Monday morning rolls around and panic ensues, for whatever reason, a vacation, a relationship breakup, a cheat meal turned cheat weekend situation, illness etc, you’ve fallen off your meal plan, ditched the gym and now you’re in this downward spiral of guilt and shame and you don’t know how to start anew with the fresh week.
I promise you, there is no need to panic. Keep reading and you will see how easy it is to get right back on the bandwagon.
The most significant thing to remember is that it only took one decision, just one to deviate from your training schedule or macros and that’s all it will take to get back on track, just a simple decision. A choice that says, “I am starting a fresh”. It is easy as that. See, there is no need to stress.
An equally important note is that you do not have to wait until Monday or January to begin. Start the very next meal, hour or morning. You can start over whenever you choose, don’t waste your whole life waiting for that perfect moment or the “right” time. There’s no such thing as the perfect time; decide to jump back on the bandwagon, right this second.
If the weekends have you being self mentally and emotionally abusive, self-shaming, threatening yourself with punishment or just giving up, I am here to help.
The notion of women feeling like they need to pay penance for having a little indulgence is crazy, there never needs to be any kind of self-punishment; it isn’t helpful or productive in any way, shape or form.
So, the question is, how do we get back on track aside from simply deciding that is what we are doing?
1. Take responsibility and move forward.
Take time to reflect on and identify your triggers. By being aware of your triggers, it becomes easier to avoid or manage them should they arise again in the future. If, for example, your group likes to eat out a lot and over-eating in these situations or choosing the wrong foods when eating out is your down fall, pre read the menus before you go and work out the healthiest choice at the restaurant beforehand. When you get to the restaurant on that day, don’t deviate from that option. That way you can be social and also be confident in the choices you are making for yourself. As an example, instead of ordering that Belgium Nutella waffle stack you would normally go for, order the egg white omelette and gluten free bread instead. That way you’re still seeing friends, enjoying the experience and the company but your food choices align with more your goals. As simple and obvious as this may seem, this will lay a foundation for the other strategies to help you get back on track and stick with your habits over the long run.
2. Give yourself grace.
If a friend told you she fell off track on vacation would you scream horrible names at her and tell her that she’s worthless? No, you most certainly would not! So why do you do that to yourself? Think about what you would say to a friend who told you that they had an indulgent weekend. You’d most likely explain to them that it is not a big deal, that it is just one or two “not so great” days. Once you know how you would treat a friend in this situation, repeat those same things to yourself with love, respect and kindness, then trust that your body will naturally balance itself out.
Hydration is an absolute must after an indulgent weekend. If you’ve been drinking, eating foods high in sodium or just not prioritising water intake, you’re likely dehydrated which can lead to increased fatigue, cravings, poor immunity and bad digestion. Our body needs water to flush toxins, cleanse and detoxify - so drink up.
4. Cut back on the crap.
After a weekend of indulging I like to go back to basics. I choose to eat real, whole, nutrient dense foods. I keep my meals super simple and load up on satiating lean proteins, hormone supporting, healthy fats and energy providing, fibre rich carbs. I steer clear of packaged, pre-made, artificial foods. This just helps me look and feel my best. Give your body the nutrients it has missed and if cravings attack, opt for healthier foods such as fruit, homemade protein or bliss balls, chocolate protein mousse etc. Remember, there are always alternatives and you are always in control.
5. Get prepared.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Set yourself up for success by planning all you need for a productive week. Write down your goals, your grocery list, plan and prep your meals, sort out your training schedule for the week ahead and book in necessary appointments. Make yourself a priority. Create a clear schedule then stick to it.
6. Focus on what you can add in rather than what you’re removing.
Instead of trying to overly restrict yourself and creating a scarcity mindset which often leads to binges, focus instead on what you can add to your day. For example, you can add in extra veggies and nutritious meals, add in more water, add in more movement by taking the stairs and so on.
If you’ve ever had more than a few days off from the gym, you know how hard it can be to regain that motivation for your training routine. So, when it comes to workouts, the best thing you can do for yourself is to make that conscious decision to just get back to it. I’m not saying start your Monday with a marathon but get moving, find that structure and discipline of movement again. You’ll feel a million times better afterwards.
8. Sleep it off.
Getting enough sleep after an episode of overindulgence is a good way to reduce the possibility of “post binge cravings”. If you have read my previous blogs, you know that a lack of sleep is associated with increased hunger and cravings, decreased motivation and can affect hormones, gut health and decision making processes. The best thing you can do to start yourself of on the right foot is get enough sleep.
And there you have it; it isn’t as hard as it seems to get back on track, it just takes one decision and then some mindfulness as you move forward. Now it is up to you, jump back on that bandwagon, speak to yourself with love and respect, move your body, eat your veggies, drink your water and don’t let boys be mean to you.
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