As I type this, I’m sipping a hot coffee and devouring a delicious brownie from a local café here in Bali, by myself. If this was me two months ago, I would never have forgiven myself.
I recently competed in my first physique competition and was on a very strict diet and training programme for months. I was so deprived for what I call ‘normal food’, so I decided to give myself a fitness break—both mentally and physically.
For weeks, I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted and it was mentally challenging knowing I wasn’t in the excellent shape I was compared to when I was training. It took a while to get out of self-pity mode and get back into the fitness game. If you feel like you’re falling off the fitness bandwagon, here’s how to bounce back even stronger!
5 Steps To Getting Back On Track
Remember that you’ve been successful before
You’ve eaten healthily and worked out consistently in the past. What makes it so different this time that you’re struggling to do it again? The only difference between the current you and the version of you a few months ago is this—YOU know what to do, YOU know what works well for your body and YOU know you can do it again.
Ignore the calendar
Diet starts on Monday, next week or next month? Or never? Trust me I know how it feels! Setting a specific date seems like a good way to resume a fitness plan, but so many things can get in the way. There’s the birthday dinner, office drinks or holiday with the family coming up making a simple task become complicated.
My advice would be—stop thinking so far ahead, pick a day and do it! Chances are that when you reach an obstacle, you’ll be well into your routine and won’t cheat.
Start with ONE goal
We tend to overestimate ourselves, set too many silly and unrealistic goals. Here’s an example: ”I want a 6-pack in a month”. What?! As a fitness trainer, I hear this all the time and it sounds unrealistic to me. Instead, focus on setting a small goal to get started stick with it for a week before moving on to the next one. The goal can be as simple as cutting down on drinking wine at dinner on weekdays—we all need little victories to keep us going!
Spice things up!
Doing the same routine you did 6 weeks ago is not going to be as efficient as when you first started. It can be very demotivating when your body hits its plateau, and this could be the reason why you’re falling off the bandwagon in the first place. Don’t be afraid to spice things up a little! Sprint at the track instead of the treadmill or join a group class—it can be fun and refreshing having company while working out.
Always have healthy snacks near you
Instead of having milk chocolate or chocolate chip cookies, switch to dark (70%) chocolate, which is one of the few foods that has powerful health benefits and tastes awesome. Of course, don’t overindulge—one or two squares a day is acceptable. There are always healthier snacking options and it all comes down to you and how you want to feel.
These 5 tips got me back on the bandwagon. It’s okay to regress as it doesn’t last forever. As we head towards the end of the year, fitness is not on the top priority list. When all the festivities are done, make sure you pick yourself up, realign your fitness goals and get that engine started again!
Header image credit: @panperli