If at first you don’t succeed, try again
One thing that stands true is that this journey is far from linear. If plotted on a graph, it would be filled with upward lines, downward lines, even lines dictating a plateau, and that’s how it is for everyone, so don’t feel alone.
The biggest mistake I’ve found is that when the downward occurs, clients become so hard on themselves, forgetting that they too are human, or rather that their body is not a machine and requires rest, recovery and sometimes a different approach.
More so, it’s very common that clients decide to ignore the signs and instead fill their schedule with two sessions a day, limited food options (removing carbs); pretty much overload. This is the opposite of what your body requires.
What is the result? Full crash and then feelings of failure causing complete shutdown and a deep slump.
After this slump and overcoming feelings of defeat, I’ve also witnessed clients make plans to recover by again packing their schedule (because at one point their body was able to do so much) and rather than start slow, easing themselves in, they jump right off the cliff, failing again, completely overwhelmed.
Most recently, I was contacted by a client who was ready to get out of their slump and restart their fitness journey.
All my clients know that I’m pretty blunt when necessary. I told her to listen to me this time or this advice will be pointless.
Have a read of how easy it can be to get out of your slump, get moving and improve eating after a deep slump, without feeling overwhelmed or punishing yourself for falling so deep.
Yes, your body and mind were capable of so much more three months ago, but then you fell off the wagon, or your body required rest and you answered with one month off, which led to three months.
Set a schedule, outlining three workouts per week. This example is rather simple, but it is effective in getting you started, especially if you want to do so on your own.
These sessions should be rather easy, possibly a 30-minute walk followed by a 30-minute body weight routine (eg ten squats, ten push-ups, 30-second plank, ten lunges, ten step-ups; three sets). Rather easy, right?
Completing these sessions will not only have you moving, but will keep you in high spirits and mentally strong knowing you have accomplished your workout goal.
Every week you can simply make the walk faster, possibly run, and increase the repetitions of your body weight regime.
In just a short, but committed, 21 days you will be out of your slump and have improved your fitness after three months off. You can now add weights and/or speed. You’ll also likely be mentally stronger and ready to join a class or take on a personal trainer (if you were not ready before).
Let’s now talk food, the most important aspect of full wellness. Rather than go cold turkey on every “unhealthy” food item, you can set daily goals.
One of my suggestions is to prepare your meals for the week, adding a “cheat snack” to finish your day, only to be consumed if the cravings are high. Should you complete your day without a craving for this “cheat” you can get rid of it, give it away and move on to the next day.
Most times, the first four days you won’t feel the urge to plunge into a bowl of ice cream; Day Five it’s possible the urges will become strong.
It’s then that the ever so small “cheat” is available. If it’s not available, simply remind yourself of your goals, drink a glass of water and move on.
Whilst I don’t suggest punishing yourself, I do agree that your health is more important than the five-minute urge attack.
All of that being said, just be prepared, recognise that you are human and setbacks happen and always be realistic.
For further information and an in-depth look into my 21-day challenge inclusive of daily workouts, meal suggestions and accountability e-mail me at email@example.com.Should you feel you want to get yourself started, use the example above. We all start somewhere, whether it’s our third or tenth “start”.
This is a journey, not linear at all, it’s OK to start over again. Maybe this time you won’t stop, but find a healthier balance in order to maintain your regime.
As always, remember that this is your journey and you are only required to live it unapologetically your way. Enjoy it, embrace it, most of all be honest with all of your efforts.
• Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness and Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 599-0412. Find her on both Facebook and Instagram under @Absbydre