If poor choices have snowballed into something that feels out of control, accept it for it is, know that itâ€™s temporary, and look for the lessons and benefits of the situation. What can we learn?
Sometimes our bodies and minds need a break. If It seems like youâ€™ve fallen off a healthy-living cliff, it may just be communication from your body that you needed a break. We canâ€™t go at 100% all the time; weâ€™ll eventually break. Embrace the current situation as a natural ebb and flow of life, with full knowledge that youâ€™ll be back to making healthier decisions as soon as youâ€™re able. Look at it as a temporary break, and start making the smallest healthier choices that bring out your best self.
Youâ€™ll likely gain muscle when you strength train in a calorie surplus. If you are usually in a deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn, the extra calories can be beneficial for building muscle. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, so the more muscle tissue you carry around, the higher your metabolism, which means you burn more calories at rest.
A boost in energy intake (calories) can have a positive effect on your workouts. If youâ€™ve not been eating as well as youâ€™d like, hit the gym (or the pavement) to make the best of the situation. Itâ€™s not about exercising as punishment, but to take advantage of the calorie surplus. While of course, it would be better to have an excess of healthy calories, for now, weâ€™re merely making the best of our current situation.
What can you learn from the situation? Iâ€™ve learned that eating processed foods, eating out at restaurants too often and drinking wine on a regular basis generally makes me feel bad, both physically and emotionally. I already knew that when I make poor choices or skip too many workouts, it directly affects my mood, but honestly, sometimes I forget.
When Iâ€™m feeling good for an extended period, itâ€™s easy to forget about the direct connection between my well-being and my lifestyle choices. When I feel bad, itâ€™s a not-so-friendly reminder of why healthy living is so important. I wouldnâ€™t make bad decisions on purpose for this lesson, but since I donâ€™t feel as well as I know I could, this reminds me why. Notice the connection between what you eat and how you feel. Itâ€™s fuel to make healthier decisions down the road.
I struggle with mild anxiety and depression; I say mild because it is manageable with a healthy diet and exercise. When I am taking care of myself, itâ€™s not an issue at all. But when I get off track, my mind gets off track too. I can quickly go from feeling great to feeling defeated and overwhelmed when lifeâ€™s circumstances havenâ€™t changed.
Itâ€™s also a reminder that poor choices can snowball. You donâ€™t feel well because you missed a workout and ate junk food, then you eat junk food and miss a workout because you donâ€™t feel well. Can you relate?
Of course, none of this should be used as a rationalization to continue to make poor choices, but if youâ€™ve fallen off track, it can be a silver lining in the situation, to allow yourself some compassion while you work to make better choices to feel better all around.
There are no failures, only lessons. What can we learn? Then how can we use what we learned to improve in the future? What one small healthy choice can we make today that was better than yesterday? It doesnâ€™t matter how often we get off track; itâ€™s about how quickly we can get back on. Life happens. Forgive yourself. Trust thatâ€™s it temporary and work towards making tomorrow better than today.
Donâ€™t wait until the new year to start improving. Anything worth pursuing in January, can be started today. Check out my nine-week holiday challenge for healthy habits that you can start working on now.
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