Thursday, 13 February 2014

Overcoming the First Hurdle
Image Source: The Perfect Athlete
We've alllllll been there. You start a new "heathy eating" regime and you tell yourself, NO MATTER WHAT, you're going to stick to it. For about two weeks, you do stick to it. In all honesty, the first two weeks are easy. You turn down the office treats, you make your lunch every day, and you work out hardcore. Things are going GREAT.

Then...real life happens. It comes along when you least suspect it and BAM throws you off the path you have so successfully made for yourself. It can happen in many forms. Some of my key hurdles include:
  • Dinner with friends
  • Aunt Flo comes to town (yes, I'm 90, leave me alone)
  • Your favourite baker brings in delightful cupcakes that you can't turn down
  • I'm sad
  • I'm happy
  • I'm tired
  • A holiday happens
  • I'm too hungry and just grab the closest thing
Anyway, you get the idea. You're cruising along, with your healthy food and your exercise routine and your happy feelings and then out of nowhere, you're blindsided by a hurdle. You try and jump over it, but you trip, and you're left face down on the ground with a bag of chips and a bottle of wine (hypothetically speaking of course). You wake up the next morning with a bloated belly and a bruised ego.

Then the guilt sets in..."Why did I let myself do that?" or "I'm such a fat ass" or the worst one "well, this week is a write off, we'll just have to start again next week"

You all know what I'm talking about too. It really, really sucks.Then, you have a moment where you go "is it even worth it? I don't really care what I look like. F*ck it, I'm going to eat whatever I want" and then you start RIGHT back where you started. Guilty, sad, discouraged and frustrated.

So how do you overcome this? Logically, when you hit your first hurdle, you pick yourself up and keep going. Does that happen? Sometimes, yes, but when it doesn't, here is what I suggest:

When you START your Healthy Living Journey:
Write down your feelings & emotions as to WHY you're starting this healthy living journey. Is it because you're feeling fat? Is it because you want to cut crap out of your life? Whatever it is, write it down. Then, throughout the first few weeks, write down any and all changes you feel within yourself. Maybe it is more energy, more confidence, better sleep...whatever. WRITE IT DOWN.

Then, when your first hurdle comes along and you feel the guilt seeping in, immediately pull out that note and re-read it. Remember WHY you started this in the first place. Remind yourself of your goals and how good you were feeling.

You see the hurdle up ahead and you're worried about smacking into it:
You're two weeks in. You have a CRAZY awesome food fest coming up (like perhaps an amazing Raclette dinner with girlfriends) and you know you're going to want to splurge. Options:

a) eat beforehand and politely decline to eat
b) gorge until your gut busts out
c) prepare by doing a workout beforehand
d) cancel

In all honesty - my usual go to would have been b) or d). Obviously I would never decline to eat (that's just crazy) and my anxiety over the whole thing may cause me to cancel. Not this time though...I worked out the night before, and I knew I was going to the day after, so I happily indulged in an amazing meal. For those who don't know about Raclette, this is what it may look like:

Special cheese, fatty meats, potatoes...magic. We also happened to be celebrating a VERY special happening for a girlfriend of mine. It was a spectacular meal where I at until I was comfortably full and fully satiated. I may have felt a teeeeeensy bit guilty (we'll get to that next) but mostly, I was content.
Love these girls!
You've already started & can't remember why you're doing this:
Okay...this is where I'm at right now. I know why I'm doing this, I do, but there is that tiny (large) part of me that wants to throw my hands up in the air and bust out a bag of chips.

Then, I took a step back. I realized that this whole "clean living challenge" that I'm doing, is actually something I want to stick with for the rest of my life. So, for the rest of my life, am I going to be perfect 100% of the time in my eating? NO! Am I going to have girls nights, be happy, be tired, be lazy, have holidays etc. in the next part of my life? I certainly hope so! So guess what? It's okay to have treat days, once a week. It's okay to "fall off" the horse. The main thing is, you start the next day as a fresh day. You can't change what happened the day before, buy you can sure as heck try again!

The moral of the story? Don't give up. If your goals are genuine & your intention is strong, you will do it! This whole thing is a life journey. You're learning how to eat properly for the rest of your life, NOT just to get to your goal weight. You will get there!

Do you have any tips? Please share them below! I'd love to hear about them!

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