It happens. Especially coming out of the winter months, when in the Midwest we’ve been stuck mostly indoors for the last 5 months… we haven’t hardly seen the sun… our Friday night activity has consisted of ordering pizza and binge watching Netflix. Sipping on red wine becomes our favorite pastime, we completely understand why they call them “comfort foods” and we’re rocking our sweatpants by about 5:35pm. Why? Because it’s DARK outside. And, why not?!
Then daylight savings time hits us upside the head in March. The days start getting longer… the snow is officially gone (wait, we hardly had any this year!) and the first few warm days start to remind us of what is right around the corner. Pretty soon it’ll be green outside, the sun will be shining, the pool will be calling, and the Netflix, pizza binge, and red wine in front of the fireplace will be replaced with cold beers and margaritas with friends on the patio.
Wait… did you catch that word in there? P-O-O-L. Pool, lake, river, whatever your choice body of water is… it all means the same thing. We’re wearing swimsuits. Holy smokes. You’ve avoided your reflection as you’ve jumped out of the shower the last few weeks, telling yourself it’s because your ghostly white skin scares the heck out of you, or the floors are freezing, so you need to jump back into sweats stat! But now you start to give yourself the side eye when you pass every mirror. You’ve uncovered your scale (which has been hiding under the ever-present pile of laundry… why doesn’t that mountain ever seem to get smaller?!) and you swear that number just can’t be right. It’s gotta be 5, 10, 15… OK 25 pounds off. Right?! What the heck has happened?!
We’ve all been there. In fact, a lot of us are right there with you, right now. “I don’t know what my problem is… I CAN’T STOP EATING!” has become a frequent conversation starter with a lot of our friends lately. So what now? How do we turn this beat around and get back on track?
Step 1: There’s no time like the present. The hardest part is getting out of bed. Once your up, you might as well get dressed. And, it might as well be gym clothes that you put on. And, it hasn’t been so long that you don’t remember that after-workout high… You love to hate your workouts… but you’ve never regretted going! Cut yourself a little slack: not every workout will be an awesome workout… but any workout is better than no workout. So get a move on it. Get back on your grind!
And let’s talk about food. Same principle applies. Start taking little baby steps today. Instead of a dinner plate, pick up a salad plate to eat from tonight. Are you going out to dinner? Ask for a take-home box when you order, and put a portion of your entree in it before you take your first bite. (And instead of those french fries… ask for cottage cheese!)
Step 2: Don’t beat yourself up. You did it, it happened. You gained weight. You feel gross, ashamed and embarrassed. Don’t make things any more difficult on yourself than necessary… the only thing guilt is going to do is make you crave ice cream to soothe your sorrows! Instead, ditch the guilt and start setting goals. Not outrageous goals (no, you will not lose 25 pounds in the month of April!), but reasonable and attainable goals. Like: Strive to hit 3 workouts a week. Commit to ordering just a glass of wine at dinners out, instead of splitting a bottle or two. Eat breakfast. (A healthy one. Get that metabolism up and running from the start of the day!) Cut back on the soda, and drink more water. By setting smaller goals, you will find it easier to stay committed. And every time you succeed at making your goal, it motivates you to keep going. Win-win.
Step 3: Plan ahead. You can’t hit a bulls-eye if you don’t have a target. And, abs are made in the kitchen. And, 80% of losing weight is watching what you eat… only 20% is sweating it out in the gym. You’ve heard all of this before… so do the prep work and start planning your meals ahead of time! Sit down and write out your grocery list. Shop the perimeters of the grocery store, stay away from the inner aisles. Pack your lunches for work. And, allow yourself a cheat day. If you have something to look forward to, (like Sunday Funday bloody mary’s and brunch) you’ll be more inclined to stick to your diet during the week.
Step 4: Lean on me. Call up your family and friends, send a text out to your long-lost workout partner, sit down with your spouse, and let them know that it’s time to eat cleat and train mean. Ask them to help you stick to it. Heck, ask them to do it with you! They probably gained a few l-b’s too! It is so much easier to get back on track when you have someone to do it with! Check in with each other and hold each other accountable. Reserve bikes next to each other. Sign up for a yoga class to help stretch out those soon-to-be sore muscles. Share healthy recipes you love and blog articles you find encouraging. Encourage one another! If you’re gonna give up the good stuff… be miserable about it together! Trust us… it’ll be worth it!
Step 5: Do it for the after-selfie. Take a selfie of yourself today. Then, take a selfie a month from now. Then the next month. Put the scale out of sight, so you don’t obsess over it, and instead channel all of your energy into sticking to your goals. You’ll be shocked by what you see, if you keep your head down and stay focused!
Alright, you fabulous people… now let’s get to work! See ya on the fit side!