There’s No Pause Button
I occasionally hear from clients that they need to pause their fitness and nutrition program. Maybe they’re in the midst of a busy time at work. Maybe they’re consumed with renovating their home. Maybe it’s summer and the kids are home or a few vacations are planned. Or perhaps, they’re overwhelmed with planning a party or family event.
If you have ever seen the movie League of their own, you’ll know that “there is no crying in baseball”.Well I’m here to tell you there is “no pausing in fitness”.
The “pause mentality” thought process goes like this…if I miss some workouts or eat the wrong things I fail. So wouldn’t I succeed if I took a break until I have the time to do it right?
Starting fresh after stumbling a bit or losing your way is a comforting thought. Hitting that imaginary pause button gives you some relief, but unfortunately the only thing it improves is the skill of pausing.
The obligations never stop. Schedules never settle down. Life will always keep happening. In my experience, it’s much better to learn and develop the skills needed to continue making SOME progress during busy, stressful times. And there is a good possibility that when you pause you may never start back up.
I think the best approach is to combine fitness sprints with continual forward movement.
Fitness sprint – when life is somewhat tame you get after your fitness/health/weight loss goals with more concentrated effort. Our 6-week Summer Sizzle Challenge that just ended was a perfect example of a fitness sprint.
Continual forward movement – when life brings more stress, workload and obstacles, the objective is not to slide backwards. The commitment to eating right most of the time and strengthening the body will spill over into all aspects of your life. This is why it’s so important to embrace movement and eating well as more than just a way to lose weight. The continual forward movement phases come down to a few things:
- Time Management: Plan your days. You should know all your standing appointments that are non-negotiable ahead of time. Now carve out a little time for shopping, cooking and movement. A written calendar or planner is best.
- Forget Perfection: If you look at every episode of not making it to the gym or failing to prepare healthy food as a failure, then you are just reinforcing negative beliefs in your mind. And your mind is extremely powerful. It’ll allow you to sabotage your progress if you let it.
- A Little Is Better Than Nothing: Every meal or snack could be a little bit better. Strive for perfection and you’re doomed to failure. If you can’t make it to the gym for a workout, take 15-20 minutes and get some movement in at home.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference these small victories make over time. In pursuing our health and fitness goals, being perfect should never be the goal. Being a little bit better — and doing it consistently — is enough.
Life goes on. Embrace and go with the flow instead of hitting the pause button on your health and fitness.