Nearly everyone at some stage falls into a health, fitness and lifestyle rut. Life events and circumstances can easily get on top of us and before we know it we are carrying excess weight to the point that it negatively affects our health.
Our energy levels hit rock bottom. Our zest and drive for life can disappear and comfort eating becomes the most natural thing in the world. A 12 pack of fizzy drinks seems like a ‘great deal’ and wasting hours watching mundane tv. becomes the norm.
Half a stone of extra fat here and there is no big deal nor is doing little to no exercise- you can always get on top of it next month or next year. Things that add value to our lives such as meaningful relationships, personal hobbies, rewarding work, etc. can so easily become a chore that don’t seem like they are worth the effort and time just slips by.
The reality of it is, health, fitness and lifestyle ruts are absolutely horrible places to be and can rob the zest and drive from your life more than most things I know of.
But generally, we don’t just fall into ruts in one particular moment- we slip into them bit by bit through a sequence of small events that add to each other and create a monster. It’s the power of compounding growth at it’s worst.
And because ruts build over time, the habits that they are created from have plenty of time to get entrenched in us to the extent that they seem to be part of our personality and therefore impossible to shake free of- how can I break from these habits when I am these habits?
And understanding this is great except that we never really think about it until it is already after happening- ‘The horse has bolted from the stable, quick close the door!!!’
It’s a bit late for that!!
People completely under-estimate how hard it is to get out of a rut. With excessive weight gain they think ‘It’s only 3/4 of a stone, I’l drop it when work quietens down’. But that could be 3/4 of a stone on top of the 1/2 stone from last year which you’ve forgotten about or are just ignoring.
And how did you gain that weight- through habits that you have been nurturing for the past 12, 18 or 24 months. Those habits are entrenched and you won’t be able to simply flip a switch and turn them off. It’s going to take commitment and effort and those traits will have been powered down due to not being used in this context.
And how are you going to lose that weight. If you said through eating healthier and exercising then that’s greats ………BUT, that won’t be as easy as you think to get in to the habit of.
Old habits die hard. For example, if you haven’t been doing those things consistently due to being too busy, then it’s going to be a challenge for you now because chances are you’re probably not ‘less busy’ than you were this time last year. You are probably just as busy or even busier.
If you have children you probably have school runs, sports practice to drop them off at and pick them u0p from. Are you going to have to work around a travel schedule, work projects, family commitments, shift work.
You are going to have to ween yourself off so much processed food onto wholesome, nourishing real food which is a huge challenge in itself. You are going to have to change your mindset and be coachable enough to take on board new ideas that may seem alien to you now when compared too your current habits.
You are probably going to have hire a trainer to guide you and hold you accountable which you’ll either see as an investment in your health or an expense that you see no value in depending on your values and priorities.
You are going to have to say no to requests to stay on late at work because you have a gym session booked and turn down invites from friends to party every weekend.
You are going to have have to develop a different set of personal values and beliefs than those you held previously because the old ones haven’t served you.
Do you get the point I am trying to make? Getting out of a rut is in no way easy to do yet people think they will just smash themselves up in the gym Mondays and Thursday for an hour and do a complete u-turn on the foods and lifestyle they have been engrossed in for the past 1, 5 or 10m years.
‘Sure it’s not that big of a deal’……… until the reality sets in and they actually have to do the work. And unfortunately, that’s when most people lose motivation, excuses and self-doubt start appearing and it’s easier to blame work, your coach, other people, etc. than it is to accept responsibility for yourself and dig deep so you can keep moving forward and get out of the rut as you promised yourself.
The best tactic is to never let yourself slip too far so that you never have to far to climb back out. But if it’s too late for that, the your next tactic is to fully appreciate and accept your current situation, understand the journey ahead and what challenges to expect and commit to manageable changes that you can build on.
I believe that being aware of your current situation is half the battle, and having a true commitment to changing it, backed up with consistent action, is the other half.
If you are currently in a bad rut then, like it or not, thats where you are. Not accepting it is the worst thing you can do. Make the decision to get out of it but never, never under-estimate the challenge of it.
And always remember, we all need challenge every now and then.
Post any comments you have below and stay healthy.