Getting off- track is hard. Really hard. It’s even harder when you get so off-track that it’s hard to figure out how to get back to where you were.
After an over-indulgent few days not only do you come away feeling sluggish and bloated, but there are also considerable mental effects as well. After working hard to reach your goals, it’s easy to feel like you’ve totally blown it in a few hours of weakness, and that sense of failure tends to trigger a negative feedback loop that can prove discouraging to regaining focus.
In those moments, however, the most important thing you can possibly do is to just stop thinking! Instead, do a few things:
DON’T WEIGH YOURSELF
This is so so critical! Most people’s first instinct after going a little crazy with late-night pizza is to wake up the next morning and march straight to the weighing scale to survey the damage.
If you’ve been indulging, especially in high-sodium or processed foods (as a lot of indulgent foods tend to be), the scale is undoubtedly going to go up, almost purely as a result of all the extra water your body retains in those situations.
The thing is that the scale will normalize, but seeing that temporarily inflated number adds an extra dose of guilt and panic that you just don’t need.
DRINK A TON OF WATER
Drinking a lot of water is always important, but it’s critically important when you’ve placed stress on your system. Though you might be stressed about feeling bloated, your jeans feeling a little snug, or the scale going up, your body is literally under stress when it has to go through the extra work of processing tough to digest food and drinks.
Staying extra hydrated gives your body a little boost of support in working through everything, and is a surefire way of alleviating some of the brain fog that sometimes follows heavy-duty eating and drinking.
This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon to burn off the extra calories you may have consumed! In fact, don’t. A whole bunch of cardio doesn’t actually “cancel out” things you’ve already eaten.
Just find some kind of movement that you can work into your schedule to boost your circulation and get your blood flowing. Movement is also a great way to clear your mind and refocus on your goals instead of staying stuck in a mental rut.
GET BACK TO NORMAL
This is, by far, the most important thing you can do for yourself! Don’t starve yourself, don’t do a juice cleanse, just go back to your usual plan of action. You might not feel back to normal immediately, but you absolutely will as your body recovers. The worst thing you can do is deplete your body of the vital nutrients it needs to naturally detoxify.
Think of it as having a cold or a cough- you would never punish your body for that! Instead, we tend to take a little extra care of ourselves so we can recover sooner. Same principal.
Always remember that these kinds of screw-ups can happen to anyone and it’s actually good, once in a while, to get knocked down. The more you get knocked down and learn to get back on track, the better you get at it, and the easier it is to see that these are tiny ups and downs. Remind yourself that it’s temporary, and in just a few days it’ll be a thing of the past.