Trying to stay on track is hard even under perfect conditions. Just one bad day can completely sidetrack you and the next thing you know, you are demolishing a whole pizza and guzzling two-liter bottles of pop on your sofa. Don’t do this to yourself! It’s easy to let a bad day break you out of the habit of working out or dieting if you let it. This is where your dedication, hard work, and real, achievable goals come in to play. You can do this. You can get right back on track, and you can also find ways to save yourself before that next bad day threatens your progress.
Using Your Workouts to Vent Frustration
Whether you stomp off down a forest path and get lost in nature for an hour, or head to the gym to lift up all of the heavy things to the beat of heart thumping, bass-heavy music, your workout can be the perfect antidote to whatever is bothering you. The benefits are nearly immediate and can include:
- Clearer thinking
- Reactivated motivation
- New goals to work toward
Your mood will improve as your body releases endorphins, no matter what type of exercise that you do, as long as you enjoy it. However, studies have found that working out in nature can have more positive benefits over working out indoors. Those benefits included:
- Increased energy
- Decreased feelings of tension, confusion, anger, and depression
This study also found that people who worked out outdoors were more likely to enjoy themselves so much that they would do it again. That is key to getting to a consistent workout routine: the ability to find something that you enjoy enough to come back to time and time again.
Learning to Roll with the Punches When Things Get Bad
The saying, “Suck it up, buttercup,” is meant to be inspirational, but it may backfire. There are times when you should not “suck it up,” especially if you are sick or you are injured. That does not mean you get to binge watch your favorite show and eat cookies all day, either. Your body needs time to rest and recover, but it also needs good food to help fuel that recovery as well as some movement to help prevent other issues from cropping up. Here is where the word “moderate” and the term “modification” should become part of your lexicon.
Instead of going full force on those days, maybe you take things a little easier. If your upper body is injured, then work legs that day or do something easy, like a gentle run. If you are feeling a little under the weather do something that may help. For instance, if someone is congested, they can try a few minutes in Downward Facing Dog pose which may help them to breathe easier and feel better. The exceptions here:
- Do not work out if you have a fever or are vomiting
- Do not work out if you have a serious injury or are wearing a cast of any kind
- Do not work out if your doctor has recommended that you take it easy.
And when you do work out, practice some safety precautions if you know that you have had previous injuries. During this time, you should focus on your overall nutrition and tighten up your meal plan so that you are fueling your body correctly and not just indulging yourself. You might also want to look into meditating as a light, spiritual activity to help you relax and deal with negative energy.
Setting a Good Work Ethic
Like anything, working out and dieting can become tedious. You know that you need to do it, but you sometimes just do not want to. It might be the same way you feel about your job. Some days you just have to drag yourself to that office, and you hate every second that you are there, but you show up, you do your work, and eventually, you get rewards like a new car or a trip to Italy. Giving yourself an achievable goal helps with work and it will help with working out.
If you tend to quit as soon as things get difficult, then pre-plan for that. Write down every possible excuse you can think of for why you ate crappy food or why you skipped another workout. For every excuse, write down at least two ways to counteract it.
Example: your excuse is that you don’t really have time to work out for an hour a day. If your goal is one hour, then break it into three, twenty-minute sessions instead. If you tend to get too busy to eat properly, then either take advantage of a meal delivery system or meal prep. Take a day, plan out all of your meals, cook the foods and then package and label them. When you get ready for work, grab that day’s lunch container, and that excuse is dead in the water. Making that extra effort on one day eliminates all of the worry and the excuses for the entire rest of the week. You stay on track, and you hit your goals faster.
How Growing a Garden Can Help You Stay Motivated
Eating healthy may not be the easiest thing to do. It is often not the cheapest thing to do, either. Growing a garden can help not only with keeping you on track with your eating plan, but also giving you the motivation to do more things outdoors. Gardening is an excellent exercise, especially if you have to start it from scratch. The literal fruits (and vegetables) of your labor are right there in front of you. Growing your own food is rewarding and will invite you to try your hand at growing new things and may expand your tastes as well.
You may be inspired to start cooking with the foods from your garden which is another way to increase your healthy food intake and keep yourself on track. You may even learn how to make some of your favorite foods into healthier versions so that you can enjoy them while still meeting goals. One bad day is just that: a bad day. Don’t let it ruin your progress.