Many of you have set intentions for a healthier 2024 and yet, here we are only a couple weeks in and our plans are already being sabotaged with snow, ice storms, school closures and gyms having to close due to the nasty weather.
It’s very easy to return back to old habits and behaviors and lose our motivation completely.
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So, this is a reminder to…..
Reset, Not Retreat!
Avoid The ‘All or Nothing’ Phenomenon
Do you scrap the workout and decide you will get back on track after the ice melts?
Do you do an at-home virtual workout instead?
Let’s say you are scheduled for a 60-minute workout, but since the kids are home from school due to the snow storm, you’ve only got 30 minutes before they wake up to get your workout in.
Do you ditch the workout and decide to resume once your kids are back in school or do you just condense your workout and do 30 minutes?
Let’s say you have decided to eat healthier but since you’re stuck at home because of the poor weather, you indulge in a food item not on your plan.
Do you decide that since you have already ‘failed’ for the day, you might as well throw in the towel and eat whatever you want for the rest of the day. Tomorrow is another day.
Can you see how this “all or nothing” approach works against you?
Wouldn’t an at-home workout or a 30-minute workout have been better than no exercise at all?
Wouldn’t a single indulgence have been better than an all-out binge?
Sometimes, striving for perfection is what leads to failure.
The trick to sticking to a long-term plan is to learn to compromise.
When it comes to nutrition, focus on the 80/20 rule – 80 percent of the time you eat according to your health plan and 20 percent of the time you indulge a little.
Don’t Go Back Home
Imagine this scenario. You have scheduled a two-week vacation and have decided to drive to your favorite holiday destination. You get halfway there, get a flat tire, and then decide to turn around and go back home. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
But, this is exactly what happens when most people start exercise or nutrition programs. They are on their way to their goals, and they slip up or experience a setback like an ice storm. Instead of “fixing the flat” and continuing toward their goal, they give up and return to old habits and patterns.
We know that 70 percent of people who start an exercise program drop out within a matter of months and most people who lose 10 pounds gain them back. So how do you avoid being part of these statistics?
It is important to accept that there are going to be obstacles, challenges, or perceived failures along the way to any goal. Those who succeed learn from the challenge and get right back on track.
Try Delayed Gratification
So many of us fall prey to the lure of immediate gratification. The hot fudge sundae staring us in the face is too great a temptation compared to our health goals. We would rather experience the pleasure now and worry about the consequences later.
A binge today simply means tomorrow we will eat better, or we will work out twice as long or hard. There is always a way to justify a lack of discipline. Discipline and willpower are perceived as deprivation – we are sacrificing or losing something.
But, if you can imagine that each time you work out, stick to a nutrition plan, or decide not to indulge in a less-healthy choice, you are actually giving yourself something – physically, emotionally and mentally. Your body deserves to be treated well. You deserve to eat well and exercise regularly. Think of that the next time you notice yourself indulging a little too often. Push it away and think of it as actually giving something to yourself rather than taking something away.
If you have lost your zeal due to this ice storm, reset and refocus and remember, you deserve to feel your best and live your best life.
Yours in health & fitness,