After a few weeks of bad habits and no exercise I definitely feel more stressed. In the beginning, I just tell myself that I’m tired and I need a little break from my routine. Well,that little break usually turns into about a month, in which time my overall activity level drops, I lack motivation to eat right and my sleeping habits suffer. I also see a lack of mental toughness. My concentration and focus is off, motivation in all areas is lower and my ability to handle stress well is pretty much gone too. It’s obvious to me that exercise not only makes you physically stronger but it makes you mentally stronger as well. When I’m mentally strong, I’m sharper, more prepared. I can take more and stress less. Really, you have to be mentally strong before you can be physically strong. Have I ever made these connections before? Yes and yet here I am trying to fight my way back to my healthy routine. That’s exactly what I’m about to do!
The first thing that I must do is be realistic. I know that it will take me about 2 months to get my good habits completely back on track. It takes me about a month to enjoy eating healthy meals & to enjoy fitness again. But that’s just part of it. There is also meal planning and prep as well as other things like going to bed when I need to & finding helpful ways to deal with stress. It really is about leading a healthy lifestyle and not just about looking good. I really have to focus to make these changes but I know for certain that it is worth it. After about a month I can feel all of that coming together. It usually takes about another month for my routine to feel natural. The great thing is, that at that point, I pretty much fall right into it!
There are a few things that really help me jump start this process…..
- Going to bed early for the first few nights. This improves my motivation and mental clarity.
- Drinking a set amount of water each day for a week. When I drink more water I feel fuller longer and my sugar cravings lessen to an extent.
- Drinking warm lemon water in the morning does several things for me. It acts as a diuretic so I eliminate more water which of course reduces bloating. It also acts as an appetite suppressant and helps control sugar cravings. I have more energy when I drink warm lemon water and somehow my body feels fresher and more rejuvenated.
- I start taking my vitamins & supplements again and they gives me more energy and mental clarity which of course bumps up my motivation.
- I begin excersing daily but for very short periods. This allows my body and mind to get used to exercise but without feeling overwhelmed by taking on too much too fast.
- Choosing simple healthy meals that don’t take a lot of thought or planning are a must for me. I really enjoy cooking but it tires me out & being tired equals very low motivation and feeling overwhelmed. Those are the last feelings you want to have when you are reaching for a goal. So I try to keep things simple in the kitchen until my energy and motivation have gone back up.
Well January is not far off. If I put my mind to it, I’ll be back on track in no time!