Life has this sneaky way of creeping in and throwing curve balls left and right. Life will always happen. There will always be a busy day at work or family problems or relationship highs and lows or sick children. Once conflict arises, it seems like health and fitness routines go haywire. We seek comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. These are the things that help us stay clear and balanced in both body and mind though! So what do we do when conflict smacks us in the face (and it happens to everyone so if you’re reading this – you’re not alone)? Avoiding the conflict is not reasonable because we can’t always control what comes at us.
I think so many times we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mindset. For example, you might think your day is ruined because you veered off your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or, you decided not to workout today because you couldn’t do the allotted 60 minutes that you had planned for. Instead of doing something, you may have chosen nothing at all. You gave up on day two of 30 days of clean eating. Do any of those sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below might give you some perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals even when life throws you a curve ball.
My philosophy is nourish, movement, mindset. If we can work on nourishing our bodies, moving them mindfully and maintaining a healthy attitude, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month and eventually get into the healthy habits on a regular basis that we need to achieve total body balance.
Focus on one small thing at a time. Start simple and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes executed day after day, week after week and so on can lead to really big change. So pick one small nutrition action and practice it for one to two weeks before adding in a new change.
Examples: Work on portion control (without regard to food quality), add one colorful food in at each meal, take 15 minutes to meal prep tomorrow’s healthy food or omit your sugary after dinner snack (swap it out with a healthy alternative). You could eat slowly and chew your food completely or focus on balancing your meals so that you have protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal. Omitting processed foods once or twice a day is also another great option. These are just some examples but it’s up to you to figure out which little step you can take to improve your nutrition.
Take advantage of the time that you DO have. Carve out space in the small pockets of your time. We get fixated on time so often that we don’t realize that a little is always better than nothing. For example, it’s so easy to think that you have to do a workout for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wouldn’t 15 minutes of that workout be better than nothing though? The answer is yes! So squeeze in what you can, when you can.
Get unconventional. Maybe you don’t have time to get in a “workout”. Do what you can with what you’ve got. Maybe you take the stairs that day instead of the elevator. Park in the parking space furthest away from the building (gasp!) to get some extra steps in. Stand up from your desk and walk around for a minute every 15 or 20 minutes. Run around at the playground with your kids. Movement doesn’t always have to be in the form of a straight up 30 minute HIT workout. It can be moving and active – outside or inside. What are the ways that you could get in some more movement?
Move mindfully. Pay close attention to your body and what it’s trying to tell you. Your body and energy levels will fluctuate day by day so take advantage of more vigorous workouts when you can and also add in active recovery, lighter workouts or even yoga or stretching when necessary.
Don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel on eating right and moving your body. It’s seems easy to take the “all or nothing” approach but that’s not necessary. Something is always better than nothing. Don’t beat yourself up! Life ebbs and flows for everyone. Take a look at where you’re at right now and what you can make work right now.
The most important thing is to honor where you’re at. Only you know what you’re capable of at this point in your life. Make sure the small steps you take are 100% doable for you and your lifestyle. Small steps over time can add up to big change.