So you’ve been working really hard on your nutrition and seeing progress and then BOOM, you have a crappy day or week and you slip up.
For most people, here comes the “f*ck it” mode.
“Well I’ve already ruined this day/week by eating like crap, f*ck it, might as well keep at it”
Been there before? Many of us have, myself included.
At this point we have two options:
- We can succumb to this mentality and choose to give up
- We can choose to get back on track
Unfortunately, most people choose option 1. Sometimes people will try option 2, get fed up because they can’t seem to get back on track and end up going back to option 1 of out frustration.
Let’s change that. You’re not going to be like most people. You’re going to get back on track and succeed now and in the future. You’re going to get so good at getting back on track after having crappy days/weeks something you’re going to become a pro at it. I will show you how.
You’re not perfect and that’s ok.
Okay first off, accept the fact that you’re not perfect and give yourself a damn break when you mess up.
Understand one day or a week of not being perfectly on-point with your eating is NOT going to make a dent in your progress in the long-term IF you get back to doing things as close to normal as soon as possible.
It’s one day or one week out of hundreds of days and weeks in the future that has yet to even happen. One day, a couple of days or even a week cannot completely undo the progress you’ve made up until this point. Some things may change temporarily but the instant you get back to doing the things that were working, you’re all gravy baby! Because in the long term, it’ll be like it never happened
Where we get into trouble is when we continue to fixate and beat ourselves up for our mistakes. This is how we can make a one day or one week turn into several weeks, months and years. Telling ourselves things like this:
“I have no willpower”
“I suck at this”
“Why do I even bother? I should just quit.”
This type of thinking gets you NOWHERE and really only makes you better at telling yourself these things instead of actually making progress where you want.
Focus your thinking on solutions instead of complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. How can I make the best of this situation? What am I doing that’s still good? How can I do better? What’s the bare minimum I can do and be happy with?
I’ll now walk you through some things you can do to get back on track quick, fast and in a hurry.
Celebrate Your Wins
When things go wrong we tend to focus only the negative. We screwed up here, we didn’t do this, and etc. This just spirals us further down into those shitty thoughts I mentioned earlier making it harder to bounce back.
Fix: Learn from your mistakes and really focus on things you did well.
First, accept that there is no such thing as total failure. Even if you fail at something, it's an opportunity for you to learn and grow from it. Take the failures and mistakes and learn from them so you can do better next time and eventually use that failure to create a big win.
Second, even during the worst of days/weeks, I can guarantee there was SOMETHING that you did well. Maybe you ate fast food every day for every meal, but you chose some healthier options. Maybe you missed a few workouts at the gym this week, but you used that extra time to get some things done to make sure you still got to bed on time and got your 8 hours.
Focus on your wins and you’ll realize your life isn’t the complete train wreck you think it is. Clearly, even when your life seems like a mess you still manage to do some things right. These are your minimums that you should focus on doing even in the worst-cases. This leads me to my next fix.
Establish your bare minimum.
Sometimes we just try to do too much. We try to load up our plates and try to juggle fixing everything about ourselves all at once. It’s overwhelming and it usually doesn’t work out all that well for getting back on track.
Fix: Find the one bare-minimum thing you can do consistently and just do that for the time being.
What’s the easiest, simplest thing you KNOW you’ll able to do every day? When trying to help someone get back on track, I encourage them to take the smallest step they are ready, willing and able to take. If you can’t say without a shadow of a doubt, “HELL YEA I CAN DO THIS”, then it needs to be easier. Make it so easy that it seems silly for even trying. It needs to be a guaranteed win.
Realize what you decide to do doesn’t have to fix all of your problems right away. It just needs to be good enough to spark things. Once you prove to yourself that you CAN be consistent at something, it’ll build from a spark into a full-blown blaze. By starting small and succeeding with that small step, you’ll build the necessary momentum to help you keep moving forward.
Always Think Ahead and Have a Plan
Ok, so you made some mistakes. What did you learn from it? How can you do better next time?
Fix: Anticipate life getting crazy (because it always does). Have a plan to help you stay consistent.
What you do here is going to depend a lot on you as an individual and what obstacles you face. I suggest focusing on what you DO want to happen rather than what you don’t. You’ll have a much easier time figuring out what to do.
Here are some examples of things I’ve done or had my clients do to anticipate crappy days/weeks:
- Keep an emergency stash of food or snacks in the house, office, car and etc. It may not be perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be good enough.
- Pre-order some meals from a meal service a few times a week to supplement your cooking
- Block off time to prioritize weekly meal prep each weekend. That time is now sacred aside from emergencies. Treat it as such.
- Make a quick run to the store and pick up some ready-made foods like a rotisserie chicken or make a plate from the Whole Foods salad or hot bar.
- If getting to the grocery store doesn’t seem at all possible this week, pay someone or a company to shop for you. There are lots of grocery delivery services out there right now to choose from.
Just do something! Something will always be better than nothing!
Look, things will always happen in life that are going to throw you off, but you are in more control than you think. Focus all your effort on the solutions and what you can control instead of what you can’t or don’t want to happen.
Getting back on track is a skill and like any skill, it can be developed with practice. So next time life gets crazy, and your day or week isn’t going like you want, instead of practicing your “f*ck it mode”, take a second, breathe, and use these strategies to practice getting back into the groove and back on track.