Do you recall the Adam Sandler movie ‘Click’, where Christopher Walken gives him a universal remote and he’s able to control time? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a remote with a pause or rewind/undo button to undo all the crap we ate or workouts we missed? (Among other things!)
PAUSE: “I’ll get back to my clean eating habits after this vacation we have coming up…once I have this baby…after my sprained ankle heals…after I’m done helping out my dad recover from back surgery….
While this thought process seems understandable, it could really be undermining your health and fitness goals.
You may wonder where the harm is in allowing yourself to take a break from your training or nutrition plan when you’re leaving for vacation, having a rough month at work, pregnant, nursing an injury, or caring for your grandparents?
It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, right? Here’s the problem…that pause button mentality usual boils down to a thought process that looks something like this:
“If I miss a workout, eat the wrong things…I’m a failure.”
“I’ve taken to much time off and now my peers are so much further ahead of me. I might as well give up.”
“I already had one slice of pizza, I’m such a screw up I might as well eat the whole pie and that pint of Ben & Jerry’s”
“Aren’t I more likely to succeed if I take a break and come back later, when my head is back in the game?”
Don’t get me wrong. To that last one, it is totally normal to want to do your best. However taking time off while it may be entirely well meaning, it is also the fastest most sure fire way to sabotage your goals for improving your health and fitness. This includes nutrition goals.
Wanting to start fresh is a very comforting thought, that’s probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular. (How many of them have actually worked out for you?) It’s easy to think, let me just hit that pizza hard today, I’ll just pick back up with my diet on Monday. That idea of a do-over can be super alluring. The problem comes when you’re saying the same thing week in and week-out. That do-over mentality? Just continues to reinforce the habit of “starting over”.
So what are you going to do about it?
Here’s the thing. There is no “magic” time to start. Or re-start. Yes, it can feel kinda crazy to think about trying to improve your eating habits during a chaotic time in your life..but when isn’t life chaotic? If you don’t do it now, when will it be? What will come up next? A PTO Fundraiser to plan? Your Mom gets sick and needs long term nursing care? That thing called life??? It will always be in the way.
There will always be something that comes up.
Success isn’t about will power or motivation. It’s about developing the skills to cope. To often people sign up for 21 day shreds or lose XX pounds in 30 days- they slam that gas pedal all the way to the floor and go for it.
Until they can’t. Go. Anymore.
They undoubtedly run out of gas and crash. During that quick challenge you may have, repeat, may have, learned how to lift a weight or two, maybe how to do a little intermittent fasting or cleanse while drinking some super shake. But what you usually don’t build is the ability to get fit under real- life conditions. You don’t suck. You just aren’t taught the skill set to make is sustainable. You end up with a little short term progress, quickly followed up by long term frustration.
During that challenge you typically are in a very tightly controlled environment where the conditions are perfect. What happens when you add life back in? Life is almost never perfect. We are all struggling with something. The program or process has to work in normal even stressful conditions for it to truly be successful. You can’t wait for a better time. You can’t hit pause or rewind on life. You have to just keep trucking. Do the very best you are able to do in that time.
Rather than throwing in the towel, adjust the dial. Instead of eating like crap 7 days a week, get in the 3 good days that you can. When you can’t make perfect choices, at least aim for ‘BETTER’ choices. Just because you can’t make 2 small group sessions and 2 team trainings this week doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. Make it in the one or two sessions you can. You can take off an entire month, or you can make those 2 sessions a week you’re able to get to and you still got in 8-10 sessions that month instead of none.
The all or nothing mentality usually gets you the latter. Nothing. How about try this instead. “Always something.”
Each day say to yourself, I may not be able to make _ _ _ _ _ happen, but what can I do instead? What can I manage, now? And then go DO IT.
Life is never perfect and it never will be.
It’s never just the “right” time, and it never will be.
But what we can do is take action steps towards our fitness and nutrition goals now that in the long run will STILL benefit our long-term health no matter how small those steps may seem at the time.
If you would like to learn how to create the skills to make your ‘diet’ sustainable as well as make it last this time…shoot me an email! I would love to help!
You can reach me at: Amber@FirstCapitalGym.com