As I’ve kind of alluded to, I’m in a health-and-fitness rut. I busted my ass to lose 50 pounds. I entered my maintenance phase at the same time I started my new job. OMG, lots of changes at once much?? I e-mailed Nutritionista, who always has practical advice about how to stay healthy.
Here’s what she had to say:
I know EXACTLY how you feel. It happens to me every once in a while. Sometimes, for no apparent reason! During those times, it just seems so pointless to push yourself. But I think I do have a few tricks for getting back into the swing of things…
- Switch it up! Whatever you’ve been doing? Do something else! If you’ve been working out in the morning, see if you can work out in the evening. Or if you’ve been doing cardio on the treadmill, switch to the elliptical or take a class. For other fitness-specific advice, read Busting Out of a Fitness Rut.
- Get outside your box. When you’re in this state, it’s the perfect time to try something completely new and different. If you’ve always wondered about Zumba (I’ll admit, I’m curious), go ahead and sign up! If you’ve been eying that boot camp class at your gym, now is the perfect time to take the plunge. Having something new to try/look forward to will at least give you temporary motivation. This works with eating, too! I notice you tend to eat the same kind of foods every day… that can definitely get boring and unmotivating! So if you don’t want to cook, at least try new restaurants, etc. This is why the Outside the Box Challenge seemed to work so well for people!
- Get a friend to hold you accountable. I have a few friends who are my go-to motivators. I check in with them about everything from what I ate to my weight to how much I exercised. They’re there to keep me on track. Sometimes we’ll even set specific goals and check up on each other once a week. That’s why the Winter Shape Up Challenge worked so well! People felt like they had someone to be accountable to.
- Help a friend! If you know someone (either in real life or virtually!) that needs help getting healthy, make it your personal mission to help him/her. What you say and do to help your friend will put you back in that “health is new and exciting!” state of mind. Make them a workout or meal plan, take them to the gym, cook with them, etc. Anything you can do to let them know (and remind yourself) why being healthy is so great. That’s one reason I love blogging — I get to help people every day and it’s so motivating!
- Don’t stop setting goals. Sometimes when we feel like we’ve reached a big goal, we sort of stop trying. So even if you’re at your goal weight, you can still set goals (both big and small). It could be as simple as “try two new workouts this week,” or “cook one new dish.” This will also help with the first two suggestions! Don’t forget to incorporate rewards for when you meet your goals — even small things like a new nail polish or tickets to the movie you’ve been wanting to see can be motivating.
- Give yourself permission to move to the next phase. From what I know about you, you’re pretty solidly in the maintenance phase of weight loss/fitness. You’re allowed to have a slightly different mindset! No, that doesn’t mean you can just revert back to old habits, but it also doesn’t mean you have to be so vigilant all the time about what you’re doing. Think of it not as sliding back but as moving forward to the next phase in your health journey — one that requires a little less aggressiveness!
Hopefully some of that is helpful! But I think sometimes, you just go through these phases and you have to plod along until you’re out of them. They DO pass, trust me!
I do need to change things — my exercise, food and mentality. Trying to *keep* weight off is definitely different than actively trying to lose a lot of weight. I hadn’t realized how much of a struggle it would be on its own. I gained weight because I didn’t watch what I ate and I didn’t exercise. I lost weight because I watched every little thing that went in to my mouth and exercised a ton. To maintain, I need to find that balance — for sure. I can eat more than Pump, spinach feta wraps and oatmeal and not gain weight.
Adding a new job/schedule when I’m trying to transition from weight loss to weight maintenance is definitely two major changes at once. I do like to cook, sometimes it just seems hard to me — maybe because I have been really restrictive with my food. (Sometimes it’s just more fun to go out to eat with friends in NYC :)) I guess also trying to add a marathon training schedule into the mix was a ton, too! Maybe I should wait until I get myself a bit more settled in my current new routine and not push that yet. Stay tuned for more on my new goals later!
What do you do when you’re in a healthy rut?