Often in life we go through phases where we get stuck in a rut and it takes a while to get back on track. Whether it’s a week, a month, or forbid longer than two years. Yikes.
We all face it at some point, and it can be a bitch to get back ‘in the zone.’
Sometimes it’s actually not our fault. An unforeseen injury perhaps (though I hope the injury wasn’t your fault.) Other times it’s down to our own lack of direction or we stagnate with our goals because we lack a clear plan or the gumption that what we are doing is correct.
Whatever the situation, ruts kill. And they can often kill waistlines HARD.
As I’ve said many times before, the majority of western civilisation knows how to lose weight and sustain it. At least short-term. It’s a case of managing a diet that you enjoy with at least 80% of the food being the good things. Along with following an exercise routine that’s fun and sustainable for you.
Outside of this – everything else matters just as much, if not more.
The real reason the UK has a more than two thirds overweight and obesity epidemic is because putting it altogether and staying consistent with it is the hard part. This is often why ruts happen.
A large portion of my audience fall into one of two categories:
A. They’ll be slim all throughout their twenties, hit their thirties, and feel confused as to why they no longer fit a size 10 which plummets motivation and consistency.
B. They’ll have successfully used a mainstream slimming club to lose weight, only to put it all back on again because, well, mainstream slimming advice is terrible.
So how do you get back on track and reclaim some of that lost drive and determination to look awesome? Here are a few ways to help you get back on track, in case for you it’s a long way back.
- You’re not the same person anymore
This one mostly speaks to the lady that used to be fit and healthy. That used to have that unwavering confidence to get her fitness and diet bits done. And it was a piece of cake.
Your problem in particular is that you’re comparing yourself to your old self. “Well my old self did this” and “my old self did that.” “My old self had the time to go swimming and eat pizza everyday and lay on the beach during my lunch break…”
You’re not your old self anymore. That person is gone. Finished. Retired. Done. Probably anyway as your life situations changes and you take on more things.
You are YOU RIGHT NOW. You might not have as much time because you have two kids now or have gained more hours at work or now have to take care of a parent.
Trying to compare your old self is like trying to convince yourself that you could beat an Olympic level triathlete. You are going to lose because you’re in a different league.
Most of the ill-lack of drive is because you put waaaaaaaaaaaay too much pressure on yourself to get back to what you were doing previously.
I’m sure that 24 year old you had all the energy and time to do whatever and stay in shape. Wouldn’t it be nice to hang out for hours in a gym like all these no-lifer gym bunnies looking for male attention?
You might have to alter your approach right now and that’s fine. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a normal life challenge.
Which leads me nicely onto number 2.
2. Go slow
It’s exciting to feel ready and raring to get a fitness journey going. But it usually always ends the same way.
Too many ‘new’ things and not enough consistency to stick with it.
Join a gym. Throw out all ‘bad foods’. No more alcohol ever. 6:00 am alarms for early morning exercise classes. Quit sugar.
If you’re trying to juggle too many things all at once you are going to fail.
Pick one or two things to start with and chill out. Don’t overload your brain with all these new tasks that you never start in the first place. Go easy and sustainable liked we talked about earlier.
Here’s an easy way to start – pick either diet, sleep or exercise and go with it for a month. Then add one new thing. And another.
If you have the character type that is quick to beat yourself up for not being all-in hardcore fitness ninja lady, give yourself a break and go slow.
3. Look at what you CAN do
If overwhelm is a dream killer, so is trying to put pressure on yourself to raise the bar and do things that are not possible right now.
If you’re seven stone overweight – is jogging out on the road for 30 minutes a good idea? Probably not, because you risk the chance of injuring yourself and setting yourself even further back.
However is two times a week going for a bike ride a realistic proposition? Or perhaps a daily walk for 7,000 steps?
Pick battles you can actually win long-term.
I know many women that can’t do something they used to love doing because they are either unable to due to their weight or because they are injured.
I remember that I couldn’t do any overhead shoulder movements in the gym because I hurt my rotator cuff in my arm. It sucked because it was my favourite movement in the gym. I was annoyed for a few days but then I found ways to do the exercise without a barbell.
Dumbbells worked well. As did a shoulder press machine. I didn’t just continue through the niggle because ‘no-pain no-gain.”
Rather than quitting I found an alternative way to do it. So I could maintain my strength. I did what I had to under the circumstances.
4. Get help
If all else fails then I’d recommend getting help, either from a therapist or from a coach. That’s going to depend on how low you feel and how long the rut has been.
You can’t do everything in life on your own. Sometimes you need external support to guide you from A to B. Nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s smart to outsource certain things in life because often time we have such obvious blind spots that others pick up in a matters of minutes.
Thinking you can get out of a rut by doing the same thing you’ve been doing is the definition of insanity. Sometimes these issues don’t go away by themselves, and you need a different approach to tackle them.
You can’t always be Superwoman, so if necessary get help from a Super Team.