The struggle is real - those goals for your summer body are starting to get away from you. The kids constantly in the house snacking on goldfish and asking for favors at all hours of the day leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
There is no wonder this is a time for a lot of people where good nutrition habits go by the wayside. The temptation of that late night snack or even that midday snack...or that morning snack is real and is impacting your motivation and flow!
You may have slid back and gained a few lbs since this all started. You may find that it’s very difficult for you to “get back on track” because each day feels so disrupted from your normal routine.
Look - we can’t change our situation but we can change how we react to our situation. We are here to help you to figure this situation out and gain some grounding.
We at Forever Fit Method have come up with a process that can dramatically shift your mindset as well as create actionable steps to overcome these stressed, snack filled, alcohol induced quarantine! (The meme’s are great but let’s put our health as priority here!)
Take a STEP BACK
We are all stressed.
Stressed about public health, family health, finances, kid’s school year..as well as the normal stresses that every parent goes through.
With stress comes the avoidance of our good healthy habits. Stress seems to latch on us like a leech and drain our mental, emotional, and physical energy. When we are in a low energy state we are more prone to reach for those snacks that we know aren’t the best for us.
The first step to taking control over this stress and over your habits is to STEP BACK.
What does stepping back mean?
We want you to think about taking some time to just ground yourself and take yourself out of the stressful situation.
For example, you might be getting upset with yourself that you are getting out of the good habits you established. It’s important to recognize that it’s very hard to be constructive when you are in a destructive way of thinking.
Think about it...do you make your best decisions when you are stressed and overwhelmed? In some cases maybe you perform your best under these conditions but I would argue that most people find it hard to separate themselves from that stressed state.
So what can you do?
Take a step back!
Try setting a little bit of time each day to de-stress and use techniques that can help you navigate this state of stress.
Here are some methods you can use to help you STEP BACK
5 minutes of slowed, controlled breathing
Write down 5 things you are grateful for today
Take a walk outside for 20 minutes
Put the phone and social media away for an hour a day
Remind yourself of the progress you have made prior to this change in environment.
Give yourself a break
Enjoy family time
Stepping back allows you to see things more objectively and begin to understand the processes that you can improve upon to help you get back on track!
When you begin to feel open and honest about how you are feeling it’s time for the next step….RE TRACK.
Now that you’ve been able to manage your emotions and stress surrounding your “bad habit” of snacking late - it’s time to look into the specifics to understand what happened.
Often this step is not done by people because it’s an act that takes a real hard, honest look at what went “wrong”.
How does anyone get better at anything? Well, they need to understand what it is that is holding them back and learn how to improve that one thing.
For example if you find yourself snacking late at night - a useful tip for re tracking your steps might lead you to see that when you ate dinner, you ate super fast. Eating fast is a sign that either
You were so hungry from not eating a proper meal before, that you now are ravenous and ready to eat an arm and a leg
2. You’ve got more chores to do with everyone home and want to get through your meals as quickly as possible to continue getting tasks done.
Until you start to uncover the motivations and reasons behind a habit, you will never be able to fully take control over it!
So...how can I RE TRACK?
I’m glad you asked!
This RE TRACK is a mindful practice that needs awareness to sphere head the change.
Here are some ideas on what you can do to help you RE TRACK to help bring awareness to your problem areas.
Reflect: What seems to be my biggest roadblock for refraining from late night snacks?
On what days and times did I find myself snacking the most?
How do I feel around 9PM at night? (Hungry, stressed, calm, overwhelmed)
What in my diet has changed in the past 2 weeks?
What have been some things that have worked well for me in the past 2 weeks?
We want you to literally write these questions down and answer them honestly. Take a good 20 - 30 minutes to RE TRACK.
The goal of this is to give yourself some feedback as to what occurred and how you felt. You don’t need to have a solution to the problem quite yet. This is very important! I repeat….you do not need to have a solution yet!
This practice is to simply take an objective view of something you wish to change or something that has gotten away from you through the recent past.
That leads us to our final method to regain control over those habits that seem to have vanished out of thin air!
If you’ve been following us for some time now and reading our articles, you know how big we are into using a journal and tracking your habits.
We do this with clients all the time - have them track their habits to gather data for us to best fit their plan to what will work for them.
Keeping track is the best way to motivate and get yourself “back on the wagon” (Shout out to those who read that blog!)
By setting a plan of what to track and how to track; this will lead you further down the road to making that change and ultimately, your success.
It’s really quite simple and it is something you have done in one way or the other in the past. For example maybe you have tracked your finances, or your kids grades to better understand where they might need help. Progress reports for kids do exactly this - the grades are tracked and then decisions can be made on how to move forward and continue learning. The same goes for any exercise, or nutrition habit!
So...how do I KEEP TRACK?
Just like the above skills it’s vital to practice mindfulness and awareness when tracking.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you KEEP TRACK more effectively
Use a notebook or phone to log in entries everyday
Choose 1 habit to track (example: Keep daily food log to track quality of food. Another example is to track how stressed you are at 5PM and grade it 1-10)
Set a reminder on your phone to fill out your journal / tracker
Be honest and make sure you write down the times you aren’t perfect!
Aim to succeed 80% of the time, then 90% as you gain momentum
Do a mental check at the end of the day to remind yourself of any missed tracking!
Okay so what do I do now?
When you go through this process of STEP BACK, RE TRACK, KEEP TRACK you allow yourself a complete view of the current habits that are getting in the way with your success.
Falling off the wagon and allowing stress to overcome in this situation is normal. Having days that you don’t feel like doing anything is normal. We want to emphasize that everyone does react to these situations differently and that you must listen to your body and your mind.
Remember however that your habits are in your control!
Using this strategy can help you to re frame and understand exactly what’s getting in the way, and how to navigate your way back to your desired outcome.
When you can successfully get through keeping track for 2 weeks consistently, you can reassess and re-establish your new priorities. This tracking will help show you what it is that you are doing well with, and what you need to improve upon.
You simply can’t make the changes that you wish to see without knowing where you are at right now!
Remember that at the end of the day this is a learning process and that patience will help get you to the promised land!
Now go ahead and try out our method of STEP BACK, RE TRACK, KEEP TRACK!