Tuesday morning I peeled down my pants in the bathroom at work and was greeted by pink indentations running down either side of my legs. Nothing makes you feel more like dough than seeing the inseam of your jeans impressed into your pale thighs.
The reason those indentations were there was because I was bloated from this past Fourth of July. The holiday was a little crazy. I didn’t update this blog as much as I wanted. I partied. I ate too much. I drank too much. I didn’t workout for a while. Now I’m retaining water like a mofo and I look like I’m wearing flesh-colored pants when I take off my jeans.
Aside from feeling squishy, I’ve also been feeling a little disenchanted about blogging, hence my brief absence. The other girl in my self defense class wears a shirt that says, “Nobody cares about your blog.” I have to laugh because it’s true. I know I just started this site, but sometimes I question why I even bother. I’m not getting much traffic at all, with the exception of the porn post I wrote. Maybe I should put a big vagina in my banner. I won’t lie; it’s discouraging to feel that I have to write about porn and sex to get people to read this.
But don’t let my bitching fool you. There is a little courage wolf in my brain that refuses to let me give up. I’m still here. And I did get back on track with the gym. I need to clean up my eating though; leftovers from a party I had over the weekend are killing me.
So in light of all this, I wanted to talk about not giving up. I’ve never been an all in or all out type of person, but I know plenty who are. They overeat for a few days and/or miss some of their workouts, or they screwed up some other commitment they made to themselves, and suddenly they’ve flipped their “fuck it” switch. This is not a scenario that you want to flip that switch. When your significant other is being a dipshit and you need to dump their ass, then yeah, flip it. But don’t do it when it comes to taking care of yourself.
If you’re prone to falling off the wagon, here are some things you can do to get back on track.
1. Don’t be an extremist.
This is for the folks who are either perfect or a total disaster when it comes to their goals. Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight and you’ve done an awesome job. Then one night you go out with some friends and you devour a whole plate of loaded fries. This turns into a week of eating like it’s Thanksgiving. You feel so guilty or down about it that you give up. You don’t try at all to get back on track. Why should you? You already blew it.
It’s not constructive to think that you’ve totally failed because there was one night where you messed up. So what? That doesn’t mean that you can’t undo what has been done. If you quit, you’re just going backwards. One bad decision doesn’t have to turn into 50 more bad decisions. Reel it in. You’ll feel much better.
2. Try to give your time off a positive spin.
Sometimes we need a break. They’re healthy for us. And as for me, taking a few days off the gym always leaves me more eager to get back in. Try telling yourself that your time off was a rest period, one that allowed you to actually miss eating healthy and working out. If you’ve been overeating, then just think about how all that food is going to fuel your next workout and make you kick ass.
3. If you’re having a hard time getting back into the groove, start small.
Just go for a walk. Seriously. And don’t think that it’s pointless. The only thing that’s pointless is doing nothing. Run a block. Do two push-ups. Just do something. Chances are it’ll inspire you to do more. Congratulate yourself for every step forward that you make. Even if you aren’t as gung-ho as you might’ve been, you’re trying. And that’s a helluva lot better than not trying at all. Apathy is for the birds.
4. Accept that falling off the wagon is part of the process.
If you haven’t already noticed, your mentality is everything. So keep in mind that no one is perfect. There’s no use in beating yourself up. Negativity plays a huge part in why people let their slip ups turn into a full-blown “fuck it” situation. Realize that at some point most people screw up along the way. It’s to be expected, really. The trick is to not let one slip up completely de-rail your efforts. Accept that it happened, and move on.
I doubt there’s a magic combination of words that will make all of this click for someone and give them the “a-ha” moment they need to get moving. I can’t inject everyone who reads this with a motivation serum. I wish I could. But at the end of the day you have to really want it. You cared enough at one point to start making healthier choices. Dig inside of yourself and find that again.
Don’t think short-term. Think long-term. A year from now it won’t matter that you messed up for a few days here and there. What will matter is that you didn’t stop or let your lapse spin out of control into six months of treating your body like crap. What will matter is that you kept going.
So do you fall off the wagon a lot? What inspires you to get back on?