Had A Fitness Slip Up? Don’t Look Back!
It’s a few weeks into the new year. I hope you are all doing well with your renewed commitment to fitness. You often hear that it takes three weeks to develop a new habit. So, after three weeks…Are you in a fitness routine or a fitness rut?
It is often so much easier at the beginning: there’s the rush of enthusiasm, and many of your responsibilities (at work or home) are not yet ramped back up to full speed from the holidays. But, a few weeks later, the spark of enthusiasm is gone, routines return, job and family responsibilities rise to normal levels…and consistency can waver.
If you’re in a fitness routine in the new year, congratulations. You should be settling into a routine that allows you to live your life while making it better through fitness. It may be a nice realization that you can live healthier and not have to clear everything else off of your calendar to do it!
If you’re in a fitness rut, know this: It will happen to all of us at some point. (Yes, even me!) There have been (and will be) times when for one reason or another, I don’t get all my workouts in. It will happen to you, too (whether you’ve had a perfect first three weeks or a bumpy ride.) The important thing to focus on is not WHAT HAPPENED, but what your response will be to what has happened.
If you started great, but have let things slip, you no doubt FEEL a loss of fitness after a couple weeks that got away from you. (It would be great if everyone were so in tune with their bodies that they felt a drop off in their fitness levels after only a couple of bad weeks – instead of letting things go for years.)
Instead of beating yourself up with the guilt over not doing what you planned, stop for a moment, assess what you have done well and what you didn’t, then lay out a strategy to get re-focused.
The best mistake to make is the one you learn from.
I can tell you, I’ve seen people have a couple of bad weeks and they let it be the beginning of more bad weeks. Taking the time to do a reconstruction of what happened and why, without guilt and with an eye toward learning what to watch out for in the future.
When your attitude and mindset are in the right place, you can find the silver lining in just about any situation. There’s always a way to look at a negative situation in a more positive way when you focus on learning from it.
Let me tell you a brief story…in 1995 when my father died at 424 pounds, my mother was 370 pounds and was suddenly staring her own mortality in the face. She began slowly making changes to her eating habits, then a while later added water exercise and light aerobic activity. Before you know it she was adding weight training with me and group cycling classes to her exercise routine. She got down to 200 pounds.
It took her 7 years. She wasn’t perfect every day. She only made nutrition changes the first few years. If she had cleaned up her eating habits and added exercise sooner it wouldn’t have taken her as long. But, she did it. She got there. At her own pace, and on her own terms.
What’s the BEST part?
She never went backward. Never gave up ground that she had fought hard to get. Sure, she plateaued here and there, but she had periods of progress, then maintained that progress until she was ready to make the effort for more progress.
Whether you’ve been perfect for three weeks or have let things slip, it’s still only three weeks. Fitness and health are a lifelong journey where you continually do things better and move in a healthier direction. You’re worth the effort. Your loved ones are worth the effort. Keep moving forward – no matter what. Accept that setbacks will happen. Absorb them, and move on.