Eye on the Prize

In the last year & a half, health and fitness has become a huge part of my life. And although I could practically live off of Shake Shack cheeseburgers and will never tire of lounging on the couch and binge watching a new show, I think the key is balance. But if I want to give into that occasional craving and slack off on leg day now and then, I also have to make sure I'm regularly sweating at the gym and shoving a kale-based recipe down my throat every once and a while, too. And TBH, I haven't had a whole lot of balance this last month. Let's just say I'm rocking that winter bod (even if it's Spring). The last week I've been really focused on getting back into my routine. Life is definitely busy and stressful, and it can be super easy to neglect my health. But I truthfully feel my best post gym and can enjoy those cravings more thoroughly when they aren't so close together ;-) As I head into my second week of "Mission Summer Bod" I thought I would share some of my best tips for getting back into the groove. 

Ease into it 

If you expect to quit carbs cold turkey and go from weak workouts to serious sweat inducing sessions, then you are NUTS. It's an unrealistic expectation! I always give myself a buffer week, and for me that was last week. I started by cutting out unhealthy foods here and there, but didn't go full force paleo. I also started with shorter workouts - 15 minutes of cardio and a little strength training. Now I am up to 20-25 minutes of cardio and 30-40 minutes of strength training. It's not only less of a shock to my system, but it also feels easier with each day.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

When you're trying to jump back on the bandwagon (and then keep falling off of it) it can be kind of difficult to stay focused and motivated. I know that when I am trying to follow a stricter diet and I stray, the guilt hits me hard. The best advice I can give: cut yourself some slack. Convincing yourself that you're a failure, will only cause you to fail more. So what, you cracked and had a couple cookies? Don't turn that into an entire cheat day. You can start with a clean slate the second you clean your ~off limits~ plate.

Record Your Diet

I refuse to count my calories, BUT when I am struggling with healthy eating I like to write down my diet. Maybe it's just the way that my own brain works, but it forces me to think about everything I am consuming and it keeps me accountable. I don't want to have to write down that I caved, so it's easier to avoid giving into my cravings. It's definitely not a fool-proof method, but it's certainly helpful when I'm struggling to get back on board.

Set Rules

Once I'm in the routine, there isn't really a need for "rules," but when I'm just getting back into the swing of things I find it so helpful to write down a few guidelines. Generally I choose really easy, simple ones that won't be too difficult to stick to. The structure helps me to remember my goals and what I need to achieve them.

Give Yourself Incentives

I have always worked really well with incentives. In fact, at 4 years old when my mom told me that I wasn't allowed to have my nails painted until I quit sucking my thumb. I went cold turkey. (Hey, I've always loved a good manicure!) I find it really helpful to not only set goals, but to reward myself for accomplishing them. And while I totally believe in cheat meals (moderation!) I try not to reward myself with food. Instead I go for a massage after a great few weeks of working out or finally buy that pair of Raybans I've been dying for. But really, the greatest reward you will get out of it is self confidence, strength and health!


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