I had an interesting question from one of you yesterday about how to get back on track when you feel like things have gotten unhealthy. It is an interesting question because, for me, I find that I start to behave or feel like I am behaving unhealthily when my life has gotten out of control. And my advice for getting back on track and feeling in control again is just to stop for a minute. Seriously stop. Stop trying to fix it. Stop trying to cram in one more thing. Stop counting your calories. Stop counting your workouts. Just stop, breathe and reset.
Being healthy is an ongoing practice - similar to yoga. In yoga, we focus on where we are each moment, accept that moment with acknowledgement and not judgment, and move on. Keeping a constant eye on some goal, some point of perfection can be destructive in practice. A very, very wise friend once told me that ‘Perfect is the Enemy of Good’. What was that Yoda? Think about it … If you are striving to be perfect, every misstep, every backslide is a disaster. You have failed. You suck. Might as well pack it in and go find the cupcakes.
Silly, right? None of us are perfect…and we are not going to be perfect. And what would being perfect look like anyway? I do not think that a perfect, healthy person runs 10 miles a day and eats carrot sticks and egg whites at each meal. I imagine that the perfect, happy person laughs a lot. She eats ice cream on hot days. She enjoys a run with friends. She likes to make healthy, nourishing meals not because that is what she is supposed to do, but because that makes her feel good.
To me, that is healthy – living a happy, balanced life. And I do not think that that life is achieved by focusing on being perfect all the time…because a healthy life isn’t perfect, it is real. Is that too abstract?
My point, as vague as it may be, is this: When you are acting in a way that makes you feel unhealthy, just stop doing it. Do not dwell on it. Acknowledge that it happened – write it down if you want – and move on. Forgive yourself – you are just human. You are not perfect but you are doing a great job.
I also suggest getting back on track as quickly as possible. Press the reset button. Not the next day, not at the next meal, but at that moment. This does not mean lacing up your sneakers and running a million miles to burn off the bag of Cheetos you fell into. It does not mean lettuce with fat free dressing for dinner. It means picking yourself up and getting back into your normal, healthy routine. Make a nice, homemade dinner. Do whatever workout you have scheduled. You have a rest night scheduled, including drinks with friends? That’s okay too. Just forgive the past indiscretions and move on and keep living your (healthy, balanced, fun) life.