Friday, April 11, 2014

Tips for Staying On Track

Holidays, vacations, birthdays, office parties, social events and even just life often gets in the way.  Just when we find ourselves in a good routine, heading in the right direction, it seems like something always manages to come up and knock us of course.  With so much going on in our daily lives, it's easy to find excuses to not stay on track and unfortunately our health ends up taking the back seat.  So how do we stay focused when our life can be so out of sorts at times?  Here are a few simple tips to keeping your fitness and nutrition on track, even when your life isn't:

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail:  One of the best ways to practically guarantee you'll stay on track is to make a plan and always be prepared.  Regardless of your wellness goals, it is vital for results and your success that you commitment to you healthy habits each and every day.  In order to do so, preparation is key.  Here are a few helpful tools:
  1. Food prepping:  Make all of your meals ahead of time or at least plan your menu for the week.  Prepare healthy foods on Sunday, place them in microwave safe containers inside your refrigerator and take one with you to work each day.  This way you will not be tempted to run to Taco Tuesday or hit up the vending machine on your lunch and snack breaks because you will already have a nice, healthy meal ready for you!  If you cannot commit to doing the prep work, having at menu planned out for the week is a great place to start.
  2. Scheduling your workouts:  Be sure to mark your workouts in your calendar like you would any other important appointment of event.  Hiring a fitness professional will help  keep you on track and reach your goals, check out my blog post for more information on "How and Why to Hire a Fitness Professional."
  3. Take into consideration that there will be temptation:  From those pesky office candy dishes to the person who always brings in donuts or cookies, and of course lest not forget all those excuses you can come up with for skipping the gym, you are going to be faced with unhealthy challenges each and every day.  So next time someone comes in with sweets or a coworkers tries to convince you to go to happy hour instead of the gym, acknowledging that this is not a new event, something is ALWAYS going to be there to sabotage your healthy habits, make the commitment to just say NO!
You Are Human and No Human is Perfect.  You are going to get off track from time to time.  It happens to the best of us.  When this happens though, it is important to not beat yourself up about it and lose your focus.  How many times have you thought to yourself "Oh well, I've already blown my diet, I'll eat whatever for today and start over tomorrow," or "I missed the gym yesterday, this week is a wash, I'll start up again next Monday."  Understand it's ok to make mistakes but it's not ok to let those mistakes dictate your future.  Remember the following when you get off track:
  1. Avoid negative self talk:  Don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake.  It happens and there's no sense making yourself feel horrible about it, so move on.  Dwelling on it is not going to make it go away or the situation any better, in fact negative self talk will only drag you down.  For more tips on adapting a more positive attitude, check out my "Believe In Yourself..."blog.
  2. Don't allow yourself to stay off course:  Just because you slightly veered off path, don't allow yourself to continue making unhealthy decisions.  Pick up where you left off and stay focused on moving forward.
  3. Reflect on your mistake and how to avoid them in the future:  Although we want to avoid dwelling on our mistakes, it is important to acknowledge them.  Consider each mistake you make a learning experience.  Evaluate what brought on the unhealthy choice and how you plan to avoid it in the future.
And For Those Extra Special Occasions: When heading out for vacation, keeping your goals in mind will help you when you are faced with temptations and challenges.  Yes, you want to be able to let your hair down a little and enjoy your special event.  But it is important to not lose sight of the big picture and not use this time as a reason to completely over indulge.  Remember the following to help keep you on track, even when your routine is completely out of sorts.
  1. Portion Control: Often, when we are on vacation, we want to try all of the new and exciting foods and beverages available.  This is an exciting and sometimes rare experience, so we do not want to completely restrict ourselves.  Enjoy samplings of several different foods and drinks but avoid overindulging on everything in sight.
  2. Stay Active: Hitting the gym is probably the furthest thing from your mind when you're on vacation.  Even though you may have no intentions on using the hotel's weight room, don't forget to pack your sneakers and workout clothes.  You'll want to make sure you do something physical daily, it's good for the body and mind.  So even just a 20-30 minute walk or hike is a great way to keep your activity level up.
  3. 80/20 Principle:  This principle does not only apply to vacations, it is also a great rule to follow in your daily life.  Put plainly, the rule goes that you choose to eat healthy foods 80% of the time, which then allows you to indulge the other 20%. What's great about this approach is if you commitment to making healthy choices the majority of the time, you in a sense "reward" yourself by enjoying some indulgences here and there.  Keep in mind that the 20% should not be used as a complete free for all, you still want to keep portions under control, but you can certainly enjoy your sweet, or salty sinful treats here and there, you deserve it!

Let the coaches at CWSC Performance help keep you on track.  Our coaches are certified professionals with a variety of experience ranging from general fitness, post rehabilitation, weight loss, nutrition, sports performance training and much, much more.  Visit us on the web at for more information about our training services.  Be sure to like us on Facebook for upcoming promotions and events.

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