We all have our own health and fitness goals, from losing weight to toning up, exercising more to eating less junk food, however the majority of us find it hard to stick to them. You know what I’m talking about – you’re doing great, working out regularly, eating healthily, then you have a small slip up and use it as an excuse to ‘screw the diet’ for the rest of the week. I can put every single one of my past diet failures down to four little words: “The diet starts Monday”.
I can put every single one of my past diet failures down to four little words: “The diet starts Monday”
One slice of cake leads to days of eating junk food and consuming calories at a rate of knots. We’ve all been there. You start with good intentions, get side-tracked, and then give up. But it’s all good, because you reassure yourself that the diet starts Monday, that you can begin your new healthy regime in earnest then, right?
This ‘all or nothing’ attitude is one that I’ve relied on for years. I deal with setbacks by convincing myself that now I’ve had one slice of pizza I might as well eat the whole damn thing, and the garlic bread, with cheese, and the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, you know, just for good measure.
But recently I’ve learned that if you really want to achieve your goals, and stick to them, you need to quit starting over.
I’m not saying that the only way to achieve your goals is to not make mistakes. We all slip up from time to time because life sometimes requires us to have a glass of wine and a kebab on a Saturday evening! But what takes you from where you are right now to achieving your goals is how you deal with the setbacks.
But what takes you from where you are right now to achieving your goals is how you deal with the setbacks
Whether it’s having a mid-week glass of wine, eating something calorific, or skipping a couple of gym sessions, it’s all too easy to just start again on Monday. If you can overcome this ‘Monday’ logic you’re far more likely to achieve your goals.
As many of you may know, I’ve recently enlisted the help of a personal trainer to help me achieve the body I want once and for all. Her message about food is really quite simple; eat a balanced diet, consume mostly clean foods, don’t drink fizzy drinks and caffeine, and importantly, allow yourself ‘cheat’ meals once or twice a week. By having a couple of weekly ‘cheats’ to look forward to, I find it much easier to stay on track with my diet. It has also taught me that if I have a bar of chocolate I haven’t ruined my diet and therefore don’t need to eat everything else that crosses my path. I find that allowing myself treats means I’m far less likely to gorge one day.
A healthy diet is about allowing treats, cheats and mini slip ups, but knowing where to draw the line. This can be easier said than done, but as soon as you ditch the ‘Monday’ mentality you will find it easier to focus once again on eating healthily. You haven’t failed; you haven’t had to start again from square one. Don’t undo all of your hard work, telling yourself you ruined it so you may as well eat everything in sight or skip the gym until next week. Instead, accept what you’ve eaten and get straight back into eating to support your goals.
Diet is about more than what you put in your mouth, it’s about your relationship with food and how it makes you feel. Listen to your body, accept that the path to a better body will be riddled with obstacles, and learn that how you deal with setbacks will ultimately make your diet a success or failure. So quit starting over and ditch the Monday mentality.