A very nice motivational quote says:
“If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up”
In an ideal world, we would all be super motivated, and as soon as we put our mind into something, we would simply do it.
Want to lose some weight? Only decide how many pounds/kgs;
Want to go to the gym regularly? Just pay the subscription and decide how often;
Want to lift weights? Sky is the limit;
But let’s get back to reality: keeping yourself motivated might be one of the hardest things to do (Ok, I am being a little over dramatic, but I want to prove a point). And if this article sparkled your interest is most probably because you fell off the wagon in your fitness journey and you are searching for the boost of motivation and the energy to get back in the game.
First and most important thing is STOP feeling guilty! Even superman had bad days and if it happened to him, for sure it happens to everyone.
What defines you in this moment is how fast you get back on track, learn from your mistakes and do your best not to repeat them.
How does it start?
It starts small. If you are not careful even the tiniest slip can turn into days or months of not really taking care of your body. For me, it was a chain reaction which happened so fast I couldn’t even realize it. One thing I am eating an amazing burger with some fries, next thing it’s been one month since I had been to the gym, my meals are chaotic, and I am feeling dehydrated and my energy levels are way down.
This is the ripple effect of one cheat meal, which leads to a weekend and next thing you know, it’s weeks since you had an entire day with a proper meal and a workout.
Since I have been experiencing this bungee jumping one too many, I hope that the following advice will help you get back on the saddle as fast as possible. It worked for me the last times I was on the edge of I call it the 5 steps recovery:
1. Admit you have an issue
Be real with yourself and fucking forget your excuses. You are the only one who can change something in your journey, don’t wait for other to push you. Take the decision to change something and stick to it.
2. Start small and forget for the moment your PRs
My suggestion would be to start with a mix of full body workout and some cardio for 2, 3 trainings. Just get your blood pumping again. Feel the iron. Missed it? I’m sure you did!
3. Restart your workout routine at about ½, ¾ of your last used weights
Again, the most important is your attitude and state of mind. Don’t let the feeling of frustration get the best of you. Push yourself to get back in rythm and appreciate that muscles soreness after the first real workouts.
Don’t see this as a step back, quite the opposite: it is the proof that after a period when you did nothing, your regaining control over your daily routine.
4. Acknowledge your effort
When you succeed in reaching your performance before the break take a moment to really appreciate your efforts and truly understand what the impact of the break was had on you. Ask yourself:
- How much time from my evolution did I really lose? Because it is not only the time from the break, but also all the time I needed afterwards to get back in shape;
- In retrospect, was it impossible for me to keep maybe part of my routine, and not give it all up (exercise, nutrition, proper sleep, hydration, etc?). Or the excuses got the best of me?
5. (And the most important one, I may add) Remember why you started
Every time when it is hard, and it seems that life if overwhelming remembers the thing which is ONLY in your power; YOU take care of your body and as selfish as it may seem, YOU are the most important person in your life.
We are living in a crazy world, with an economy which is constant evolving, with the technology which is a step from becoming physically part of us and there are times when everything seems just too much. Social life, work, social media, traffic, goals, money etc… only writing about them makes me anxious.
Your well being can be directly influenced by a good nutrition, exercising and maintaining a positive attitude. Find the right mix for you, and keep on doing it as long as it works.