Do you know the feeling? That after a while life gets in the way? You try so hard, but for some reason you miss a workout and then you skip another. And on top of it you have a dinner and fail your healthy diet. So how do you get back on track?
First of all, it’s ok if this sometimes happen. We all have moments that we fall of the “healthy” wagon once in a while. What important is, is to accept that and see how you can get back on it. Don’t give up when you failed once or even twice. Don’t think that now there’s no point to try. Because every step in the direction of a healthy lifestyle is the right one.
So it happend to me too. As you might I’ve seen I enjoyed the snow in Austria. Eating healthy was quite a challenge there and it was due to two things. The first thing was that there weren’t that many healthy options. The second challenge was seeing my family binge on french fries, Austrian pancakes, hot chocolate and more yummy things. So, so did I. Well a bit.
You might think ok so once you’re back, you start eating healthy again? Yes, that was the plan and then I went away for work and stayed in an hotel. For two days long we were offered cookies, chocolate and even pizza. Yes, there was a bowl of fruit too. One that hardly anyone touched.
Why not choose the good things when that option was there? I can think of many excuses like the fact that I was really tired and craved more food, the bad things, but really the choice was mine. Nobody forced me to take a slice of pizza or a handful of cookies. But once you fall of the wagon it seems to take so much more effort to get back on the right one.
How to get back on track then? Remind yourself why you were exercising and eating right in the first place. Why were you running when you used to hate this? Set your goal again and break it into steps so it becomes a plan. Perhaps even share your plan so you feel someone can hold you accountable.
My plan is again to go running three times a week. I also promise to myself to eat an healthy oatmeal breakfast, have an apple with cinnamon as a snack and have vegetables and fish for lunch. Dinner then will be similar but smaller and of course I’ll do yoga every morning and walk my doggies. When I break it into these steps it suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big effort anymore. There’s no obstacle, but you, getting in your way. So let’s get to it. Will you join me?
Sometimes it feels it would be easier to just give up. Save yourself the trouble. Take the easy road for once. Wouldn’t that be nice? But on the other hand where would that take you?
Naturally I’m not someone who gives up. Better said I’m the kid in gym class that wouldn’t give up until my fingers bled. Well almost, my hands were a bit torn. It was a trick in the rings that I managed to do once. Then I wanted to show my teacher and I couldn’t do it anymore, but I wouldn’t stop. So in the end my teacher told me to stop. My willingness to try was enough.
Now you might think like ‘oh but you were a kid’. No, this happened when I was about fifteen. But believe me as a child I was exactly the same and I still am. I do think now that part of not giving up is knowing when to stop. Knowing when to take a new route and leave the old one behind. Because when going left isn’t working, you can try to take a right.
But why do we give up? I think that many times it’s simply easier to do so. Trying is scary. Trying over and over again is scarier. Going after what you want and keep on going is scary as hell. And why? Because what if you fail? What if after all the efforts you made, you still fail? Well, then you tried and for sure you learned from it. And if it’s something you truly desire, perhaps you can still achieve it, but in a slightly different form than you anticipated.
Giving up might feel easy, but in the end it takes you nowhere. You stay in your safe zone and you outgrow yourself, but you can’t grow any further. There’s no space in your safe zone. You need to take a road that you don’t know yet. Take another step and see where it leads you. I’ve said this before but for me the decision to go back to the Netherlands was the scariest one ever. I felt stuck where I was, but it was comfortable too. I knew what I could expect, although I wasn’t happy.
At a certain point you have two choices. You either stay where you are or you try something new. Either way you can’t give up. Not on life, not on yourself, not on your dreams. Whatever you feel you want to achieve you can do it. The results might not be exactly what you planned them to be, but it will happen and it can happen. There is a special ingredient necessary however. Believe. You need to believe in yourself and don’t give up.
As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye and say you did all you could do. That you truly did your best. You just don’t know what to do now? Well then you sleep on it. Perhaps even three nights and if you still want to keep on going, then you’ll find a way. A new way and most likely a better way.