Sometimes Things Don’t Go Exactly As Planned

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Overcome Setbacks

This isn’t going as well as I had hoped. I still weigh the same.

I just can’t do it. I don’t have enough willpower.

It’s too hard to be healthy during this time of year. Maybe later this spring I can try again.

If any of these phrases sound familiar to you, know that you’re not alone. The great thing about the start of a new year is that people feel energized to change for the better, whether it be their health, finances, relationships or all of the above.

The difficult part is maintaining that same level of energy and dedication for the long haul, especially when it comes to getting healthier. If you don’t develop a plan on how to avoid and recover from setbacks, you will continue to struggle toward success. Here are just a few ideas to get you started on developing a plan of your own.

How to Avoid Setbacks

  • As much as possible, shift your snacks and meals so that they center around fresh, low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods. Unlike processed, high-calorie snacks, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables will keep you fuller longer and have fewer total calories.
  • Don’t weigh yourself obsessively if you’re trying to lose weight. It can be discouraging to look down and see that you haven’t lost as much weight in the past 24 hours as you were hoping, but it’s not necessarily because nothing is happening. Body weight can fluctuate by as much as five pounds throughout the day, and the path to weight loss is not always a straight line. You may go up or down along the way. The most important thing is that you start seeing a downward trend over time. That’s why it can help to weigh yourself less frequently, maybe once or twice a week.

How to Recover from Setbacks

  • Just because you make one bad choice doesn’t mean that there’s no point in trying anymore. You may think, “Well I had pizza for lunch, so I guess this day is pretty much ruined. Might as well get takeout for dinner tonight and relax in front of the TV.” But when you do that, you’re not giving yourself a chance to recover. So you had pizza for lunch. That’s okay. Just make sure your next decision is a better one. Instead of grabbing a slice of king cake in the break room for an afternoon snack, get yourself a big glass of water and take a short walk. The one small setback isn’t the end of the world, but if you let it drive you to giving up, you certainly won’t reach your goal.
  • If a misstep happens, try to learn from it in some way. What triggered you to make that decision? Is there a way to avoid that in the future? What can you do differently if you find yourself in the same situation again?

Getting healthier is a journey, and no one mistake should derail your entire journey. Give yourself positive affirmations for the steps you’ve taken to improve your health, and make conscious decisions to try better next time.

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