I’ve often found that it’s easy to stay healthy and happy if you have a routine and you stick with it. But what happens when life changes, injury, or illness get you out of your routine?
Everyone goes through it: something happens, and it sets you back. Sometimes your clean eating habits are affected. Your workout schedule is impacted. Suddenly you’re not on top of your game anymore. What do you do?
- First of all…do not beat yourself up over it. If you are unable to continue working out for any reason, continue to watch your eating habits and make sure that you’re not tempted to slide further backward with bad eating choices.
- Secondly…take time out for yourself in a way that’s positive and productive. Find something you CAN do in the meantime to stay motivated in a way that’s positive and healthy. Read good books which inspire you, meditate, whatever. If you have the capacity to do ANY physical activity, do something like gentle yoga. Even a sun salutation or two could make the difference. 🙂
- Thirdly…watch out for bad habits creeping back up on you. Stress and illness can influence our decisions, and it’s often tempting to treat oneself when you’re feeling miserable. Whenever I got sick as a kid, my mom would run out and get me my favorite fried fast food meal. The programming of “bad food treats will make me feel better” has followed me into my adulthood (sorry Mom, not your fault! I still love ya!) and it’s something I’ve had to actively resist against. I now have myself at the point where the idea of juices and smoothies seem far, far better to me when sick than french fries, especially those covered in Daiya cheese. 🙂 As a result, during the last time I was sick it was the first time I did not have to shed 10-15 pounds afterward! Bonus!
- Fourthly…take it easy. You don’t need to jump back into your normal routine, guns blazing, in order to get back on track. Listen to your body. Be gentle with yourself to start, take at least one more rest day than usual. You’ll know you’re back to your usual self when you have plenty of energy.
It’s far too easy to get down in the dumps and feel hopeless when you have setbacks on your fitness goals. Just remember that you’re on Team Happy and Healthy for life, and that your usual workout is waiting for you for when you’re doing better. If you can survive the lows, then the highs will be even better!