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How To Get Your Weight Loss Back On Track After A Tragedy

How To Get Your Weight Loss Back On Track After A Tragedy

Weight loss doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes, life gets in the way of those plans and you have to madly dodge some curveballs. And sometimes, making healthy choices can be the easiest thing to fall by the wayside when we’re struggling. If you’re dealing with a death in the family, or losing your job, or a relationship break-up, or any kind of serious emotional trauma, eating well and getting regular exercise can (understandably) get a major demotion on your list of top priorities. So how do you get back on track when the going gets tough, or when you simply fall off the weight loss wagon for a while, for whatever reason?

First of all, it’s important to remember that living a healthy life isn’t something you do out of vanity – OK, you might want to look great in a figure-hugging dress or feel buff at the beach, but there are many more things a healthy lifestyle can offer you. So don’t feel guilty about treating yourself with care, and don’t feel like it’s a waste of time. Healthy living is about mind as much as body – the two are inextricably linked. Striving to achieve good health is just about looking after yourself.

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So if you’re facing some challenges in the midst of your healthy living journey, here are some strategies to help you gather yourself and get back on track instead of crawling into bed with a lifetime supply of Dairy Milk …

Give yourself a deadline

Whatever you’re going through and whatever healthy living setbacks you’ve experienced as a consequence, you can only let yourself feel crappy for so long. Take some time out to feel sorry for yourself, but give yourself a deadline – after that point, it’s time to start getting things back on track and returning to your normal healthy living habits.

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Ask for help

If you’re really struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, family, Facebook groups and forums – reach out, tell people what you’re thinking and feeling and see what advice they’ve got to offer. Sometimes, a little outside perspective is all we need to make us realise what we’ve been missing, or doing wrong; and talking about your problems can make you see them in a new light. If you keep stewing over something or telling yourself you’ve failed and you’ll never lose the weight you want to, you might end up believing it – tell someone else these same things, and they can help you reframe your negative thoughts.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s actually a sign of strength. It shows that you know what your limitations are and you want to achieve what you set out to do in the first place.

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Engineer your environment

There are some things in life that we just have to do, because we don’t have a choice. I wanted to speak at my mum’s funeral, and I wanted to do it without a script – so I didn’t prepare one. I gave myself no choice. And I did it!

What this shows is that engineering your environment to give yourself no choices can give you the results you want. Sometimes, if we have choices, it’s easy to pick the easy one that’s bad for us – like takeout versus a home-cooked healthy dinner. Achieving the healthy lifestyle you want is about creating an environment for yourself where there are no unhealthy choices – then you always have to make the best choice for your body and your mind. Eventually, you won’t need to do this because making those healthy choices will just come naturally to you.

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Here’s another example: studies show that if people don’t go down the junk food aisle at the supermarket, they don’t buy junk food. What does that tell you? Remove the bad choices, and you’re left with the good ones. And the more you make those good choices, the more engrained they’ll become – the more you’ll actually want to make them.

So whatever’s happened to throw you off the weight loss track, remember that it’s only temporary. Take some time out, and then jump right back in and get moving again towards becoming the healthiest version of yourself you can be.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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