One of the more common things I experience with my clients is that they get down on themselves and discouraged when they feel they "fail" or "fall off" from their fitness goals. They then lose that "motivated" feeling and tend to want to give up altogether. Sound familiar?
Although this is super common, we seem to act like it isn't, or that it's somehow abnormal. Our perceived "failures" or "derailments" lead to feelings of embarrassment, regret, shame, and more increasingly discouraging and negative thoughts. These feelings are some pretty strong human emotions which can seep into your psyche and make you feel all kinds of ways. Most of which prevent you from wanting to get BACK to the gym and/or making your next meal a GOOD choice and now we've got a potential downward spiral of events. So although normal, this mindset can be a very real threat to your forward progress if you let it be.
So what do you do??
Let's start by acknowledging those feelings. Get them out of the dark. Dudes and dudettes -- shush, listen up, ready? -- YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE! You are NORMAL! And it is OKAY!
That's it. Yep. That's the secret. Move on. If you're rolling your eyes at me right now because you were hoping for some sort of miracle answer that I didn't deliver here, roll 'em right back forward and keep reading. Sorry the solution is not more pseudo-sciencey, crazy in-depth, super abstract-sounding, and/or I'm not asking you to buy some product I sell to rectify the issue. (#sorrynotsorry actually) It is that simple. You need to take a breath, own your actions, mentally re-set, and JUST. MOVE. ON.
Shoot, I feel like a poo myself sometimes when I let other priorities trump my game plan. Some days it still messes with my confidence, my motivation level, my...mojo in general, if you will. And I know I especially felt that way in the early part of my fitness journey.
However, when I miss a day of training now, yeah, I'm still disappointed in myself about it sometimes, but I either do something active at home, or make sure my butt is in the gym the very next day!
When I over-eat or screw up on my macros, I don't bash or internally shame myself over it. I try to, A) identify why it happened (did I fail to plan? get too hungry so I binged? eat some crap the kids had left over just because it was there?) and then, B) rectify that issue to help make sure it doesn't happen again, or happens less, in the future.
"But Cassandra, you're like, fit and stuff. All this 'move on' crap is easy for you to say!"
*Insert me giggling in response at that (with due respect) here*.
Ok, I'm ready now...
Whether you're brand new to fitness, or have been riding this happy health train for years, you're going to come to learn that the "time-in" will never make you impervious to the feelings we're talking about here. Maybe you're brand new, and you've missed a day. Maybe you've been following a great routine for quite a while, something happened that disrupted that good rhythm, and now it's been weeks or even months since you've set foot in a gym or eaten a vegetable anywhere close to its original form.
Or. Maybe you're like me (yeah that like, "fit one" you rolled your eyes at - it's ok by the way, I still like you) and lost a bunch of weight, got my mind right, saw how friggin awesome it was and felt, literally changed my life & career to become a trainer and help other people do the same, made killer personal & professional progress for years......but then......had a few crazy life things happen all at once. All but completely stopped going to the gym. Slowly began eating pretty much whatever without a second thought. And allowed every other thing to become a priority over my health, to the point where I got so lost that some days I felt like a complete phony. Oh and that continued for about a YEAR.
A YEAR? Lost all my progress, right? So might as well throw in the towel, right? Starting from square one, and this is going to hurt, and suck, and be so friggin hard all over again, right?
Yep. Definitely not. Nah. And no/yes/probably/maybe.
But SO WHAT? After many mental battles with myself and working hard to regain a family-work-life balance I MOVED ON. I took it back. Because I needed to. Because I don't want to aquire all the diabetes and heart-related issues that run in my family. Because I wanted good health for myself and I wanted to be that good example for my clients, my members, and my family. I had many a day of self-doubt and starts & stops and trial & error to get it going again. But....
Why hate on yourself when you loved yourself enough to start toward a healthier lifestyle in the first place?? It's unproductive and helps nothing and no-one, least of all you.
You did not fail. You don't suck. You did not "ruin everything" or crash & burn your fitness train. And you are definitely not a bad person because you had a setback or a hiccup. No matter the duration of said hiccup. You are....omg....HUMAN! :) And you still absolutely DESERVE to continue on the path you set out for yourself. Because you have greatness in you, and you WANT it!
You know how I know that? Because you're here. Reading this. You're still thinking about it. Your heart hasn't given up. It's on your mind. You just need to forgive yourself and GRAB it again. Motivation does not last. It's going to come and go. Day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out. Steady, conscious, consistent, everyday habits are where this life change is going to happen for you. So, one choice at a time - take it back, and MAKE it happen. :)
Happy Monday!! You've got this!