Updated: Apr 27, 2021
“I’ve fallen off the fitness train”
“I didn’t work out in forever”
“I’ve been eating whatever I wanted”
“I can’t seem to get my motivation back” – sounds familiar?
Because I’d be lying if I said this didn’t happen to me at least 20 something times over the years. For the past couple years though, I’ve learnt a lot about staying on track, the reason why we fall off (prevention is better than cure, always-however we still need the cure just in case right?) and what to do when we fall off.
Firstly, it’s all good-I mean you’re good-it happens-you’re going to be okay. Accept that it WILL happen again and relax. The next time it happens we can be better equipped and understand the underlying issues to lessen the frequency. I think we all create a connection between diet breaks and rest with being “bad” and a failure. You don't fail when these things happen, you simply needed to pause, realign and reset. “Falling off” is definitely part of the process. The difficulty in falling off, when we create that failure mindset is -the after-what's next-getting back up.
I’ve put together a few helpful tips to both prevent the constant falling off and what to do when we do it any way.
1. Change your mindset
There is a reason this is number one on my list. I am a firm believer in everything we do, every goal we set and the change we want to see, all begins in our minds. Without a proper mindset, we can’t achieve what we want to. Don’t get it confused though, a proper and healthy mindset does not always mean we have to have a positive one 24/7. We need to accept that we are emotional beings-especially us as women. We are led by our emotions a lot of the time and it’s almost impossible to have this burst of positive energy every single day. Some days are pretty bad. So, this is the first part of our mindset we need to fix-acceptance.
Accept that we will never be perfect, we are going to have off days more than we like and we will make mistakes. Got that tough pill to swallow out of the way? Good. What’s next? When we do mess up-we tend to live there. We pull the victim card-poor me-and we make excuses of why we should just quit the entire thing because-what’s the point? You’re 12 donuts in too deep might as well have 12 more, it’s already the middle of the week-I’ll start back on Monday (a little advice on Mondays-that never works out) In fitness, there is no such thing as a point of no return. You ate more than you should, the scale went up-okay- and? Fix it. It's never too late for anything.
2. Is the Goal and time frame Realistic?
As a personal trainer I constantly reel my clients back in before they get ahead of themselves-honesty in my biggest notion. Sometimes we have this major goal in our heads and while that’s fine, we need to break these goals up into smaller bits, be realistic with the change we want to see and especially the time frame we wish to see it in. Yes, I get it-You want to be skinny with bigger glutes and abs by your birthday in 3 weeks or summer vacation in 2 months-don’t we all. Reality should kick in here from a biological standpoint and more importantly, to maintain our sanity.
We need to make changes safely-no crash diets-no pills or potions and having a sustainable workout regime. While changes can happen in weeks or a month this is solely dependent on the individual-their genetic makeup as well as their starting point. Health conditions must be taken into consideration. So yes, you will get your goal, maybe not as fast as you may like and that’s okay. This is truly a process that takes time. Patience and consistency are your best friends throughout this journey.
3. 0 Punishment zone
So, you’ve messed up. You ate that ice-cream, you skipped that workout. What’s next-obviously train for 3 hours the next day and drop all your calories and starve yourself for the rest of the week to make up for it-DON'T. If this is your mindset, quickly change it. We spend so much time on wanting to look healthy we forget that we need to think healthily too. Appreciate our hard work and understand that there will be times we won’t always get it right. Skip the constant punishments and pressure you put on yourself and just move on with your life. Slip back into your grind, get up, dust it off and continue. Trust me, the more you punish yourself, the more you are risking going into a downward spiral where your diet, training and self-love is concerned. You feel way too restricted, you get frustrated and 9 out of 10 times you give up on your journey. Been there done that. Don’t let it happen to you.
4. Remove Restriction (or the feeling of it)
Of course, you can have some ice-cream at the end of the week. You can have everything in moderation. Calm down- I didn’t say eat the entire container. Find balance. Knowing when you indulge in a little treat or put a pause on being so strict and uptight-especially for special occasions that don’t come around often is also a skill that needs to be mastered. Keeping it real, if you skipped many training sessions and ate that ice cream almost every day this week, maybe save it for another time. A trick I use for when I want to splurge a little here and there on my diet is allowing it room in my calories/macros for that day. Keep track!
5. Follow a plan/Get help
Are you familiar with “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail?” Well, it’s no different in keeping on track with your fitness lifestyle. I suggest if you’re confused about planning your workouts for your specific goals; hire a personal trainer that can help you or find a plan you can simply follow-it takes all the guessing out of the way. Planning your meals ahead of time so you’re not reaching for what’s quick and easy when hunger strikes is also important. When you don’t have a plan, you increase your chances of falling off the bandwagon.
Let's not take it too seriously, I promise you that you don't need to be perfect to see results, you need to be consistent.