I think we’ve all, at some point, found ourselves in what I’ll call a fitness or diet “rut.” You want to exercise and eat healthy, but you fall off the wagon and find yourself unable to get back on. I often receive emails from people saying that they used to eat so healthy, or they used to go to the gym every week, but now they can’t seem to get back into that lifestyle. If that sounds familiar to you, trust me when I say, you’re not alone. I made the decision to change my lifestyle 2 years ago, and yet I still have days (and sometimes weeks) where I fall off the wagon and struggle to continue with my diet and exercise routine. So, how do you get out of your rut and jump back onto the wagon? Here are some things to consider:
REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”
Remind yourself why you started. What is your “why?” Why did you initially want to change your lifestyle? To look better? To feel better in your own body? To lower your cholesterol? To set a better example for your children? Why did you initially make the decision to change your lifestyle? Really think about that and remind yourself WHY you started in the first place. Remind yourself that there was once a reason why you wanted to make changes in your life. That reason is likely still relevant, perhaps you’ve just lost sight of it. What is the “why” that initially fueled your desire to change? Remind yourself of your WHY.
THE BETTER YOU TREAT YOUR BODY, THE BETTER YOU FEEL
Remember that the better you live, the better you feel. When I eat well and train regularly, I feel at my best. Mentally, physically, and emotionally I feel better when I workout and eat a largely whole foods diet. When I fall off the wagon and spend a week eating junk food and avoiding my workouts, mentally and physically I feel awful. My body feels bloated and sluggish, my mind feels anxious and foggy, and I’m not at my best. We all want to feel good, and whether we follow a healthy lifestyle or not, chances are we won’t feel 100% every single day. But we can take steps and make choices that help us to feel good – mentally and physically, and limit the choices that we know only make us feel worse.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
I’ve touched on this before. In most cases if you have junk food around, you’re going to eat it. Personally, if I have a bag of chips or a box of cookies in the house, guess what? I’m going to eat them, and likely all in one sitting. I do not have the self control to leave them sitting in the cupboard. But, if I don’t have them in the house, the chances of me going out of my way to run to the store and buy them, are far slimmer. If you’re struggling with your diet and your self control is wavering (no judgement, mine wavers often), do yourself a favour by not having unhealthy choices as readily available. Shop only for the foods you want to be eating regularly, if you don’t want to eat cookies every single day, then don’t put them on your grocery list. Out of sight, (hopefully) out of mind.
GIVE YOURSELF SOME TOUGH LOVE
I can be the first person to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of tough love, however sometimes it’s necessary – especially when we’re giving that tough love to ourselves. It’s easy to make excuses as to why we’d rather order pizza than eat a lean meal at home, or why we’d rather watch Netflix on the couch than go to the gym. Trust me – I get it. But sometimes we need to give ourselves some tough love, and really ask ourselves if our actions are a mirror of our desires. If you say you want to lose 60 pounds but you’ve ordered pizza 4 nights this week, then your actions are not reflecting what you truly want. If your goal is to enter a figure or physique competition but you’ve skipped the gym every night for the last 3 weeks, then again, your actions are not a mirror of your desires. Is that hard to hear? Yes. It sucks. And it’s something that I STILL have to remind myself of some days. But I know that if I want something, I have to act like someone who wants it. If I want success, I have to do things that will help me become successful.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon, or found yourself in a bit of a rut, don’t beat yourself up about it. Remind yourself why you started in the first place, and remember that if you did it the first time, you can do it the second, third, or fourth time. It’s NEVER too late to pick back up where you left off.