The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?
It’s January 1st and you haven’t thought about exercise or nutrition for two weeks.
You have been eating a lot more than usual, drinking a lot more than usual – and I don’t mean water – and sitting around a lot more than usual. Maybe you feel bloated or sluggish and you think it’s time to “get back on track.” How do you do it?
In this article, I intend to cover some strategies to incorporate healthy eating and exercise back into your life after a “holiday layoff.”
I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals.
Your mindset dictates the way you feel about your choices. Are you happy to diet or do you only do it “because you have to”? Are you happy to work out or is it a chore?
If you believe a certain truth, then you will behave accordingly. So, if you switch from a truth that doesn’t serve you to one that aligns with your goals, you are setting yourself up for success.
The three tips in this article can help you reframe your fitness decisions so that you can achieve your objectives and enjoy yourself in the process.
As a side note, when I was first brainstorming ideas for the piece, I thought to use the festive period for context, but in hindsight this advice can apply to your lifestyle as a whole.
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
In my experience, people seem to have two different attitudes towards social events during a fat loss diet:
1. The “fuck it” attitude.
These people find it hard enough to stick to their diet on an average day. When a big meal out with alcohol and dessert enters the picture, they either feel overwhelmed or decide they don’t want to let the diet “ruin” the occasion.
Whichever the reaction, the outcome is the same: the diet goes out of the window, often for good.
2. The “oh God no” attitude.
This was my own way of thinking when I was struggling with diets and disordered eating.
I was so concerned with losing all the weight loss progress made that I would be terrified of anything outside of my routine.
The idea of not being able to track calories as accurately as possible, choose the ingredients going into my food, and control my portions would make me either avoid the meal or dread it like capital punishment.
For others, this gut-wrenching panic (no pun intended) may mean they lose control and binge like there’s no tomorrow.
Neither of these behaviours is sustainable, healthy, or conducive to long-term fat loss success.
So how do you approach a social event?
In this article, I aim to provide you with two potential strategies, based on whether or not you track your calories and macros.
I think we all have blocks between us and the best version of ourselves, whether it’s shyness, insecurity, anxiety, whether it’s a physical block, and the story of a person overcoming that block to their best self. It’s truly inspiring because I think all of us are engaged in that every day.
Many of us look forward to the winter holidays to travel, spend time with family, and “eat all the food”. I’m not one of those people.
I worry about replacing my secure, solid routine with the unpredictable chaos family celebrations can be. I get anxious about leaving my home for a different house in a different country (my own family is in Italy, my partner’s in America), with different rules to learn and respect. I dread having less control over food and exercise than I do in the comfort of my daily life. For all these reasons, making the decision to go on holiday in the first place is a feat of strength. In fact, “travelling abroad at least once” was one of my long-term goals for the six-month period from September 2018 to March 2019.
In the past, my go-to strategy to face holiday fear was to shame myself for my anxieties and try to “go with the flow”. It was a disaster. I can’t go with the flow. Without a plan, I feel lost and anxious, so I become rigid and unforgiving about everything else (food, exercise, etc.) in a lacklustre attempt to be flexible about what’s going to happen next. It may sound like a paradox, but the “flow” makes me more strict.
Now I don’t dismiss those fears or reject my Type A personality anymore. Instead, I try to channel that personality into finding ways to curb anxiety and enhance flexibility. In this article, I’m going to share some of these strategies. If anything I said so far resonates with you, feel free to borrow my tips!
A personal trainer who likes bodybuilding, superheroes, and bread.
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