If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ve probably already see:. one month ago I sprained my ankle.
The story is actually funny (If you can’t laugh what can you do)…
It was date night with my husband Gary and we decided to try something we hadn’t done in years. We went 4-wheel roller skating in one of those old disco roller palaces.
We were completely unsteady. It took everything not to fall. (Gary spent more time on his tush than on his wheels).. but we continued.
After a horrible attempt at skating, we rolled to the side and took off our skates unharmed.
Then, I walked out onto an uneven patch in the ground and twisted my ankle!
How crazy, I didn’t get hurt while on 4 wheels, only to walk and sprain my ankle!
I was fine with the injury. A bit off putting at times, but I didn’t feel discouraged.
For me I’ve been in love with fitness for many years. Through tough times of blizzards, sprained ankles, back pain and depression I’ve learned how to transform my fitness to fit life’s changes. I knew I could adapt my fitness routine and I didn’t feel phased at all.
Yet when speaking with my personal training clients who were just embarking on their fitness and weight loss journeys, they expressed that a bump in the road for them would lead to a complete derailment.
I completely sympathize.
When setbacks happen, the first thing to go is the newest habit pattern that has taken a lot of nurturing and energy to grow.
When trying to fit in fitness, clean eating and a healthy lifestyle, it can easily get thrown out the window if life pulls you off track.
It got me thinking. Over years of exercise and healthy lifestyle new perspectives and new habits form that make bumps in the road easier to handle without complete derailment. As a fitness enthusiast who has ingrained these habits into my everyday living for years, I wanted to figure out what thoughts and habits changed and share these tips with you so that hopefully when you reach a setback, it doesn’t seem so difficult to get back on track and keep leading your healthy life.
Here’s what I’ve discovered about fitness that keeps me on track:
It’s ever changing just like you are:
Your relationship with fitness is just like a relationship with anyone one else. The intensity ebbs and flows and your likes within the relationship change as your needs change. If you keep it the same forever, it stagnates and eventually ends.
Throughout the years my fitness and nutrition have seen unbelievable transformations. Once a weekly Boot-camp/CrossFit lover, I came to realize I was much more introverted than I originally thought and group activities just weren’t for me.
My fitness activities shifted, I opted for weekend circus silks classes where I was in a group setting but the moves and the training had to be done individually (alone). I also switched to more frequent in home workout routines.
During high stress times when my body ached just thinking of high energy activities, I adapted my workout to include yoga, relaxation and stretching.
Injuries pulled me towards rehabilitative Pilates and a year abroad in Mexico taught me to hike mountains, bike ride and swim (Doing less organized sport and more activity based fitness).
The point: When your life changes, ask yourself what you need from your fitness routine. Do you need a greater challenge? A lighter routine?
Experimentation is what keeps fitness enthusiasts going. They don’t give up they just find a new solution to fit their current needs.
There is no other option: I work hard, I analyze often and it’s easy for me to feel depressed or anxious. Exercise soothes me, it creates an escape from life and it makes me feel healthy and yes.. it makes me feel in control of my life. I cannot contemplate even one second without fitness, because it would truly feel as if I just couldn’t cope.
For fitness enthusiasts we don’t see fitness as something just to lose a few pounds, we see it as a better quality of life, a longer more enjoyable existence, a way to take charge of our own outcome and an escape from everyday stresses in life. To us, there is no other option but to continue…
The point: Tap into your true reasons for getting fit, the reasons that create passion within and make you feel like there is no other option but to continue to get fit.
Over the years I’ve heard my personal training clients say “I want to play with my grandchildren”, “I want to feel passionate about life”, “I want to stay off high blood pressure medication”. These are all fitness passions that evoke that sense that “there is no other option”.
It’s not an all or nothing lifestyle:
My name is Alicia Jones and I’m a wing-aholic, a cheese lover, and a food lover in general… and guess what.. I refuse to feel guilty! That’s right. Cheat days are an integral part of my life. I have days where I take a huge vacation from healthy living and I eat and do whatever I like.
If at times things get busy in life and I notice I start to sway too often towards unhealthy habits, I clamp down on bad habits and focus on being extra healthy again. As a fitness enthusiast I refuse to feel guilty for enjoying life, and I definitely wont let it keep me down.
My clients have openly expressed how in the past they would be pristine with their health, eat right and exercise daily until finally they couldn’t take it anymore. Their initial cheat day would soon turn into a bad week and then finally they felt too guilty, too disappointed or too fed up to try to work towards their goals and they fell completely off the wagon for years.
The point: Allowing for cheat meals and YES, even days off from your healthy lifestyle gives you sanity, balance and allows you to feel free.
Even fitness enthusiasts get off track. Don’t let it get you down or pull you off track permanently from your fitness goals. In fact, don’t look at it as a bump in the road as much as a vacation from your new habits for only a small amount of time. After all, we all need vacations in life.. Right?
When times get hard, stick to what you know:
Things happen in life that take up 100% of your brain power. A huge stress in your family life, a tough few weeks at work, exams you never thought you’d finish. In my case a sprained ankle…
When things get hard and your last focus is you, although you may want to put your healthy eating and fitness on the back burner you will regret it later on when the sky clears.
When things are going extra rough I revert back to my oldest, easiest fitness moves. The no brainers that keep my body active without effort. I can literally move through each activity without thought and know my body will at least maintain it’s health until things get better.
During my sprained ankle fiasco I couldn’t run (My favorite fitness activity).. But I went through my no brainer upper body fitness routine once in the morning and then again mid afternoon. It actually increased my upper body lean muscle and kept me sane.
The point: I don’t care how new you are to fitness, there are always a few key fitness moves that seem so much easier to do than others. Don’t believe me? How often have you decided to lie down and do a few crunches because your tummy felt tighter afterwards? Or curl your grocery bags in your arms as your walking to your car to help tone your arms. Upper body exercises always seem easier for people to do. Figure out early on what your easy go-to fitness routine is and revert back to it when things get hard.
By slowly working towards these mindset shifts I’ve been able to embrace a healthy lifestyle for over a decade. I hope they help you too.
Have I missed something? What helps you stay on track when there’s a setback? I’d love to hear from you!