You can find lots of people to talk about stories of triumph over food, unhealthy habits etc. Have you ever watched Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition? And the more extreme the better, right? Don’t get me wrong, I love a moving tranformation story.
I. Cry. Every. Time. Really, ask anyone. I’m the woman who cries at commercials. Give me a story about a woman facing her demons AND losing 100 pounds? Puh-lease, break out the box of tissue. No one else in my family is like this. Anyway.
But we don’t see what happens when the cameras leave. We never see how these people stay on track. Or if they ever slip up. To err is human. To really screw up takes a piece of cake.
I’ve worked hard to become and stay self-aware. It keeps me healthy, both physically and mentally. But mastering your own emotional blueprint can be a gift and a curse. Once I have figured out why I do something and deal with it, it’s almost impossible for me to do that behavior without having my conscience rear her knowing head eyebrow raised and finger wagging. The adventure of quitting smoking was blast inside that large dome that is my mind. Alas, another story for a rainy day.
Signs that you may be about to fall off the health wagon
We all have triggers right? The stressors that send the signal to make us (insert bad behavior here). Before you know it you’re asking yourself, ‘How? How did I get here?”
1. You start to slip up in your workout routine. One missed workout turns into a week. You know who you are.
2. You start to rationalize bad eating habits. There’s noting wrong with the ocassional splurge. Life is meant to be enjoyed. But when the end of the work week brings 5 empty pints of Ben & Jerry’s, it’s time to stop and evaluate.
3. You have less energy. I’m not talking about full blown fatigue. If you are feeling full blown fatigue for more than a week or two you should be talking to a doctor. I’m talking about that sluggish feeling. Maybe you’re lacking your regular up and at ‘em energy. (Perhaps because you missed a workout or after dinner walk or two?)
Being honest with yourself isn’t as scary as it sounds. We are programmed to beat ourselves up. That can lead to denial. Instead admit it. You’ll feel better about taking control back.
What to do?
1. Create a plan. More than likely you made a plan to reach success in the past. It’s time to do it again. Outline the thing you need to do in order to get on track.
2. Talk to someone. Who is your fitness or health buddy? Give them a call. Talk to a supportive friend or family member. Sometimes saying the words out loud is all we need to get the ship back in the right direction. Other times a good conversation with someone who knows your health goals (and possible past struggles) can help you pinpoint a place where things started to go awry.
3. Write. It. Down. Ah, accountability is a tough but loving vixen. Pull out a journal and start scribing. This may help you identify what caused the slip in the first place. Old school notebook not your thing? Download an app. During HealthMinder Day at the BlogHer12 conference I listened to a lot of women talk about apps that really helped them stay on track and accountable. Runkeeper, iMapMyRun, and Nexercise all have free versions of apps you can use.
4. Accept that you’re human. You made a mistake. One key to sustained success is the ability to let the stuff you don’t need go. Holding onto to bad feelings about failures is good for who? Exactly.
The real key is to know that little things that turn into big things. Stop the madness before it gets away from you. And with that it’s time for this woman and her dog to get in their 4 mile walk!
Stay inspired! What kinds of things do you do to stay motivated? Have you stopped yourself from falling off the wagon?
Tell us in the comments section!