3 Common Pitfalls to Avoid After You “Fall Off the Wagon”
Feeling guilty for having too much fun? When you stretch the 85% healthy/15% fun rule to more towards 50/50, you may wind up kicking yourself afterwards. Wait! Wait! Stop feeling disappointed in yourself. Here’s what to do and why.
1. Don’t Punish Yourself with 100% Strict The Next Day
First, don’t say to yourself, “Tomorrow I’m going to be 100% strict. I’m not going to eat much.” Don’t make up for it by delivering a punishment to yourself. Instead, get back on track gradually. Have an extra healthy day. Go and get the most beautiful fruits and vegetables. Put them in your shake. Take a moment to realize how amazing good fuel makes you feel.
If you punish yourself, you’re putting yourself in a “diet” mentality. This will swing you up and down like a pendulum. That up and down will become an unhealthy habit. Your nutritional habits will feel like a roller coaster ride. “I was really really bad yesterday, so I’m going to be really really good today.” Stop that. Break that habit now: You want to be on a steady flat train track. If you think you were “bad” yesterday, just hop back on the neutral track. It’s steady and will take you where you want to go — your ultimate destination of healthy lifestyle habits.
2. Don’t Beat Up Yourself with Mind Games
I was “bad” this weekend. Do you ever say that to yourself? If so, you’re not alone. I hear that a lot from others. Here’s how you can change that around to your benefit: Your mind has a lot of powerful forces that can work for you or against you. First, separate out your actions from “who” you are. You are not a bad person. You may have made a poor choice, but that was simply a choice. That is not who you are.
If you continue to label yourself as “being” bad, then you will continue to make poor choices more often. Start giving yourself strong, confident labels: “I am strong. I am fit. I am healthy.” is one that I use all the time. Borrow it — or make up your own.
The more you label yourself positively, the more you are challenging yourself to become that person. This positive direction will lead you to a guilt-free way of life.
3. Never Stop Having Fun
This one’s my favorite, as I’m totally motivated by fun! Life is fun. Be so grateful for those amazing times with friends, food, family, and fun. Life is meant to be fun. People always tell me they will “start on Monday” or “on the 1st of the month” or the usual, “January 1st of next year.” Stop that! Life will always find a way to get in your way. There will be weddings, cocktail parties, get togethers, girls weekends…. There will never be a “good” time to start if you look at it like that. The perfect time to start is RIGHT NOW. Every single moment is an opportunity to take control of your health and get on a better track.
The reason you want to integrate a healthy dose of fun (1 of 7 choices — 15%) is so you can live without the guilt. You can have that cookie. Enjoy some ice cream with your kids. It’s ok. Don’t feel badly. Sprinkle the fun in and enjoy the moment! Then opt for 6 of 7 choices to be healthy and mindful. Continue your mantra of “I am strong.. I am fit. I am healthy.” and you will be on the right track.
So if you fall off, just get back on. Think the steady train track, not the up and down roller coaster. That is Strong. Confident. Living. …and I know you will rock this lifestyle.
Laura St. John