I believe that taking time out from your regular routine is good for the mind, body and soul, but knowing how to get back on track with losing weight after having time off can stop you from feeling like you are stuck in a rut.
We are not machines and no one can be completely ‘on it’ at all times, and your weight loss journey is never going to be linear.
Having a break mentally and physically gives you a break from your thoughts, allowing you to be completely immersed in the moment, to be present and connect with others. It also allows your body to reset and relax for a little too.
That’s why going on holiday often feels so good. As you slide your feet into the sand with a cocktail in hand it feels like an immense relief of knowing, that at that moment, nothing else matters. You can stop the thoughts from flying around your head for just one moment and totally be where you are at.
I have just got back from a week back in the UK visiting friends and family, it certainly wasn’t about having my feet in soft white sands, instead, I was realising just how scary rollercoasters are as you get older.
The adrenaline junky in me used to thrive on this, but this time I was actually scared for my life.
But the week out still allowed me to shut my laptop and didn’t open it once, only checking emails on my phone. I spent my time being in the moment. I haven’t worked out and have completely relaxed my diet giving myself full permission to indulge in all of the foods that I miss from back home.
I have come back feeling like my brain has had a rest, I’m experiencing surges of ideas and the inspiration seems to be just flowing once again.
Wayne Dyer talks about getting in the gaps between thoughts during meditations. I like to think of your time out, moments of being present as being gaps in the regular routine, the never-ending thoughts and actually where you find the space to go on to take bigger steps forward.
I have not gained any weight during my week off, though I am feeling a little softer and a lot more sluggish as I indulged in a fair amount of fried foods. My sleep was severely disrupted, I don’t think I slept well all week so I now feel I’m catching up with it.
This means I now feel excited to introduce some routine once again, both for work, writing, eating and exercising.
Coming back to things after a little break can often feel a little overwhelming and so here are some simple steps I use to get back into a space of alignment with my goals, whilst staying out of overwhelm.
1. Practice Self-Compassion
We tend to expect a lot from ourselves. As someone who has big life goals I want to go after, we can often be pretty hard on ourselves especially when we take time out and don’t feel like we are continually moving forward.
Yet, I believe that time out is not only essential to your progress, but it’s also a huge part of what it really means to live your best life. All work and no play makes for a pretty miserable life in my opinion.
Being overly hard adds stress and sucks out the joy from your life.
Whilst you may believe that being hard on yourself will motivate you to work harder, the research suggests otherwise.
Being non-judgemental about taking time out because self-criticism is the thing that increases stress, a key cause in emotional eating and can make your feel stuck.
- feel more satisfied with life
- more easily bounce back from adversity
- have greater levels of personal growth
- body appreciation
- lower levels of anxiety and fear of failure
- improvement in motivation
- Reduce emotional eating
Self-compassion is the starting block that can help you to boost self-esteem. It can help you better regulate your emotions, and better manage stress so that you can get back to doing the things that make you feel good. Such as moving more, eating better and feeling more productive at work.
ACTION STEP — Be mindful about what you are doing, this isn’t just about ignoring what’s happened, and giving yourself the free pass ever time you do it. But just giving yourself a break and not giving yourself a hard time for having time out or a one-off.
So for example; I realise that I ate what I wanted, but I also realise it didn’t make me feel great either. Having this mindful approach allows me to look forward to wanting to eat better to feel better instead of beating myself up about it.
2. Start With Simplicity
As you start to come back to your routine, keep it stupid simple. Ask yourself what are the things that you know help you the most and that are easy to implement?
Start with those things first and work towards coming back to being consistent with them.
The habits that I always start back with first are.
- Hydration — Simply drink more water and make sure your body is fully hydrated. Hydration helps with so many bodily functions including managing energy levels, so make sure you are getting enough.
- Movement — Movement doesn’t have to mean a full on workout, it can simply be a walk. Come back to moving your body in ways that feel good to you.
- Sleep — Get back to regular sleep and wake times, aiming for 7–9 hours a night.
- Breathwork — Whilst you want to get back up and go, practising breathwork can keep you grounded in taking your time and managing stress levels.
- Morning routine — Start your day in a way that gets the most out of each day. Morning routines can look different for everyone, it’s about finding the one that works for you.
I talk about these in depth in the article below, or you can CLICK HERE and join my mailing list where I will walk you through implementing these steps one day at a time.
I always find that once these 5 elements are in place first, then everything else beings to fall back into place.
3. The Intention Behind Your Why
I actually don’t really believe in the term being ‘on or off track’ anymore. I talk about it in these terms as I think it’s what most people can relate to.
The reality is that there is no on or off, it’s all just the natural ebbs and flows of life. It’s normal and it’s ok to waver off the rigidity of life.
This step is really an extension of step 1, showing yourself compassion and considering what is your reason you want to get back on track.
If it’s to reprimand yourself for being bad, then you will likely continue to stay stuck in the cycle of punishment and then fall off track again and again.
But if you place a more positive intention behind your reasoning, you will be more likely to stay the course and actually allow yourself to feel good in the process.
Ask yourself: Why do you want to get back on track??
For the example I used earlier, I want to eat better, because feeling good, feels good.
When I’m eating better, moving more, sleeping better and managing my stress levels. Everything else in life feels better too.
I am more creative, more productive, I have the energy to go out and do more fun things, I become more resilient to life stresses.
This allows me to look forward to healthy and positive choices instead of seeing them as punishment.
Let me know if you try these steps if you have recently taken some time out.
Do you have any practices of your own that help you come back to your own routine?
If you are looking for true transformation for your own health and mindset, you can start here by joining my mailing list and accessing my 5 Day Fix challenge. 5 Simple fixes to help you get started on a sustainable health journey.