You probably know what this looks like. You missed a day at the gym, then two, then it's a month later. In the meantime you've managed to change from eating a healthy salad for lunch that you pack in the morning to going out for lunch and grabbing a burger and some fries. Your clothes are feeling tighter, and your energy levels are down the drain. You are not alone. This happens to everyone, including us here at X Factor. The good news is that we have identified some very important ways to get back on track with your health and wellness activities and behaviors.
The critical self-talk that happens when you lapse will keep you from moving forward. Rather than criticize, take time to analyze what has happened. There are lots of reasons you might be slipping up. How are you feeling emotionally? Negative emotions can send you directly into couch potato mode, with your head buried in a bag of oreos. Is there social pressure to "have a beer with the boys." Have you been sick or injured? Are there family situations that have derailed you? Try your best to understand what is happening, in the most objective way possible.
If you know you are vulnerable when you become anxious or emotionally upset, decide, in advance, that you'll take an different route - call a friend, go for a run, take a kick boxing class to mitigate the anger. Whatever works for you. Write that plan down somewhere. There are no right or wrong paths. Make your plan fit into your life and get back to it as soon as possible. Remember why you want to be healthy and fit. This is key to getting back on track.
If you've been off track for a while, don't expect to drop 10 pounds or run a marathon the first week back. In fact, re-entry after being out for a while is the time that you are most prone for injury. Take your time - this is a marathon, not a sprint! Ease back in to exercise and healthy eating. Especially if you have been sick or are coming off an injury, consult with your doctor and get recommendations for how to re-start your program.
Without a doubt, the biggest reason that we have seen people relapse is because of stress. That stress comes in all forms, but it will send you into unhealthy behaviors faster than anything else. So one strategy is to put more of your energy into managing stress through meditation, getting enough sleep, talking to friends, and making time for rest in your day. Most of the time, we've seen people bounce back with regard to exercise and healthy eating when they have a good way to manage stress.
It's not "if" you'll fall off the wagon, it's "when." This is the ugly truth that most health and fitness professionals never tell you. You will make mistakes along the way, and that's OK. But having a plan for how you will deal with those mistakes can make all the difference. Here are some of our favorite ways to get back on track when we've slipped up:
Living your life is never about all or nothing. You are not a failure if you've had an interruption in your health and fitness routine. You are normal. What you do next is what counts.
Here's to overcoming life's interruptions!
What are your favorite ways to get back on track when you've had an interruption in your health and fitness routine?
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