…May not win all the races, but when it comes to fitness/health/what have you, it tends to be the most sustainable way of making a change.
Think about it: you can’t just drop ALL the habits you have with the snap of a finger, because by day 3 you’ll be freaking out and either a) indulge just a little and then it will snowball or b) get overwhelmed and say “F*** this.” At least, that’s what has happened to me every time I try to do a drastic overhaul of my life.
Most of the healthy habits that I still have are actually the accumulation of many smaller habits that have stuck with me over the years. Swapping out granola for rolled oats, starting an ab routine, working out before work (because after 4 p.m. my motivation disappears)…none of these changes happened overnight but over the course of 3 years. One of my good friends, however, has an all or nothing approach to dieting because she’s self aware enough to know that any “gray area,” or “okay I’m doing the Whole30-ish but with cheese” is a recipe for disaster. There’s an element of needing to know yourself and your habits to really dig deep into making a change.
I just read this post from Bodyrock that shares some moves for post-partum women to avoid in the weeks immediately following birth, like certain ab exercises. That was a big one for me- while I didn’t have severe diastis recti, there was some separation between ab walls. After 6 months of limited ab work I wanted to jump back into it (not because I love crunches necessarily, just because it had been a “no-no” for so long). BUT, I decided to do the smart thing and opted for a slow comeback.
Last week on Thanksgiving Day we ran a 5k (best thing ever: it wasn’t my idea!). And it only ended up being my SECOND worst 5k at 25:32, followed by going home, snuggling my kid, and eating cake. You really can have it all 🙂 Of course, the competitive side of me was a bit bummed, but in the spirit of the holiday I focused more on the positive side of things. Plus it gives me a goal to work towards for my next 5k in March 🙂
So if you’ve had a hard time making changes that stick, you’re in good company. Give yourself a break- and then jump back in!