So you got off track, now what?
My March has not been the best training month for me. I took some time off for extreme soreness in my knee and missed a couple days due to sickness. To be completely upfront, I haven’t really eaten that well this month either… My training calendar looks a lot like my college math homework. It has scribbles, checkmarks and big Xs all over it… There have been days when I look back at February and wonder how and why everything just seemed to go just “perfect” for me…
The difficulties have been a big wake up call, which is good.
1. It’s been a real challenge. I have always said that I would rather fail big than succeed small. I have gone big and tripped several times. This is good. It has made me refocus on my goals and daily actions to be sure everything is lined up properly. I have had to go back to some of the details and make sure I’m taking the little things seriously and getting them done.
2. I have been reminded of why I have lost all my weight and it’s given me a renewed vision for the future. I looked back at my journals and my number one key to my weight loss success was getting back on track. I told myself I would never have two bad days in a row. Essentially this gave me a “free pass” to keep my head high after I ate bad or ate too much and I could look forward instead of back. If I overate one day, I shrugged it off and moved on. There was no dwelling over what I couldn’t change. I have treated my March training with the same attitude. Missed a workout/run? Yesterday is gone and I can’t change it. Work my schedule today and get a “star”. More stars than Xs mean I succeeded.
3. Don’t try to get it all back at once. On the days I missed, I went back to my schedule. I didn’t try to change my original plan. This has been big for me. I had a “rest/recovery” day after a missed long run day. I fought everything I had not to run on that Monday… I told myself I would lose my “star” if I ran and just use the day to get back on track. I accomplished my goal for the day of rest and earned my “star”, I felt a sense of accomplishment that carried me through a tough run the next day. Next thing I knew I back on track two days in a row instead of one. I have ran a couple extra miles here and there to regain some of my miles, but I haven’t tried to squeeze in an extra run/workout. What a great reminder to me to trust in myself and my plan. I may have strayed off course a couple times, but I found my way back instead or falling further off track.
4. I have gotten back on track with my portion control. My biggest weakness right now is the runner’s eating curse. I’m running over 150 miles a month so I should be able to eat everything in sight, right? Not so much… Peanut Butter has been a weakness of mine for about a year now. I have switched to a healthier version with no added ingredients. It has helped, but I was still going through at least 1 (and sometimes 2) big containers a week. Ever look at yourself and wonder why you aren’t making progress? Look at your food, it’s a good indicator. Solution, portion control my container. I bought a small container and what it holds is my weekly allotment. Once it’s gone, NO MORE!!! Since I switched to a smaller jar, I have thought twice, three, four times before I dip my spoon in for a taste. So far, I have stuck to my jar a week and not only do I have a sense of accomplishment on Sunday evening, I can see a big difference in the mirror. It doesn’t take long to get off track and you can get back on just as fast if you take action now, not “on Monday”.
I know a lot of people that have gotten “off track” lately. How do I know? I have talked to several people in the last 6 weeks about how they have struggled. They ask how I stay so disciplined. This is how. I’m not special or unique. This is my simple plan to keep myself on track and moving forward. It does us zero good to focus on how bad yesterday was… Do you know how many times I’ve eaten 5-6,000 calories in a day in the past year? Too many… But, I’m back on track the next day. I know I can’t get all those calories back in one day so I focus on getting them back over the next week. I find myself in a groove and I have not only reduced to get them back, but I have gone an extra 5 days in a row eating good. Then I don’t want to screw up my positive results so I go another 5 days. Positive momentum breeds more positive action. Only problem, negative momentum follows the same path…
Exercise works the exact same way. Do you know when I started going to the gym, I would oversleep and drive to the rec center to sit in my car for 10 minutes and then drive home? Sounds dumb huh? A waste of time? Maybe. But don’t overlook the habit. I soon found I would go to workout for 10 minutes. Then I noticed I would wake up a little earlier and would get there on time. Next thing I knew, with little to no extra effort, I was on a regular schedule of going to the rec center every day, Monday through Friday without missing a day and without being late.
My “silly” routine of getting out of bed and physically making myself drive across town at 6:30 in the morning didn’t seem so silly anymore. I broke a habit of over sleeping and replaced it with a positive habit of daily exercise. This is when I hit my stride. I had discovered the “secret” of daily discipline. The little things matter. The small wins and loses you accumulate everyday will soon make a difference. What is the best part? YOU and YOU alone have the power to move in a positive direction. YOU get to make the small changes and you now know you don’t have to make a thousand changes all at once to make a positive difference in your life. One day at a time. One meal at a time. One workout at a time. And truly One Step at a Time, you will make a positive difference in your own life if you focus on the positive steps you can take NOW! You can’t worry about the steps you missed yesterday or the steps you hope to take tomorrow.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”