What to Do When Life Gets in the Way by Stephanie Beth Nickel
The vast majority of readers know it’s important to eat nutritious food, drink adequate amounts of water, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. But what happens when life gets in the way?
You have a deadline looming.
Granted, there are times we have to put in extra hours to complete a project on time. However, it’s important to remember that all of the above factors of healthy living will give you a more positive frame of mind, provide you with more energy, help you think more clearly, and enable you to work more efficiently. These factors are all important, especially when that deadline is looming.
You’re running late and takeout or frozen pizza seems like the easiest solution.
There are several options when this is the case.
- Allow yourself a cheat day every now and then and don’t worry about it.
- Choose a healthier option made with fresh, whole foods and no additives.
- When you do have the time, do the prep work in advance. That way you can just toss the ingredients together and prepare a fast—and nutritious—alternative to takeout.
- Add a new cookbook to your library. There are several available that instruct you on preparing healthy meals in 30 minutes or less.
You’re in a funk. (And yes, it happens to even the most positive people from time to time.)
It’s hard to make healthy choices if you’re feeling blah. However, if you go for a walk, pop in an exercise video, or grab a nutritious meal, it’s almost guaranteed that you will feel better. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself even when you know all this is true. That’s when you need your accountability partner to give you a pep talk or a figurative kick in the backside. It’s important for all of us to have someone to keep us on track. (And don’t forget, you can be that someone to another person as well.)
You’ve done so well for the last month, but the weight isn’t coming off.
There are many factors why our bodies hold onto the weight. That doesn’t mean we should give up on our journey to fitness. We may need to eat more often, up the intensity of our cardio, increase the weights, try a new activity, or . . . we may need to be patient with ourselves and keep at it. Don’t forget that weight loss is only one of the many benefits of eating well and exercising regularly. List those positive changes you’ve noticed and try not to focus exclusively on the weight.
You get sick and fall off the fitness wagon.
Even extremely healthy people succumb to illness from time to time. And it’s okay to give yourself a break so your body can fight whatever bug has invaded your system. If healthy living isn’t a firmly established habit, it may be difficult to get back at it when you feel better.
Here are a few pointers to get you back on track:
- start slow; don’t try to jump right back in where you were before you got sick;
- prepare a written plan for each day until it becomes second nature to eat well and get active for at least 30 minutes per day;
- get extra sleep as needed;
- be patient with yourself.
You’re bombarded with unpleasant evidence that you’re a woman “of a certain age.”
This time of transition is much harder for some women than others—both physically and emotionally. It’s an especially important time to stay positive. Find an activity you actually enjoy. It will be much easier to stick with it. Find healthy foods you enjoy eating. If water is not your thing, find caffeine-free herbal teas that tickle your taste buds. (Just be careful. Even herbs can have contraindications with other foods and some meds.) And remember . . . healthy habits increase the likelihood that you will deal with challenges more easily and with a more positive attitude.
Check out other articles by Stephanie Nickel
Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer.