Force Yourself to Snap Back

Greetings all!

This story is pretty well documented throughout the blog, but just in case you missed it, I will recap. Back in the spring of 2012, I gained quite a bit of weight. It wasn’t anything awful, and I don’t think it was terribly noticeable, but it was to me. I didn’t feel like myself, I was always tried, I didn’t like the way I looked in the clothes that I used to wear and I was constantly making up goals for myself of when I’d start up the healthy living again. “Tomorrow is a new day.” became my catchphrase.

Granted, part of this gain was “planned.” (Or as “planned” as weight-gain can be.) No, I didn’t intend to gain weight, but I did decide that in the last few months of my time at college, I would allow myself some leeway. I wanted to enjoy my time with my friends, to participate in the end-of-an-era nonsense (that often involved a lot of delicious, but entirely unhealthy food) and to avoid spending my time toiling away at the gym or carefully counting calories. After all, chances were that I would never again have my beloved Starbucks at my fingertips again (nor would it EVER be covered under a meal plan again.)

And then, I graduated. It was time for me to take control again. Even though I was quickly beginning to convince myself that my current habits were “OK,” I knew that I needed to get back to my old ways. I knew that I wouldn’t be happy living that way and as the pounds packed on, it really started to affect me. For those of you who have seen this story before, the rest is history. (History that involves, myfitnesspal.com, 5k registration & 5k running, diving head first into new workouts, gym shopping, menu revamping and a long-term commitment to “doing better.”)

Every once in a while, I start to see myself slipping again. A few too many outings with friends, being away from home (as I was last weekend), disorganization, a lack of free time and excuses all get in the way of maintaining my otherwise very healthy lifestyle. But recently, I’ve been able to pull myself out of it. I don’t let things slip for very long and it is that ability, that I have worked so hard to develop, that allows me to have those trips and still feel good about myself and my ability to jump back on the healthy boat.

Back in August, I wrote a post about how “this” time was different. But that post centered around largely tangible devices. Things that helped to initially launch the fitness kick that came to be the ultimate game-changer. But that was in August. Since then, I have come to realize the real reason why I am able to have slip ups without falling all the way down.

As you have probably guessed, recently, I haven’t been on my A game. I have been eating 500% more sweets and treats than I typically do, significantly more fast food (just for the sheer convenience of it), and have had next to no time to make my way to the gym. This hasn’t been going on for but a week, but even as

  • Recognize that temporarily reverting to old, less healthy ways does not mean that you have failed. Nor does it mean that you need to continue on that path. It’s just a digression. 
  • You don’t need to be perfect 100% of the time. This one probably sounds like a no-brainer, right? For me, this is huge. I like things to be planned. I like planned workouts, organized meal plans and clear-cut goals, but when life comes down to it, that’s just not always realistic. Some days, you make mistakes, but the next day can be different. Also, just because you ate your weight in chocolate for lunch, doesn’t mean that you’ve already “blown it for the day,” you can start to make better choices at any point.
  • Bad food tastes good, but so can good food. There was a point in time where I had actually trained myself to buy a piece of fresh fruit as a snack at work whenever I wanted a cookie. Granted, the cookies smelled better and looked better. But I knew that the fruit would ultimately make me happier. It gave me sustaining energy, provided just the right amount of sweetness and gave me something to eat, which more often than not, was exactly what I was looking for– a snack for the sake of snacking. Finding suitable, healthier substitutions can make a world of difference.
  • Outsmart the self-fulfilling prophecy. When you determine that you don’t have time for the gym, suddenly, you really don’t have time for the gym. If you convince yourself that you’re just too busy, you will find every reason in the world why you are “just too busy for exercise.” Instead, plan. Make a time, make a plan and snap into action.

So in the long run, temporarily making poor decisions does not have to be the end of an otherwise healthy lifestyle change. You can force yourself to snap back. Making one good decision leads to many more. Eventually, you will have the knowledge and willingness to get back on the horse and power through your slumps until you are living the healthiest life that you can live.

And now, about that gym time thing………..

Hope you had a great day! I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

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