A good friend of mine suggested I write about those times where despite your best intentions, you have a bad day and feel like you have fallen off the wagon. It is so important when you feel like this to remember that this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a choice that you have made for life! So rather than beating yourself up about a slip up here and there and feeling like all your hard work was for nothing, it’s a much healthier attitude to recognise it for what it is, let go of the negative feelings and move forward. It is certainly not the end of your resolve to live a healthier life.
I’ve already talked about how Andrew and I handle holidays, we always try to get straight back on track as soon as we get home. But what about the times when you aren’t on holidays, when you are in your own environment with full control of what you are putting in your mouth and doing with your body yet you find that you have lost the motivation to make the right choices for your new lifestyle. These are the times that can really get you down and mess with your self esteem, but it’s how you handle your mindset during these moments of self doubt and possibly even self loathing that can make all the difference between success and failure.
It has been 7 and half years since Andrew and I made the choice to change our lifestyle and during that time although he has lost 60 kilos, there were times when he gained weight back too. These times can be so demoralising, but we never let it get out of control and that is the key. I want to share some of the strategies that we employ so that we stay in control – hopefully they help some of you get back on track and focus on the big picture.
- Firstly, make yourself accountable and weigh yourself regularly. Although it can be confronting (I know I personally hate the scales) it is important to know what your body is doing. Your body will fluctuate 1-2 kilos naturally depending on your fluid, hormones etc but more than a couple of kilos should be taken as a sign that it is time to tighten the reigns a little and reassess your nutrition. Don’t get emotional about the scales, they are just a tool to keep you on track – let them keep you honest.
- Keep a food diary. Andrew kept a food diary for years. It will help you see where you might need to improve your nutrition and it might just be what you need to stop yourself eating what you know you shouldn’t be!
- Drink lots of water. Water detoxifies the body, flushing out your system and reducing cravings. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger so increase your water intake and you won’t be as tempted to snack at the wrong times of the day. We should be drinking about 2-3 litres of water a day..
- If you feel that your nutrition has not been great, add one or two exercise sessions to your week or go for a long walk to clear your head. It’s amazing what a difference a big walk in the fresh air with your favourite music can do for your mindset.
- Stay positive! Remember that this is not a quick fix, this is a lifestyle change. Once the momentum of a healthy lifestyle gets going, you will start to crave healthy nutritious foods and the appeal of sugary processed junk food will fade.
Finally, we need to accept that we are all human and nobody is perfect. Without doubt there are going to be times where you will slip up and there will be times when you should permit yourself to do so. Sometimes it’s good for your body to get a shock to the system and quite frankly in my opinion a treat every now and then is good for the morale ! Just keep it to every now and then and eat well the rest of the time and you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself. So don’t let a slip up get you into a rutt, if you acknowledge it for what it is but get straight back on track it will not ruin all your hard work, remember your attitude is everything!
PS – am making the most delicious dinner tonight – healthy lamb pizza drizzled with pesto yogurt! Stay tuned for the recipe which I’ll post later this week just in time for Fathers Day! If you would like to receive these blog posts in your inbox you can add your email to sign up in the ‘follow by email’ box on the right hand side …