The title of this post is a bit deceptive. I don’t think there are tracks where one way you are living a healthy life and one way you aren’t. I don’t think there is a wagon to fall off of or get back on. I think that your whole life and ways of eating all are relevant to being healthy. You should be able to take off a few days and try new things and enjoy them without feeling guilty as a means of being a balanced healthy person.
That being said, I do think that sometimes we deviate from our normal way or eating for experiences (like a freaking awesome road trip of culinary delights!) and then need to get back to our normal eating patterns. My normal way of eating involves not eating sugar on most days, not eating fried foods, not eating fast foods, and eating more veggies and fruits. This is not how I’ve been eating on the road trip, so I find a need to get back to it now even though we have a week of roadtripping left.
I have my own methods for when I need to return to my normal eating habits after taking a break: drink water, tell myself I’m doing it no matter what, eat a salad or vegetarian meal for one meal a day, and stop eating sugar. No sugar is a very important one for me because sugar affects my body and mind negatively and makes me want to eat more of everything.
On Twitter and Facebook I asked for people’s best tips of how to get back on track. Here are some of the answers for how to get back on track with healthy living:
- bellablogger: My best advice for getting back on track is to fill the house with good, healthy food. Having food ready & waiting is a key for me.
- seattlerungirl: Best tips for getting back on track: immediately get back to gym, treat it like I’m a newbie, make it as fun as possible!
- diana_ramos: Starting slowly is the best way, I think. Also, try to not get into the diet mentality just because you made some “damage”.
- MostlyHealthyMJ: Water, Water, Water … gotta get rid of that retention! Also, a salad a day, no sugar, unprocessed food :) You know the drill
- healthyeveryday: Start the day with water. Have some with you at all times.
- zimfroi: Personally, the only way I know to do it is to resolve in my mind that I will, and then just do it.
- itrytotri : Try something healthy you’ve never had before. That often boosts my healthy eating.
- Hope_Tweet: Just do it. Make a goal to get some exercise in, whether it be 3-5 times, and incorporate tons of fresh fruits and veggies!
- KCLAnderson: Take a deep breath, close your eyes and be quiet. Hear what your body says about what it wants.
- debalvarado: Water! And lots of it!
- tidbits_of_tara: Best advice? Stand in front of mirror, look self in eyes, tell self you’re worth it, move. Repeat.
- foodiemcbody: Take it slowly, not all at once. Start with one small thing like a walk, adding more fresh fruits/veggies. Add, don’t subtract.
- CindyRecruiter: Just do it! Get a good workout in and fuel properly. Let go of the past.
- Sandy Brower-Hart: I like to read motivating weight-loss / get healthy stories, and looking at weight-loss before and after pics.
- Kirsten Shaw: Looking at photos of the good, bad, and ugly.
- K.t. Hicks: I like to build up a new cardio playlist for my ipod and get the heart MOVING…
- Josie Nance Maurer: I usually ask for a face slap to jolt me into action.
- Cynthia Crowsen: Meal plans and exercise on the calendar. Just making it my life again. – Try new recipes…it will make your taste buds feel like you are still eating different stuff out but it is healthy. – Get your partner involved in fitness…there are great websites for things to do together with weights and cardio. – Up your water to get out all the sodium you’ve ingested. – Allow yourself room for a small “treat” at the end of the day so you don’t feel deprived. – Record what you are eating so you can see your good progress. – Set easy goals and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t perfect the first week back (or ever).
A lot of their advice is pretty much the same as mine!
It’s almost universal to just drink more water and make yourself do it. Like when you first started a healthy lifestyle, it probably didn’t come easily. You might have had to drag yourself to the gym. The same thing may happen when you are “trying to get back on track” after an intentional or unintentional detour – you don’t want to initially but you have to force yourself to do it at first. So make the commitment and just do it!
I also like the idea of looking at motivating weight-loss stories. That’s a huge draw to blogs for me. When I’m looking for motivation their is plenty of it to find online in the many, many weight loss success stories.
And now I’m off to go visit friends in Nashville and to follow my own advice about getting back to my normal healthy setting (yes, I believe the healthy me is the normal base setting, not the unhealthy habits version). If you’d like to give me some encouragement (I’d love it!) or just share your thoughts on the topic leave a comment below or on my facebook page (please like my facebook page…almost 300 fans!).
How do you get back on track with your healthy lifestyle?
Jody - Fit at 52 says
Great stuff Mary! Me, I just get back to basics! I only have healthier options in the house so that is not a prob…. if I get off track, I am usually off & about somewhere else. I get right back to my healthy mini meals, drink my water, exercise & just my normal routine. I usually get back to it right way. If I have put on more than I prefer, I may up the intensity of the workouts and/or eat a bit cleaner for a couple days but it all depends. Most important is just get back to it! :-)
Enjoy your trip!
Yeah, the only time most of us get off track is when we aren’t in our own homes! I think that’s pretty common because we have control over what we have around us at home but once we leave that we lose the control. But we have another week to go so we aren’t exactly getting back on track immediately, but I’m going to try harder this week. ;)
I really like your blog and sensible approach to food, life and dieting. I’m curious if you could share how you lost the weight? I am similar to you with the sugar and I am interested if you cut it out to lose the weight? I have an almost uncontrollable urge to eat sweet stuff, but find it really hard to stop once I start. It’s annoying! Anyway, thanks for your posts, glad you had a great trip :-)
Hey Emma! Well I’ve lost 40 lbs so far and it’s been with sugar. I only within the last month and few pounds decided to stop eating sugar as much. I have a feeling though that it’s the secret for me continuing, because I too have trouble with eating sweet things and stopping! What has been working for me (beyond the road trip craziness) is not eating sugar during the week and just allowing a tiny bit on the weekend if I want (or not).
My healthy life has to start with getting my brain in order. I have a hard time concentrating on anything when I am depressed or otherwise a mess.
Everything follows the mind, so getting yourself mentally settled is the best thing to do for sure.
It is all stuff that we know but we forget or get lazy… thanks for the reminder.
Yum Yucky says
Mary, I think it’s great that you’re traveling. You’re young and carefree! Enjoy! (I shall face-slap you when I see you. Promise.)
Great advice – those are all super ways to stay on track and to remember WHY we do what we do. It’s worth it.
Hi Mary. I hope you’re having a great road trip. First time commenting, I just had one question. You wrote:
“My normal way of eating involves not eating sugar on most days, not eating fried foods, not eating fast foods, and eating more veggies and fruits. This is not how I’ve been eating on the road trip, so I find a need to get back to it now even though we have a week of roadtripping left.”
I’m confused. Just a week ago, you wrote:
“There are a lot of things I normally wouldn’t eat that I’m going to eat while I’m traveling across the US with my boyfriend. And I’m going to enjoy them all. I won’t feel guilty and I won’t stop myself from eating them.”
It seems maybe you’re feeling a little conflicted. Originally you said you weren’t going to feel guilty about indulging, but it seems you ended up feeling guilty anyway. Maybe you can share what you’ve learned, and why you appear to have reversed your original commitment to “enjoy them all,” guilt-free? Is it not as simple as merely “deciding” not to feel guilty, but rather trying (and failing) to suppress guilt that we know we SHOULD be feeling, even though we don’t want to?
I hope it doesn’t end up being too much of a distraction from your trip, and I look forward to reading about how you resolve this inner conflict and seemingly inconsistent attitute toward food and your road trip.
Great post! I go shopping for healthy food, make a menu out for the week, exercise, drink lots of water and eat really clean!!!
The only times I feel it difficult to get back on track is when I’m feeling depressed, otherwise I don’t have a problem getting back to my daily exercise routine and diet. I would recommend an early morning jog to anyone that is having trouble getting back on track, it always helps carry me out of my slump!
I dont really have a “on track” but i tend to have to technically eat worse when i’m on a vacation or otherwise cant cook and have to eat out a lot. so i just go home and start eating home cooked meals and i’m all set again. :)
Good answer, Mary. One thing I have learned through my weight loss journey is understanding and recognizing my behavioral triggers such as when I am stressed I tend to eat crunchy things and when I feel down I tend to crave that sweets. I have now learned to redirect my thoughts and in a short time it will usually make me forget what I was craving. I also try not to buy foods in the store anymore that are going to tempt me when they are in the food pantry. Like you, I will be going on a vacation in a week or so and I am really going to have to be a good judge of food choices while at this all-inclusive resort… happy to post and if I can help, let me know. Blessings!
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