It happens to the best of us: You're cruising along with your workout routine, building those good habits, and suddenly you fall off the wagon. Maybe you miss a few days at the gym, or you let your healthy eating slide, especially easy to do around the holiday time. Whatever the reason, getting back on track can be tough, but it's not impossible. Here are a few thoughts that have helped me get going again.
Do your best 80% of the time
My trainer sent me a message recently that served as a helpful reminder to utilize an 80/20 rule during the holidays. Throughout the year, for 80% of the time, work to be on point with nutrition and exercise, and for the other 20% give yourself a break and just live! It was a good reminder that consistency is key but giving yourself a break is ok. Although I'm not going to lie I may have gone a bit overboard during my last Thanksgiving 'break'. :)
This is definitely easier said than done, but it’s important not to get too down on yourself. Remember that life happens, and sometimes things come up that are out of your control. Just because you miss a few days of working out doesn’t mean you’ve totally failed. Just because you gorged on all the pizza and burritos all weekend doesn’t mean you failed either. Tomorrow is another day to start again; don’t panic, but do get back on track!
Remember your goals and make small tweaks to get back on track
Instead of trying to fully restart, make small changes to get back on track. If you were working out several days a week, start with a single good workout or cut down the intensity or amount of time per workout and ease into it. Were you tracking all your food but then stopped after a weekend eating fest? Re-start your eating plan and tracking again on Monday, and don't beat yourself up. While this may sound like common sense, I can't tell you how many times I've personally struggled with a few missed days turning into weeks, which then turn into a much bigger "issue" that I could have resolved if I had stepped back into it lightly.
"It’s not what you do in one week or one month that defines you, it’s what you do over a lifetime. No break is too long to come back from." (“What to Do When You Fall off the Workout Wagon - Simply Well Coaching”)
You’re human and going to make mistakes
If you feel like you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon, don’t worry; you’re definitely not alone. Allowing yourself to indulge every once in a while isn’t going to change your life, so don’t stress yourself out over it. No one is perfect, and we all have off days. The important thing is not to beat yourself up over it and get right back on track. If you make a mistake, learn from it, and move on.
"Life happens to all of us, and any rigid approach free of flexibility is bound to crumble at some point. I like using times where things unravel as a learning opportunity to spur on long-term change." (“What to Do When You’ve Fallen ‘Off the Wagon’”)
The best person in life that can hold you accountable to hitting your goals is yourself
Having a coach, workout buddy, or even your partner hold you accountable is fantastic. It can definitely go a long way and make a huge difference; I know it has for me. However the best ally you're going to have along your journey is, you probably guessed it, yourself! That's right, only you can get those workouts in, make sure you’re hitting your food macros, and push yourself to hit your goals. A partner is awesome as a cheerleader and accountability buddy, but they aren’t going to do the work, you are!
Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small
Following the theme from above, you are your best cheerleader, so celebrate every accomplishment along the way. Obviously, this can come in so many forms, from telling your partner to making posts on every outlet possible 😀! For me, sharing photos and posts has been a great way to both celebrate my accomplishments but to connect with other positive people doing the same.
Keep being positive, and if your journey gets off track it’s never too late to get back to it. I’m here cheering you, and myself, on!