Get Out of Your Own Way
by Nicole Derderian
How many times have you told yourself that you are going to get back in the gym and become healthier? How many times has that plan failed?
It happens to everyone! You fall off the wagon with a week/ weekend of unhealthy habits, feel guilty, and then tell yourself that you are going to start all over again. This cycle seems to be never ending for some people, but don’t get discouraged just yet. There are different ways to break this cycle and your unhealthy habits.
Start Fresh or Back to the Plan?
When people fall off of their diet or workout plan, they choose to start everything over again. They will come up with a different method to combat the unhealthy behaviors that previously occurred. Coming up with new approaches and strategies are great, but the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” stands; you do not need to change your initial plan to play catch up. Just get back to where you left off and continued working hard! This approach takes away pressure and stress. Gaining/losing weight is not a quick fix. Enjoy the process because it is always a longer journey than you think it will be.
Find workout programs that you enjoy doing! If you like to bike, tell yourself that you are going to bike five days a week. If you like to lift weights, find a training program that correlates with your goals and gets in the gym! Whatever it is that gets your excited to move is what you should set aside time each day for it. Training should never be a chore; it should be an activity that you look forward to doing every day!
It is, also, important to eat foods that you like (whole, nutrient dense foods). You can always find healthy foods to satisfy cravings, fill you up, and fuel your body. No one should be forcing you to eat broccoli if you don’t enjoy it, but find another food, like asparagus or zucchini, to eat instead.
If your workouts and food satisfy your body and mind, then there should never be an excuse to deviate from the plan!
Treats and Cheats?
Try making your “treat” meals planned. Give yourself one day a week (Saturday’s or Sunday’s seem to work best) where you get to go out and eat a meal of your choice! Doing so gives your mind a break, it helps re-feed your body (especially if you are in a large caloric deficit), and it helps you stay accountable the rest of the week!
It is vital to note that this meal you’ve earned shouldn’t turn into full on binge eating days. Many people tend to think that if they are allowing themselves to go off of their plan for a meal, then it’s okay to go off for an entire day. A full day of indulging may not hurt your overall progress, but it is an unhealthy habit to develop and before you know it, one cheat day turns into multiple cheat days.
You are the Company You Keep
It’s human nature to socialize with others. Everyone wants to feel accepted and belong to a group of people. If your group of friends is individuals who binge drink every weekend and eat Taco Bell at three o’ clock in the morning, then there is an excellent chance that you are going to do the same thing. If you want to be healthier, then surround yourself with people who have similar goals. Changing who you are around is not always an easy, but the best place to look is THE GYM! Find individuals who enjoy the same type of physical activities that you like to do. Take classes at your gym, join an adult sports league, become a member of a bodybuilding team (Team Juggernaut) that caters to competitors and lifestyle clients. You do not have to feel alone in your journey, and the people that you will meet who will support your goals will motivate you to push even harder!
Find a Coach
If you are serious about changing then finding someone to help guide you along the way can be very beneficial. Hiring a coach takes some stress off of you because it is their job to create a workout and nutrition plan tailored towards your goals. If you have someone that you have to check in with at the end of every week, then you are more likely to stick to the plan. No one wants to go to their coach and tell them that they cheated all week! Hiring a coach helps you stay accountable, allows you to learn from someone who has more experience, and gives you the structure that you will need.
No Excuses, Always Be Prepared
Prepping meals and snacks for the day and multiple days is a habit to adopt. If you have a meal prepared, then you are less likely to run out and grab a pizza because it’s “convenient.” Set aside a day during the week where you cook food for the next couple of days!
It is can also be beneficial to plan out your workouts for the week (if they are not planned out for you by a coach). Set up a training split that works for you (if lifting is your thing) and stick to it! If you already have your workouts planned out, then you are more inclined to stick to them. Winging it in the gym can be fun sometimes, but if you set up a structured plan then you are guaranteed to see progress sooner!
Fitness should never feel like a chore! Respect your body by exercising and choosing the right foods to fuel it. Do physical activity that gets you excited and eat foods that you love! Implement strategies that fit with your lifestyle so that you never stray too far from the plan. If you have a goal, you can reach it all it takes is a little motivation and a lot of dedication!