If you’re not careful it’s going to sneak up on you.
The “slide” is what I call the period of approximately the last week of January through February. It’s that time of year where your plan to “lose weight”, “exercise more” or “eat better” is starting to wane.
You began January excited and told yourself that 2021 was finally going to be the year, your year. But you forgot how cold the mornings are, and how early it gets dark in the winter. Work got busy and life, as it always does, sucks time out of your day.
That’s the “slide”.
You stepped on the scale every day, or looked at yourself in the mirror expecting changes quickly. You lacked the accountability of others to help keep your head up, and keep you focused on your goal.
Perhaps, you chose to eat well during the week, but you let loose on the weekends. That means you only chose to eat well 71% of the time! And you lost most of the benefits of healthy choices with big splurges on the weekends.
The most devastating part of the “slide” is that it’s hard to start over. Yet, that’s all you keep doing to yourself.
If you are sick and tired of this annual attempt to get better, look better and feel better; there is hope.
I think it’s rarely an education problem that results in you being where you are with your health and fitness. It’s almost always a lack of accountability and consistency that lead to the “slide”.
First step to correct this, is to look at the people you surround yourself with. Are they helping you towards your goals, or are they the detractors? You know, those that go through life telling you what you want to (as opposed to need to) hear, don’t try to push you out of your comfort zone, and enable you to continue down the path you’re heading?
These detractors are often your friends and family. Now, you don’t need to leave them for good, although some you probably should! However, you should work to find a group of people that will support you on and hold you accountable when your slacking, or making poor decisions and excuses.
Consistency is the second piece needed to stop the “slide”. Give yourself a goal and get after it. It could be to exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times each week. Maybe it’s limit soda to 2 cans each week. Or only 3 glasses of wine each week. You don’t need to do a total 180 from the start, and cut out everything bad. That’s difficult and likely you’ll fall back to old habits quickly.
Consistency will allow you to build confidence over time. As you get more consistent with your exercise and nutrition, it’ll get easier to create new habits. These new habits will build upon the previous ones, and longer you can keep these habits the more ingrained they will become in your daily life.
Most importantly, remember that “perfection is the enemy of progress”. This means that trying or waiting for something to be perfect, thus getting nowhere is not ideal. Just get started, let “good enough” be what allows you to keep moving everyday towards progress. If you’re waiting for the perfect time or place, you’ll be waiting for a very long time.