I have skipped a few workouts / have not been eating very healthily recently – I may as well give up, what’s the point anyway?
As a part of my ‘removing barriers to exercise’ series, I present you with another reason why not to exercise that I hear quite often whilst talking to any prospective / existing clients.
A lot of us seem to find hard to carry on, after our exercise routines and food habits got of out control. There seems to be a common misconception of the ‘all or nothing’ principle. You are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, nothing in the middle.
Again, this ‘all of nothing principle’ is just one of those myths we may sometime use to justify a certain reality. Sometimes we just don’t exercise or eat food that’s not very healthy – so what? Sure, it’s not ideal. Sure, it does compromise some of our previous efforts that we worked towards. However it’s a minor setback. If you treat it as a one off and carry on with your great work, it will all be just fine.
Nobody eats healthy food 100% of time. Nobody has a perfect exercise routine. There are weeks, when we may become injured / travel a lot / stay with relatives etc. And all of sudden you stop exercising and /or eating healthily. You can make the best out of these scenarios, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. Don’t see it as a reason to stop. Don’t see it as a failure. See it as an opportunity. Something new you have just discovered about yourself. Examine why you slipped and make the best out of it.
For example if you had a pretty unhealthy week whilst visiting your relatives, have a word with them next time you are planning to visit them. Explain why it’s important there will be some healthy food in the house. Offer to go food shopping with them, suggest some healthy places where you can eat out. Schedule some family hikes / cycling trips. Invite your mum to a Zumba class and your dad to a park to play some football with. Do some research and empower yourself with knowledge. Be creative and stay in charge.
I sometimes crave sugary snacks when I’m mentally tired. And there’s a really tempting vending machine very nearby. Have I snacked on chocolate before? Of course! It wasn’t the best choice, it messed up my blood sugar levels and I had a big sugar crush an hour or so afterwards. But it made me learn. I don’t see this as something I can do nothing about. I always prepare some healthy snacks in advance and carry them with me to ensure I don’t snack on chocolate on a regular basis.
There will be ups and downs. It’s about carrying on during those ‘downs’. Don’t give up! Think about the bigger picture – about your goals, what you have already invested into making them a reality. Think about the reason that made you live healthily in the first place.
Keeping an exercise & meal journal helps during these ‘down’ days. The ability to look back at your previous workouts and healthy eating will encourage you not to give up. Look at your prior achievements, shake it off and keep going!
Your thoughts? Do these slips discourage you or do you seen them as opportunities?