How to stay on track even when you don’t feel like it

How to stay on track even when you don’t feel like it

You’re going along, following your plan. You feel great. Your clothes are loose. And then you have one of those days. Or weeks. And you think…

I’ve been so good, I deserve a break.

I just don’t feel like it.

I’ll get back to it as soon as…

Sound familiar?

Life comes at you fast. Which means you need to expect those days. And weeks. And you need to execute consistently to not only get results, but maintain them. That is…

What gets you there, keeps you there.

That’s why the first four steps are critical to stay on track. They set and then build on a foundation that is doable for the long-term. And by long-term, I mean your life. All of it. 

If that sounds scary, take a pause. Consider that everything you do or don’t do – small and large – impacts you down the line.  We don’t consider that very often. But I think we need to start. And not in some judgmental I-just-ate-a-cookie-and-I’m-a-fat-pig kind of way. I’m talking about being thoughtful with the things that are important to you. 

Do not confuse this with being hyper-vigilant. Obsessive. Perfectionistic. I’m recommending that you be intentional. Otherwise you’ll fall back into default mode, which for most of us is NOT following through.

We’re wired to conserve energy. To take the easiest path. It helped keep us alive for most of human history. But today we need to recognize that the easy way is often the hard way. 

What?!

How to stay on track even when you don’t feel like it
Photo by Steven Lelham on Unsplash

A client of mine once shared with me the adage: you can do what’s easy and life will be hard, or you can do what’s hard and life will be easy. 

Consider what taking the easy way gets you down the road. Like spending money you haven’t budgeted or ordering another drink, even though you’re at your personal limit. In the moment what’s easy becomes the hard you deal with later. And that later can be weeks or years later, from a budget shortfall for the month to not having enough to retire when you want. From feeling not-so-great the next morning to still struggling with excess weight ten years later. 

This final step in my 5-step process – executing consistently – requires that you keep the other steps in play. That means regularly uncovering then transforming your sabotaging thoughts so that you continue to take action towards your health and weight loss goals. It includes being clear on your “why,” keeping it front and center. And then continually experimenting with your plan, noticing what works, refining and doing it all again. 

Executing is about living a lifestyle that gets you what you want, and keeps you there. Set yourself up with foods you enjoy and activities you like. Make follow through as easy as possible to stay on track. Keep looking at your thoughts so that you notice when your brain sneaks up on you and starts telling lies (you know, the ones about it being too hard or that you’ll never succeed…yeah, those crummy thoughts). 

And don’t wait for it to get easier to stay on track. You’ll simply look up one day and notice that it is.

Stay tuned…because execution is critical, next I’ll talk about “How to keep consistent with healthy habits when life throws you off track.”

A Challenge from Your Weight Loss Coach: Prove Yourself Wrong

As a weight loss coach for more than 20 years, I’ve heard it all. There’s no excuse (er, I mean, reason) that surprises me. As King Solomon noted “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

If I were to survey, coming out near the top would be the issue of time. Say, not having enough time to plan, exercise or meditate. When I dig in, clients tell me that everyone and everything else comes first. They feel like if they take the time to do the things, that everything else will suffer. They will disappoint others. Responsibilities will fall through the cracks.

Now, if you relate to feeling that way, I could mount several arguments to convince you otherwise.

I could tell you about the high-powered people who make time for themselves despite their busy schedules.

I could give you the oxygen mask analogy – that you can only take care of others (and other things) really well when you take care of yourself first.

I could give you statistics on burnout and over-work.

But you know these things. If they haven’t made a difference, my repeating them won’t either.

So how about an experiment? During a clients-only group call, one client suggested the idea of proving it wrong. Brilliant! (Of course, she has an extraordinary weight loss coach 😊.)

Pick a period of time and commit to one thing. Like walking a minimum of 5 minutes everyday for 30 days. Do it and see. Does everything fall apart? Go to hell in a hand basket? Do your family and coworkers think you’re a selfish flake?

Probably not.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I don’t know what your particular excuse is. And I’m sure you have more than one. (I do, too.) But choose one and set out to prove it wrong.

Because I do this work every day as a weight loss coach, I’m on to myself about my excuses. Most of the time. But when they “feel” real, I’ve got to poke holes in them.

Defending our excuses makes no space for transformation. Excuses lead to a default future that will simply happen if we do nothing to change it.

So, pick one excuse and poke the hell out of it. Prove it wrong. Repeat.

Live into an intentional future. Not a default one.

How to avoid weight gain on vacation

I remember a trip to Maui in my 20s with friends. We rented a condo and so had the ability to make our own strawberry daiquiris, with ice cream, EVERYDAY! If memory serves, it was more than one a day. And yes, I gained weight.

Was that essential to having a good vacation?

My 20-something self would likely say “yes.” My 50-something self can respond with an honest “no.”

I did a FB Live about what happens to healthy habits on vacation and I asked the question, “How can you ‘do’ without ‘over-doing’?” That is, how can you experience all that your vacation might have to offer, including food and adult beverages, without over-eating and over-drinking?

And it’s not just vacation. Reaching your ideal weight means being able to do that all the time. Like when you’re at a birthday party or out to dinner with your sweetie. And that requires that you create an amazing life. (Please note, I didn’t say perfect!)

When vacation is a break from a life that’s less-than-fulfilling, then over-doing it is a way of treating ourselves. Equally, if we feel deprived because we try to willpower our way through tasteless food day after day, letting loose is yet again another treat.

Photo by Yuiizaa September on Unsplash

Even if that’s the case right now, you can still take these three steps to “do without over-doing” and avoid weight gain on vacation:

  1. What’s your intention for vacation? Whether it’s to connect with people, see new places or relax, keep that intention in the front of your awareness. What does your vacation look like if this is your focus?
  2. What’s your intention for your health? Ask yourself how you want to feel on vacation and how you want to treat your body. What kind of food and alcohol (and exercise) choices will you make? And, be careful of the “moderation” argument.
  3. Strategize: Then, to avoid weight gain on vacation, you’ll want to combine both intentions. For example, an activity that keeps your body in motion while seeing the sights or talking with friends. Or trying out new foods that are geared towards veggies and whole grains rather than the fried variety. Plan ahead how much you will drink, and keep your commitment to yourself. Rarely will you choose beforehand to drink in excess – that usually happens in the moment.

Vacation does not need to equal weight gain. That’s not to say if you’re on a weight loss journey that you need to be focused on losing during vacation. Decide on your intention and stay in integrity with your choice.

Ultimately, start brainstorming…what does it feel like to thrive? What does an amazing life look like when you’re in integrity with your desires for a healthy body and at your ideal weight?

Then going on vacation is just part of your amazing life. Not a detour from it.

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