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This is it, this is the best piece of advice you'll ever get for how to stay on track.
Have you noticed that everyone is always trying to do that? To give you their best for how you can stay on track with your healthy eating or weight loss attempts ...over the holidays, while on vacation, over the summer, when you’re sick, when a huge pandemic shuts down the entire planet… etc.
So basically, whenever life happens. Right? Because that’s the thing, life always happens.
Something always, always, always happens to threaten our attempts to follow that new diet or healthy lifestyle change attempts.
Which is why it’s so silly that people keep offering and we keep trying to find all these outside tips and strategies to make us be able to.
The single best advice you’ll ever get to stay on track - whenever… is to… just...
Stop trying to stay on track.
Now, I know that sounds crazy but stay with me while I fully explain…
The reality is, if you’re even “trying to stay on track” in the first place, this suggests that you’re trying to force yourself to eat what you think you’re supposed to be eating. You’re trying to let your brain be in charge of making the choices you’ve learned from other people, are the “right ones” for your body. And that. Never. Ever. Works. For. Very. Long. For. Most. People.
Very few people on the planet can ever stick to anything - because that’s not the way our bodies and brains are designed to work - which is why everyone always struggles so much.
So, if you’re even trying to “stay on track” in the first place, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure, or at the very least, living in that “on track” one week “off track” the next.. Basically, forever.
If you’re trying to do anything food or exercise related and you’re wondering how you’re going to be able to stay on track with it, you’ve already failed.
Stop trying to stay on track. Stop trying to make choices for your body based on what everyone else is telling you is best for it.
And just listen to IT.
Have you ever watched your dog through the day? He eats when his body tells him its hungry, he stops when he’s full (for the most part), he sleeps when he’s tired, he runs and plays when he wants to run and play, he stretches when he needs to stretch.
His body sends him signals, he listens and responds accordingly.
The same thing happens to us!
Our bodies are built with those same instinctive cues - they want to move. They want to rest. They want to eat what makes them feel the best.
The problem with all the healthy living and “stay on track” advice we’ve been bombarded with since we arrived on this planet is that it’s all taught us to ignore, and even fight against the signals our bodies are giving us - and as a result our brains have taken over the decision making process.
But our brains are scared of everything. They don’t like change. They want quick fixes, they want to numb emotions, they want to stay comfortable and not be pushed out of their comfort zone - so they tell us all kinds of crazy stories about what we should or shouldn’t be eating or doing for our bodies while our poor bodies get distrusted, ignored, demeaned and even hated. If you want to stop falling off track, stop trying to stay on it in the first place and start reconnecting with your own body.
Whenever you hear your thoughts start trying to make food or exercise choices, just pause for a second.
Do a quick body scan. Notice how it feels to live in your body in that moment and ask it, what do you need to feel better?
Use this for food and exercise choices.
Reconnect with your own hunger and fullness cues. Are you even physically hungry when you’re about to eat? Before and while you’re eating, ask ...How will I feel if I eat that? How will I feel if I keep eating that? Do I want to feel that way?
It’s not always that simple because for some, it can take practice. If we’ve been actively ignoring our bodies for years, just relearning to recognize when they’re hungry and full take be a bit of a challenge and our brains are tricky little devils so they’ll tell us anything to get us to do what they want us to do (which usually involves laying around doing nothing but eating) and they can be convincing but it’s a place to start and with practice it’s truly the healthiest, most liberating switch you’ll ever make.
And apply the same strategy with movement. Pause, do a quick body scan and notice what it feels like to live in your body right now. Ask it, what do you need to feel better?
When your brain pipes up and says lay down or sleep or watch TV or whatever (which it usually always will because remember it likes to be comfy and it’s used to driving your choices) ask again… a little calmer and quieter. Is that really what I need right now? Will I feel better if I lay down or will I feel better if I just move a little?
If you’re not used to being active, this takes practice because it never feels good to start moving more if you’re not used to it BUT if you make the movement you choose something super quick and easy that actually does make you feel better, it slowly becomes easier because you stop associating movement and exercise as punishment. So, start slow. Even just 5 minutes of super gentle stretches for your tightest areas or 5-10 minutes of a slow mindful walk. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re done and remind yourself of that the next time you ask your body, what do you need? You’ll slowly begin to hear it answer... A little movement please… more and more often.
When you approach healthy living from this angle, it changes everything. There’s never any track to fall off, just a constant connection with your body and what it needs to feel its best.