>All of us have started an exercise or nutrition plan and a few weeks later found ourselves straying from path. This is usually followed by completely giving up the plan till the start of the following week or month (because we couldn’t possibly start a new plan half way through the week or month). When we recommence the plan we promise ourselves that we’ll try harder next time as if the only reason we didn’t succeed last time was we didn’t try hard enough. The result being that in a few weeks time we find ourselves back in exactly the same position, making the same mistakes and again promising to try harder next time.
Next time this happens to you try a different approach. First of all don’t give up completely. The amount of people I hear say that because they had one small bit of chocolate they’ve decided since they’ve eaten something unhealthy they may as well have the whole block and start trying to be healthy again tomorrow. When you think about it that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Imagine making a speech in public and you mispronounce a few words; you can A: pause, gather yourself, go back to the sentence you were trying to say, repeat it correctly and continue or B: give up completely and tell you audience to come back next monday when you’ll promise to try harder.
Option B doesn’t make any sense does it yet why do we all do it when it comes to health and fitness?
There is a saying that goes “if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got”. There is a lot of truth to this when applied to making changes to your body. If you keep following the same plan with the same mental strategies you will continue to get the same results.
The saying “if at first you don’t succeed try and try again” doesn’t mean if at first you dont succeed try exactly the same thing again and hope for a better result.
The key is to analyse your plan and determine was it something in the plan that wasn’t correct or something in the application of the plan.
What’s the difference?
If it’s the plans fault you will have followed the plan but not got the results you wanted , if you haven’t followed the plan properly then it’s the application.
Once you have that figured out you either need a new plan,or you need to work on some strategies to follow the plan.
If you need a new plan see a professional, don’t copy a program from a magazine or a friends program, all bodies are different and what works for one may not work for another. Your body is the most complicated thing you’ll ever have anything to do with and the most important thing in your life so seek advice from an expert.
If you are not sticking to the plan then you need to decide if the plan is realistic and if it is then figure out some strategies that will help you stick it.
Usually we fail because we let a situation dictate to us what to do rather than the other way around. When you go out socially for example , no-one is forcing you to drink, no-one is forcing you to eat the chocolate cake yet we feel compelled to drink or eat when we know we shouldn’t. Why? Often because of peer pressure or we feel like we are missing out.
Peer pressure doesn’t just happen when you’re a teenager. When your office colleagues encourage you to have a chocolate muffin saying ” one muffin won’t hurt you” you DO have a choice. If they get offended by you saying no then that is their problem not yours. Often they will feel offended because it makes them guilty as they know they shouldn’t be having it. You never know but in saying a polite no you may even inspire them to have the courage to say no.
When you feel like your missing out on something by saying no, try looking at it in a different way. For example , instead of thinking “I don’t want to say no because this chocolate muffin will taste really nice” try ” I don’t want this muffin now because it is not going to help me to lose weight/get fit/tone up. Feeling good about myself and being healthy is far more important than the short term pleasure of having a chocolate muffin” This may be hard intially but the more often you do it the easier it gets.
That doesn’t mean you can never have a chocolate muffin but make sure you decide when you want it not the situation. Have it on Sunday arvo after you’ve been really good all week and deserve a small treat.
The same philosophy can be applied to going to the gym vs going to the pub and watching TV.
Another common reason we fall of the wagon is we don’t plan ahead identifying possible problems and coming up with solutions in advance. For example if you look at your diary on Monday morning and realise there is a meeting on thursday evening that will probably run late and force you to miss out on your gym session then plan for it. Work out another day or time to get to the gym. Like wise when you have to go out for a meal decide beforehand what you are going to allow yourself to have. If you decide beforehand that you can have 1 glass of wine then it is much easier to stop after one than if you give yourself no boundries and take it as it comes
If your losing your motivation then go back to your goals, think through why they are important and how you will feel if you have achieved them. This should inspire you enough to make it through at least the next few days.
Whatever you do make sure you identify where you are going wrong and come up with a strategy to combat it otherwise you will find yourself another year older,still no change, still saying to yourself ” this time I’m going to try harder”.