wedding to go to this weekend so I am going to stop dieting”. This is one of the main reasons I hate the word diet, but that is another post for another time.Today’s point is to tell you one thing about your health and wellness:
It is for the rest of your life.
This is a hard thing to grasp because life is such a long event. But you can’t focus on short-term fixes. Don’t go on diets. Eat healthy every single day of your life. Don’t go on a 6 week training program. Get physical activity in every single day. And this is where people start dropping off. Life is a long event, and people thinking that it is hard to eat healthy every single day. And the truth is that is extremely difficult to do. But remember that getting your health back is a war, not a battle. If you keep your eye on the overall goal of what you are doing, you will be able to very easily brush off a bad happy hour with the boys, a wedding weekend with the family, or a week-long vacation. It happen to everyone. The goal is to minimize these happenings by creating healthy habits throughout your life.
I know this is way easier said than done. Being able to just brush off what happened really won’t change anything and it won’t be long before something of the same nature triggers the same feelings and you are back to where you were. Here are a few things that you can do to keep your mind in the right place after falling of the wagon in your health journey.
- Put the fault out of your head immediately. One of the worst things you can do is dwell on what happen. This will create heavy feelings of guilt and drive you to overcompensate, either good or bad, or sabotage your journey even more. Know it happened, forget about it and push forward.
- Do NOT punish yourself for your mistakes. Binge dieting or spending extra hours in the gym is a form of punishment in your brain. If you punish yourself, you are creating the wrong type of signals for living healthy. In order to make strong, lasting changes, you need to associate positivity with living healthy, even when falling off your plan.
- Keep your plan in mind. This is something I take from my training days when I was running competitively. Some days you have, and others you don’t. Know what your ultimate goal is and keep your eyes on the prize. When you fall off, know it is a just a short time frame in your life and you have plenty of time to get back up, brush yourself off and keep going.
- What triggered the fall off? Something always trigger what you did. Always. It may be something small, like a celebration. Or it may be something big like a personal experiences that came back and drove you to binge. Whatever it is, think about what triggered you to go crazy. Was it a family celebration? What it the smell of onion rings? Whatever it is, consciously know what caused it. You don’t really need to fix it, but knowing is half the battle.
- Leave it behind. Don’t dwell on the fact that you made a mistake. Get over it and keep pushing. When you start dwelling on it is when you start punishing yourself.
- Never give up. Just because you fell off the bandwagon is NEVER any excuse to give up on what you are doing. There is no reason ever to give up when you set your mind to something. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way, regardless of how many times you fall off the bandwagon.
Take away point: It is a fact of life that you will veer off of the straight and narrow path sometimes. The key to success is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep pushing forward. Never look back. Looking back is your old self. Keep moving forward.
To Your Success,