Life has this cunning way of sneaking in and throwing curveballs from left to right. Life will always pass. There will always be a busy day at work or family problems or relationship ups and downs or sick children. Once the conflict arises, it seems that health and fitness routines go haywire. We are looking for comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. However, these are the things that help us stay clear and balanced in both body and mind! So what do we do when conflict hits us in the face (and it happens to everyone, so if you’re reading this, you’re not alone)? Avoiding conflict is not reasonable because we cannot always control what comes to us. Figuring out how to navigate through any problem is what needs to happen to stay on track.
I think many times we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mentality. For example, you might think that your day is ruined because you strayed from your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or you decided not to exercise today because you couldn’t get the allotted 60 minutes you planned. Instead of doing something, you may not have chosen anything at all. Resigned on the second day of the 30 days of clean eating. Do any of those sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below can give you perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals, even when life throws a curve ball at you.
My philosophy is nurture, movement, mindset. If we can work to nourish our body, move it mindfully, and maintain a healthy attitude, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month and eventually acquire the healthy habits on a regular basis that we need. achieve total body balance.
Focus on one little thing at a time. Start simple and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes made day after day, week after week, etc., can lead to really big changes. So pick a little nutrition action and practice it for a week or two before adding a new change.
Examples: Work on portion control (regardless of food quality), add a colorful food to each meal, take 15 minutes to prepare your healthy morning meal, or skip your sugary snack after dinner (swap for a healthy alternative). You can eat slowly and chew your food completely, or focus on balancing your meals to have protein, carbohydrates, and fat at each meal. Skipping processed foods for one or two meals a day is another great option, too. These are just a few examples, but it is up to you to determine what small step you can take to improve your nutrition.
Take advantage of the time you DO have. Make room in the little pockets of your time. We become obsessed with time so often that we don’t realize that a little bit is always better than nothing. For example, it is so easy to think that you have to exercise for 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, wouldn’t 15 minutes of that workout be better than nothing? The answer is yes! So squeeze what you can, when you can.
Be unconventional. You may not have time to do a “workout.” Do what you can with what you have. Maybe that day I will use the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the parking space furthest from the building (gasp!) To take a few extra steps. Get up from your desk and walk for one minute every 15 to 20 minutes. Run on the playground with your kids. Movement doesn’t always have to be in the form of a 30-minute HIIT workout. It can be on the move and active, outside or inside. What are the ways you could move more?
Move consciously. Pay close attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you. Your body and energy levels will fluctuate from day to day, so take advantage of more vigorous workouts when you can and also add active recovery, lighter workouts, or even yoga or stretching when needed.
Do not give up. Don’t throw in the towel when you eat well and move your body. It seems easy to take an “all or nothing” approach, but it is not necessary. There is always something better than nothing. Do not give up! Life ebbs and flows for everyone. Take a look at where you are now and what you can make it work for right now.
The most important thing is to honor where you are. Only you know what you are capable of at this point in your life. Make sure the little steps you take are 100% doable for you and your lifestyle. Small steps over time can make a big difference.