1: Set manageable expectations.
During the party season, it might be unrealistic for you to exercise as much as normal. Try setting aside some time to make a manageable plan. For example, if you normally do five workouts a week, schedule and one or two. That way, you won’t be disheartened by feeling you failed and also, if you manage more, you’ll feel extra satisfied. It’s all about staying motivated and if you set yourself up for a fail that will be much harder.
2 : Give yourself a break.
If you overindulge, forgive yourself. This is super important. Remember, when you start to give yourself a hard time you’re actually self sabotaging, by destroying your motivation and starting a guilt cycle that again deters positive steps and encourages binges to begin.
3: Allow yourself treats.
As well as feeling okay about slipping up you should actually schedule in periods sessions where you give yourself 100% permission to let your hair down and break the rules once in awhile. Then again there is no guilt, no de-motivation created importantly, more enjoyment.
4: Make some provisions for healthy snacks.
Make a big pot of soup or have some healthy snacks available in the fridge. We often go straight for the cookies and leftovers because they are in our faces at all times. If you see some nice appetising fruit salad or soup pre-made, you will be more likely to reach for it than if you have to go and prepare from scratch when you are already hungry.
5: Keep some sort of exercise going.
Even if it’s only one session a week and it’s not your normal workout style. Try to get in some sessions of physical activity. It will boost your mood and mean that you don’t fall out of an active routine completely. If you can get to a class, go for a walk. Even a short session counts. Don’t undervalue any positive actions you take. Even if it’s just in the interest of keeping the momentum going for exercising.
6: Schedule ahead.
Put down your work-outs in your planner or diary and book yourself in for the classes that you intend to do. Mentally making that commitment to your modest but significant work-out plans will help ensure that they materialise. Making it official that you are going to class on a certain day will encourage you to plan around it and prioritise to make it happen.
7: Choose a workout that is really fun.
Ehem… IHP …cough. If the thought of going to run on a monotonous treadmill is soul destroying for you, book in to one of your favourite classes so that your workout will be something to look forward to. Speak to friends and work-out buddies. Plan to go together so it’s a bit of an enjoyable event.
8: Give yourself a pat on the back.
Remember you need to nurture your own will-power. So for the one or two week period where are you know your routine is broken, take a super compassionate approach to yourself. Make sure you really appreciate all of the good things that you do even if they seem insignificant. They are not.
9: Think about balance.
Instead of being too strict with yourself, do what feels good then balance it out. Burn off extra calories consumed then we can forget that that chocolate ever happened. If you have a Fitbit or other similar app, this can be a really helpful tool however, we don’t need to get too technical or scientific about it. Just a rough idea of maintaining some level of balance and not giving up on healthy living entirely.
10: If you do fall rate off the wagon, beware the what the hell effect.
This is a psychological phenomenon well known in sports science where-by, when we feel we’ve messed up we are compelled to self-sabotage. We feel all our efforts have been rendered useless, so we give up. Having awareness of this pattern and noticing when it happens to you is the most powerful way to prevent it. So even if you did not manage to do any of the above suggestions in this blog, its OK. Be aware that it’s not only you who ends up feeling compelled to have pizza for breakfast sometimes and then feels there is no point of eating anything whatsoever that is healthy that day because your diet is already out the window. The most important thing to remember at times when perhaps your eating habits really are going a-wall, is that its never too late to put on the breaks and every small step you take to curb a binge really does count.
“Never too late, never too bad, never too old and never too sick to start from scratch and begin again.”