5 Phases for Finding the Wagon

I believe in working towards a pace of consistency and healthy lifestyle changes. I don’t get excited about fad diets, day long cleanses or anything else that in some way encourages short cut results and/or unhealthy habits in the big picture. Does that mean I’m totally consistent and on top of things? Not at all! But that’s my goal and it’s what I keep in mind to reach for and maintain each and everyday.

Now, with the 4th of July and my Yosemite backpacking adventure in the rear view mirror, along with an insanely busy schedule, I’ve fallen out of my ideal routine and into days on end of eating out, exercising less and decreased motivation. That’s right, I eat In-N-Out, bitch. Those damn animal fries are like a drug that get you hooked one gooey good bite at a time. As with every other time this has happened though, I’m not surprised that I feel freaking disgusting…. And so the journey to jumping back on the wagon begins.

Get Back On

While you might say over and over again that you’re ready to make changes, live better and take a more active approach on a daily basis, actually getting your ass off the couch and cutting up some fresh veggies can be exhausting when you’re not used to it. What’s worse is the unnecessary mental buildup we allow the process to accumulate. What would take us mere minutes to complete will be put off, potentially forever, because of some unexplainable fear that the task at hand will cause too much pain, too much suffering, too much time, too much money, too much energy and too much of whatever else you can think of. The power of procrastination and anticipation can be overwhelming and no matter where you look, you see people trapped by its pull.
Decide not to be one of those people.

So, in true LFL style, let’s get real. There’s a progression to finding and staying on the wagon… A very real process and period of discomfort that must occur before beautiful butterflies surround your every move.

Phase 1
Ready, set… wait, ready?
Be ready, really. Talk, complain, reason, resent, and repeat as much as you want, but until you’re really ready, nothing will happen. Ultimately, you ARE in control of your own actions and when you really do want change, you’ll accept the challenge to make it happen.

Adventure

Phase 2
The Tantrum
The first few days (if not a solid week or 2) of making changes can feel like torture. Yes, you are doing the right thing, but be realistic and understand that gaining momentum from a standstill isn’t a piece of cake! Nor should you want that, fatty… I thought you were really ready?!? Figure out your calm down and de-stress regimen right away and make sure they’re activities or practices that are outside of the unhealthy realm you’re vacating. For instance, if you would typically chug a beer to alleviate stress, decide to do something else like committing to 3 long deep breaths whenever you feel frustrated. Taking control of the moments you’re most vulnerable and learning to work through your personal tantrums are a vital part of the process. You will get through it, you will find new comfort in the healthier lifestyle you seek and you will prevail!!

Phase 3
Accept the Side Effects
Changing your routine can have an unexpected effect on your body and mind. These side effects are what I, personally, dread the most. I feel more overweight and unattractive at first, my temperature sensitivity changes and makes me sweat more than usual, my stomach and head feel irritated while working everything out, I grow irritable while adjusting, my appetite changes and so on. Regardless of the side effects you experience, trust the process. Get through the darkness to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I can assure you that even though you’ll require time to adapt, eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a more active lifestyle does work and it’s not a gimmick or process to give up on. The problem isn’t the healthy lifestyle, it’s you… handle your shit!

Another Chance

Phase 4
Preventative Maintenance
When the discomfort subsides and you’re adapting to a better lifestyle and the changes that come with it, it’s very common to enter an “I got this!” state of mind. There will almost inevitably be foods, activities and habits from your previous unhealthy lifestyle that you feel confident about reintroducing. While balance is key and letting loose every once in a while is what your inner party girl wants and needs, beware of harmful triggers. Certain things will derail you in a way that can be too hard to bounce back from. Committing to change also means committing to your personal preventative maintenance. Cutting out certain things for good can be extremely positive and will allow you to stay on the wagon without fail. Don’t be afraid to say a final goodbye for the bigger purpose of maintaining a successful routine!

Phase 5
FEEL ALIVE!
You made it! You’ve worked hard and reached the top of a mountain you thought you’d never climb. Breathe in the fresh air, you deserve it!! With the liberating feeling of consistency and success also comes a responsibility to continue trying. There will always be bumps in the road, long trips and fast food adventures to tempt you… keep exploring new ways to enjoy health, happiness and an active lifestyle… keep recruiting friends to join your mission for achieving health and happiness… keep reminding yourself how far you’ve come and how happy you are to be here!

10 Ways to Get Back on Track

To realizing the wagon isn’t as high off the ground as you thought it was,
Rachel

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