As you adopt health diet and active lifestyle habits, there will be days you’ll stray. There will be days that you just don’t feel up to exercising, there will be a function where you eat a bit more than you normally would. Guess what – that is okay. That is more than okay. That is living in the flow of not being rigid into all or nothing dieting.
Before you begin a diet and exercise program, tell yourself that no matter what happens, rather than abandoning your new lifestyle, you’ll resume your healthy habits as soon as you can. Don’t want until Monday, the first day of next month or even January 1st. Don’t want until the next day; start again with your next meal. You always have an opportunity for a fresh start to get right back on track with your healthy habits continuing to move to your weight loss goals.
It is equally important that you feel confident, not guilty, about doing so. Whatever the temptation or obstacle is, keep in mind that it’s not wrong or bad to eat fattening foods once in a while or to miss a workout. Just remember to resume your healthy lifestyle as soon as possible afterwards. If you keep moving forward and you don’t let guilt and discouragement stop your program all together, you’ll eventually have improved eating and exercise habits – with great results and success in your weight loss and health goals.
With this approach, there is no such thing as “cheating.” When we feel we are cheating, we often punish ourselves; we will feel guilt, frustration and as though we’ve failed. We also get into the perfectionist thinking. We can’t have this or that ever again and if we stray, then we’ve blown it. Replacing the negative concept of cheating with the idea of “straying temporarily from healthy habits” takes away the all-or-nothing emphasis of right and wrong. If you treat every deviation from your plan as a failure, you won’t get very far. Substituting the idea of a brief straying away from your plan instead of feeling guilty, and learning to return more and more quickly to healthier habits, is more realistic. It’s also easier and more enjoyable – today and in the long-run.
If you don’t allow any opportunity to vary your eating and exercise and go into all or nothing thinking, you don’t practice moderation and balance. Healthy habits of diet and fitness are most success when you don’t think of them as success or failure. It is progress and not perfection. Practice healthy habits more times than you don’t. Think in terms of the 80/20 guidelines. 80% of the time, you eat according to your healthy nutritional program and are active; 20% of the time, you relax your guidelines. This allows for balance and living your life in a healthy, easier mode of moderation.