Happy hump day and first day of March, everyone! It's been awhile since I've done a Wellness Wednesday, and what's a better topic to jump back in with, than talking about how to get back on the fitness wagon?
I'm a big proponent of doing the little bits of effort everyday to stay on the wagon, because it is much easier to maintain being on the wagon than it is to get back on it. But sometimes life and shit happens and you go through phases. And suddenly, you find yourself on your butt, off the wagon.
A basic principle of behavioral modification that my Precision Nutrition coaching course taught me to teach my clients, is that you need to master a goal before you can add a second one to it. Let my little stick figure Sam (who got an illustration upgrade thanks to my sister) show you exactly what I mean.
She's adorable, but don't be like Sam.
As Sam shows us, when you're struggling to manage what's already on your plate, even looking at the mere prospect of adding another thing on is sometimes enough to make you even lose grip on the first two. You have to first practice getting stronger at managing your loads you already have, then you can think about adding more on.
Bringing this back to the fitness realm, when you're looking to get back on the wagon, you need to first assess your current stresses and loads you're carrying. If you've fallen off the workout wagon, you likely have fallen off the nutrition one a bit too-- they tend to go hand in hand. Tackling both at the same time is going to be unnecessarily taxing, so it's best to focus on clambering back on one wagon before attempting to climb the next.
For me personally, working out tends to be the first domino in a chain of healthy living. When my workouts wane and stop, my water intake slips, my nutritional focus tends to get a little worse, and then the negative cycle begins. When my workouts are consistent and good, my nutritional game also follows suit, simply because I start to feel better and then I want to do everything to make myself feel more awesome.
So that being considered, when I want to get back on the wagon with my workouts, I tell myself that that is my #1 priority and that's all I need to focus on knocking out of the park. As long as I'm nailing my scheduled workouts every day, I won't worry twice about the carb content of my dinner or indulging in the occasional GF peanut butter cookie (my favorite!) with my morning coffee at my neighborhood cafe. Of course, I'm not giving myself license to go ham and eat like the world is ending, but I definitely aim to alleviate any stress associated with my nutritional goals. I do this, so that I can focus all my energy on achieving and solidifying my workout habits again. Once I feel reliable and confident in my fitness regimen again, I'll start to turn focus on making more intentional decisions with my nutrition.
Set one realistically managable goal that you feel confident in your ability to achieve. Knock it out of the park consistently, then build on that with a new goal.
Remember that little steps lead to big outcomes when it comes to lifestyle changes❤️️
Have you guys had trouble with this? What are the things that you find most difficult about getting back on the fitness wagon?