Sometimes life happens. Before we know it, we've taken a few weeks (or months) off from 'healthy living.' We've paused our gym membership and resorted to eating take-out for the sake of convenience. We forget to stay hydrated or move our bodies throughout the day. Mainly, we forget to take care of ourselves. Maybe it's because we have to take care of someone else, or an overwhelming change is affecting our lives. No matter the reason, we need a way to reset, a fresh start with fitness and nutrition.
If this feels like you (and no shame, we've all been there), here are a few tips for getting out of the rut and back in the gym:
Getting Back in the Gym Starts With...Getting Back in the Gym
The first step is a hard but necessary one: you must get back in the gym. Even if your muscles feel weak or you lack motivation, you must take that first step to change your trajectory. A few words of advice, though: Go with minimal expectations. Your first workout doesn't need to be your best and hardest workout; it's okay to take it slow and ease yourself back in. Listen to your body (the positive voice, not the one telling you to stay on the couch) and exercise in ways that make you feel excited to be active again. If the gym isn't your thing, go for a run or take a hike instead.
Clear Your Kitchen of Junk Food
So you let your healthy eating habits go, too. You've stocked up on too many boxes of cookies and bags of chips; your produce drawer is empty. Take a minute this weekend to clear these things out, to reset your kitchen. You don't have to throw this food away (and we don't recommend food waste) but put it somewhere out of reach (like a 'treat' cupboard). Then make a trip to the grocery store and buy all your favorite (healthy) food items. Don't force yourself to eat vegetables you don't love, instead buy what you enjoy. We have tons of recipes and snack suggestions on the blog if you need ideas.
Get in a Positive Head Space
This is arguably the most critical step in changing your trajectory because you're going to need strength and motivation to rebuild a healthy habit. Spend time journaling and reflecting on the past few weeks of your life. Why did you decide to stop investing in your health? How did it make you feel to avoid exercise for so long? Explore questions like these and think about ways to foster sustainable healthy choices in the future. How will you remain on the course during change or trauma? And what's the cost of ignoring your body instead of caring for it? You may also need to forgive yourself if you find you struggle with negative self-talk. Whatever it is you need to work through, a positive headspace is as essential as getting back in the gym and feeding your body nutrients.