We are well in the second week of this challenge and many of you have made the commitment to stick to this 90-day journey to stay accountable over Summer.
Around the second and third week mark is where many people fall off their motivational horse so to speak and fall back into bad habits that they had before. This step backwards affects many and is the essential reason why many people fail at fitness and health, but it’s okay.
When it comes to fitness and health, for some odd reason, everyone thinks it has to be perfect. An “all or nothing” type of deal. That logic doesn’t make sense compared to any other thing in life. For example, if you wanted to try playing ice hockey for the first time, you know well beforehand, you’ll probably fall and stumble on the ice a couple of times as you’ve never worn ice skates, used a hockey stick, and then on top of that have to use your hockey stick to hit a puck into a net. You’d continue showing up to practice even though there will be a learning curve where you’ll continue to screw up but eventually get better and have some confidence.
But for some odd reason, when we look at fitness and health if we screw up, it’s over.
The typical scenario looks like this:
You start the initiative to eat healthy and go to the gym more often. The first week goes excellent; then the weekend comes around you go out with some friends and eat foods that don’t fall in line with your definition of “healthy.” You feel defeated and end up in a scenario where you go “well, I’ll start over on Monday since I ate this burger.” You then follow this pattern any time there is a hiccup like this. From eating a so-called “unhealthy meal” to skipping a workout, you end up allowing yourself to give up and restart over and over again, spinning your wheels without any progression forward.
The two examples above should be the same, but for some reason, fitness and health have to be perfect in order for success. It’s absurd and no wonder so many people have trouble with their health.
We need to make the mindset shift that being committed to our health isn’t a linear line of starting at point A and going directly to point B. You’ll end up all over the place before achieving success. Failure is part of every journey, just because you fall on your face the first couple times doesn’t mean you have to quit.
A simple strategy is to acknowledge failure as part of the journey, recognize when it happens, then simply move on. It might sound silly but taking some time to self-reflect on the situation can be the tipping point for your success.
Two things tend to happen for people’s journey for optimal health:
- Falling off the healthy eating train
- Missing workouts
WThese two have the power to change everything in your quest to be successful finally.
If you’ve committed yourself to eating better by eliminating certain foods, portion sizes and better food choices you can still see success with some foods that don’t fall in line with “healthy eating.” For the typical person that eats five times a day, in one week that’s thirty-five meals. If you allowed yourself to break the rules and enjoy foods that wouldn’t usually pop up in a traditional diet that you’ve done in the past and knew you were eating 90% healthy, you’d have a higher success rate just knowing the numbers. 90% is 3.5 meals that you can enjoy throughout the week and still see progress. Having that buffer and confidence knowing you won’t sabotage your success, is crucial for success and progression.
Whereas going into a challenge blindly and eating a meal that doesn’t fall in line with a diet changes the conversation and turns you into a guilt-filled individual that feels like a failure.
Having a buffer to enjoy foods you want will separate you from the herd and in the long run, make you successful.
The same concept of “all or nothing” applies to workouts. Many of us who miss a workout feel like the world has come to an end and it’s over. Brush it off and try again.
There’s nothing wrong with life popping up and taking priority sometimes. The key is to wake up the next day and make up for the missed day.
A simple solution is committing yourself to a certain amount of days a week that is realistic with your schedule. If you think about coming to the gym five times a week is what you need to do, and you only have time for two, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You’re better off coming to the gym twice a week consistently than trying to make it in for five one week, then the following week none, then the week after, two, and following a pattern of all over the place until the end of the challenge and being disappointed with mediocre results.
Find a realistic number of days you can make it in and make it a non-negotiable priority. If you miss one day, don’t sweat it, make it up later in the week.
With knowing the idea and concept of success is all over the place and not a linear line of progression, you can put your mind at ease knowing there will be speed bumps down the road.
Give yourself some grace, let go, and regroup and tackle the next day with precision. Success in fitness and health is not perfect, and that’s okay, the important part is not to quit and just show up every day with the intention to give your best!