Life has this sneaky way of creeping in and throwing curve balls left and right. Life will always happen. There will always be a busy day at work or family problems or relationship highs and lows or sick children. Once conflict arises, it seems like health and fitness routines go haywire. We seek comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. These are the things that help us stay clear and balanced in both body and mind though! So what do we do when conflict smacks us in the face (and it happens to everyone so if you’re reading this – you’re not alone)? Avoiding the conflict is not reasonable because we can’t always control what comes at us. Figurine out how to navigate through any issues is what needs to happen to stay on track.
I think so many times we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mindset. For example, you might think your day is ruined because you veered off of your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or, you decided not to workout today because you couldn’t do the allotted 60 minutes that you had planned for. Instead of doing something, you may have chosen nothing at all. You gave up on day two of 30 days of clean eating. Do any of those sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below might give you some perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals even when life throws you a curve ball.
My philosophy is nourish, movement, mindset. If we can work on nourishing our bodies, moving them mindfully and maintaining a healthy attitude, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month and eventually get into the healthy habits on a regular basis that we need to achieve total body balance.
Focus on one small thing at a time. Start simple and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes executed day after day, week after week and so on can lead to really big change. So pick one small nutrition action and practice it for one to two weeks before adding in a new change.
Examples: Work on portion control (without regard to food quality), add one colorful food in at each meal, take 15 minutes to meal prep tomorrow’s healthy food or omit your sugary after dinner snack (swap it out with a healthy alternative). You could eat slowly and chew your food completely or focus on balancing your meals so that you have protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal. Omitting processed foods at one to two meals per day is also another great option. These are just some examples but it’s up to you to figure out which little step you can take to improve your nutrition.
Take advantage of the time that you DO have. Carve out space in the small pockets of your time. We get fixated on time so often that we don’t realize that a little is always better than nothing. For example, it’s so easy to think that you have to do a workout for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wouldn’t 15 minutes of that workout be better than nothing though? The answer is yes! So squeeze in what you can, when you can.
Get unconventional. Maybe you don’t have time to get in a “workout”. Do what you can with what you’ve got. Maybe you take the stairs that day instead of the elevator. Park in the parking space furthest away from the building (gasp!) to get some extra steps in. Stand up from your desk and walk around for a minute every 15 or 20 minutes. Run around at the playground with your kids. Movement doesn’t always have to be in the form of a straight up 30 minute HIIT workout. It can be moving and active – outside or inside. What are the ways that you could get in some more movement?
Move mindfully. Pay close attention to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. Your body and energy levels will fluctuate day by day so take advantage of more vigorous workouts when you can and also add in active recovery, lighter workouts or even yoga or stretching when necessary.
Don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel on eating right and moving your body. It’s seems easy to take the “all or nothing” approach but that’s not necessary. Something is always better than nothing. Don’t beat yourself up! Life ebbs and flows for everyone. Take a look at where you’re at right now and what you can make work right now.
The most important thing is to honor where you’re at. Only you know what you’re capable of at this point in your life. Make sure the small steps you take are 100% doable for you and your lifestyle. Small steps over time can add up to big change.
Note from Brigadoon Fitness
Let’s add on to the above steps to set realistic fitness goals.
Nourishing Your Body
You should also include drinking more water every day, adding more vegetables and fruit to your daily intake, as well as swapping out refined carbs for whole, unprocessed carbs such as whole wheat bread and brown rice. Eat what you like just try lower calorie options.
Have you ever sat down in front of the tv and consumed a whole bag of chips or a pint of ice cream? To get healthy you should sit down at the table with your meal and eat it slowly while enjoying it. Become aware of the food that you’re eating, concentrate on the taste and texture, be aware of how satisfied your body feels as you’re eating. This will help you slow down and possibly eat less.
There are so many simple ways to add movement into your daily life. While you are watching tv at night get on your treadmill, exercise bike, or walk in place while lifting your knees high and swinging your arms. While waiting for your dinner to cook do some stretches, sit ups, or squats. Get a group of friends together and start a walking club. My favorite is to dance. Just turn the music on and dance like nobody is watching!
Getting enough exercise during the day will also help you sleep better at night, which is an important step to healthy living.
Change Your Mindset
For this you must first set goals and then to break them down into achievable targets. Be realistic and keep track. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit that goal. A new outfit, a night out, or a new book (that you read on your treadmill), will help you stay happy and focused.
If possible, get support from your family or friends. Also, research diets and exercise routines to find one that fits your lifestyle. Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day (or two) of not exercising or you scarf down a tub of ice cream, just shake it off and get back on track.
Most of all have patience to achieve the fitness you desire. This is not a quick fix; this is a journey that you will take for the rest of your life.