4 Ways to "Get Back on Track"
I go through seasons where other things are more important than tracking my food intake or working out six days a week.
In fact, certain things will always be more important than these.
My jeans always seem to know when I've enjoyed one too many movie nights with a huge bowl of coconut oil popcorn and sea salt on my lap. Worth it? Absolutely. But it's also valuable to me to feel healthy. For me feeling healthy is mental clarity, good energy, little to no bloating, good workouts, positive mood, low inflammation (not super puffy), and yeah, fitting into my jeans.
In my past when I've "fallen off the tracks?" This is typically how I'd respond? Restrict, then finally binge after my self control ran out, feel guilty, and start the cycle all over again. Restrict, binge, guilt, repeat. Does that sound like a familiar ride?
Now I like to think of it more like experiencing seasons than falling off the tracks. Mom's bodies go through tons of change. As moms we also travel through different seasons in lightning speed and are expected to not only make it through alive but navigate them well!
So what's a mom like me to do? Instead of my old guilt trip binge cycle strategy these are the four ways I like to dial things in, keep learning about my body, and have fun along the way even if my reality is a muffin top over my undies. As an active athlete, these steps help me continue to improve my performance and gauge what's working and what's not.
4 ways to get back on track
1.) Take progress pictures.
Pictures don’t lie. Taking a picture more than a number on the scale can give you a better snap shot of body composition than weight can. My fave part about taking pictures is that I become my own standard. I’m not trying to compare my body shape or genetics with anyone else other than how I am designed. A picture can show results more often than the scale since so much goes into body weight like body muscle to weight, hormones and hydration. #traininyourlane
2.) Start a food journal.
I have a hate/love relationship with this one. But tracking with what foods you eat helps identify trends and makes it less likely to mindlessly eat. It can be as simple as keeping a pen and notepad nearby to write down everything you eat to downloading a free and easy food tracking app like MyFitness Pal. Periodically I track my food to get a gauge at how much I'm consuming and to make sure I'm hitting the right protein range for how active I am.
3.) Know your numbers.
Again, hate/love relationship. Knowing your numbers does not just mean knowing how much you weight. I’m much more interested in body composition (how much muscle verses fat I have). InBody has a great body scan that gives you all this detailed information about body composition and body strength and takes less than one minute. You can search for InBody scans in your area to find a location that conducts testing. If you’re local go see my friends at Maple Grove Nutrishop for a FREE inBody scan! Knowing your muscle, hydration level, and body fat can give you a good indicator of what you need to tweak in diet or training if you're looking for different results.
Other important health numbers are things like blood pressure, BMR (basal metabolic rate, or how many calories your body consumes at rest per day), blood sugar (fasting glucose test), hours of sleep per night (an average of eight is ideal for most). These are all indicators of overall health and if in check, ideal body composition will more easily follow.
I would argue this is the most important strategy of all. It's easy to feel downright discouraged to not fit in my jeans! Ensuring my mindset is right is as important as not eating fifty Oreos per day.
For me this looks like reading a part of my Bible or encouraging reading every day, spending time in prayer even if that's while I'm on the run, prioritizing time with family and uplifting friends, practicing breathing deep, being grateful, and taking time to just stop and smell the roses. Results follow faith. Faith cannot operate in fear. (Fear of never losing weight. Fear of binging. Fear of rejection. Fear of what other's think. Fear of gaining weight.)
Here's the truth:
My identity is in the fact that I’m a child of God. My worth is in His love and sacrifice for me. I am more than enough, more than a conqueror, and my jean size does NOT define who I am. This is simply a body I get to steward and fuel to be strong and able to live life WELL.
If you are striving to “get back on track” while stressing out you will only derail further.
Enjoy the ride!