We have all been there! As a matter of fact, I still end up there sometimes. Let’s face it life happens. It can throw us off track. We end up going off our regular routine and BAM we are off our meal plan, our workout regimen is non-existent and we feel like we just keep making bad decisions.
Here is the thing, our lives are so routine. Too routine. We get up, go to work, come home, and repeat. This is a pretty basic example. But I can guarantee most of us have the same routine daily. You can add the gym in there and other things you do all the time. We like ritual and consistency (believe it or not). We get so caught up in it, that if something comes up that throws a wrench in it, you feel like you are losing control. Your critter brain (sympathetic nervous system) kicks in with “danger, danger”. You automatically want to go back to how you live your life. You want to feel comfortable and safe. Even if what you do daily doesn’t serve you well, you are so good at it you want to go back to that.
This is where having that “back-up” plan comes in handy. This is where you need to tell yourself that something will come up and it is ok. Life isn’t simple and will never play out exactly how we want to. So instead of getting off track, know that when life throws you a curve ball you still have control. Stop doing the “I will start Monday” thing every two weeks because something comes up.
We know what to do essentially but when your routine gets thrown off we lose all sensibilities. You don’t need to go to McDonald’s. There are other options but because you feel out of sorts you think “F it! I feel all screwed up so might as well screw it up more!”. This is so common and see it daily.
Another common state of mind is being so perfect with eating and working out that you don’t go out. You become isolated and afraid to enjoy a night out or go out for dinner because you don’t want to eat a meal that isn’t on “your plan”. As great as it is to be healthy, this is an unhealthy state of mind. Food is not your enemy. Restricting yourself to the point of reclusion is going to make you one unhappy person. And more than likely will create binging.
We live in a world that now revolves around food. It is no longer about family time, harvest, or being grateful. It’s “ what can we do to the food we have to make it so irresistible that people can’t help but eat”. Fast food, value menus, food turned into art, social media page geared to food, fad diets, quick fix diets, stress and much more lead to abnormal relationships with food.
This is where food companies and the like are smart. The biggest part of digestion and attraction to food is our senses and all of them. Not just smell, but touch, taste, sight and hearing. They appeal to all these senses in their advertising and it reels you in. But what we need to do in turn is create this experience with our meals at home. Make it so attractive to all your senses, your mind tells your body that you got the complete experience and you are good! We have lost track of that.
We are human and humans want what they don’t have. It is a primal instinct. A crude form of “wanting” – which would take the form of impulsively taking or grasping without any awareness of consequences. If someone tells you, you can’t have chocolate or pizza; you are going to want it even more. If someone tells you something is bad, your attraction to it and desire to have it increases 10 fold. This is why it is important to know that food isn’t bad. Eating isn’t bad. Self-control is the hardest and most frustrating thing to master. Why? Because it is your deep inner thoughts that you aren’t even aware of that take you where you don’t really want to be.
The most important thing you can do for yourself right now is to write out what you want for yourself. Not what you don’t want. Remove the negatives words like don’t, can’t or won’t from your goals. Say what you want to see happen with positive wording and intentions. Then remove the clutter. Both mentally and externally. You are a product of your thoughts and your environment.
Secondly, work on your why. This is not easy and typically takes working with someone to get the real why behind the why! In my 6 WEEK RESET Transformation program, this is the start of making permanent change. When I sit down with clients and ask their goals, they usually all say “ lose weight, I want abs, more energy, I don’t want to be fat anymore, I don’t want to eat bad anymore” etc. These are great but they are outcomes of want you actually need to work on. Why are these things important to you? Why do you need abs? Why do you want to lose weight? By leaving your goals as physical ones, when you don’t change right away you get frustrated and that is the end of that!
Because of social media and media in general, advertising quick fixes like “Lose 10lbs in a week!” you think this is the standard. We also want instant gratification for everything now a days. If you don’t get the result or outcome you want in a week, then you think it is bullshit. Think back in your life. Did anything you worked hard for (degree, career advancement, sport, etc.) come easy and overnight? There is no quick fix or solution to your health. It is an ever evolving and progressive journey.
I can relate totally to the yo-yo dieting, binge eating and measuring successes by how I look. After 27 years in the industry and 11 years of competing, I have learned a lot. I was definitely one of those people who are all in. I either dieted strictly or ate like food was going to vanish the next day. This made me miserable. I didn’t even know I was unhappy until people started asking me if I was ok. I didn’t get it. Why do they keep asking me that? Then I realized after crying in a half-eaten large piece of cake, that I was not a happy camper.
Now I base everything on how I feel. If something doesn’t make me feel good I stop and think about why it doesn’t and why I keep doing it anyways. Remember no judgement! Be curious of why you do what you do. There is no judgement in curiosity. I find when I feel my best I look my best. I don’t need to check my abs in the mirror. Because I feel good in and in turn you present yourself with confidence and pride. You may or may not have a six pack but who the hell cares?! What does that mean anyways?
As a competitor we base our results on our abs, legs, arms and shoulders. So the hardest thing coming off a comp is feeling good in our own skin. Remember your abs don’t define you or your health. You can have a great physique without being ripped. Some women can stay in a very lean state and be just fine but the majority can’t. It effects hormones negatively and makes you miserable because you are so extremely restricted. Be you! Don’t worry about what your fav fitspo is doing and certainly don’t compare yourself to them. Worry about you and your why. Surround yourself with those that compliment your views and support you. Communicate to your loved ones. 9 times out of 10 they aren’t being unsupportive, they just don’t know what is important to you! So tell them!
The take away here is your results are not going to come in a meal plan or exercise program if you aren’t in a stage where you are ready to accept change. You aren’t going to change if you are afraid to or aren’t really aware of the reasons why you need to reach these insane standards we put on ourselves. Once you are able to accept your why, believe in yourself and feel comfortable in change you can reach any goal you set for yourself.