Getting Back on the Wagon

Am I the only one who finds summertime to be a difficult time for health, and fitness, and eating well?  I mean, it would seem to be the opposite because the weather is (mostly) beautiful and there is tons of fresh food in season.  I guess even though I haven’t been in school for a while I still get into a vacation mindset and just get a bit more relaxed with my choices.
Yesterday the Healthy Home Economist had a post that was food focused and talked about the difference between an occasional indulgence and completely falling off the clean eating wagon.  It was brilliant.  Spot on.  And it kind of hit home for me.
Because of my ankle woes I have been (literally and figuratively) off my pins this summer.  My routine is wrecked, my workouts have had to change drastically, and it’s taken a bit of a toll on my attitude.  I think about this ankle everyday, all day long.  I want it to heal, and I want it to heal NOW.   I did get some good news when I went to the doctor’s office not long ago, but just because it’s on its way to recovery doesn’t mean it’s recovered.  I started seeing a physical therapist (Steve rocks!  I hope to write more about him soon.) and I’ve had one session so far where he was very honest about the fact that I have a LOT of work to do.  I’m on the right track, but the road is going to be long and difficult.
Fitness and food are my life and my job.  I can’t help but feel a bit thrown for a loop and upset.  I admit to wallowing a bit and I also admit to not having the cleanest diet lately.  What I have been telling myself is that I’m having the occasional indulgence, but after reading yesterday’s article, I realize I’m probably headed down the food bender road.  Not good.
So, what does a holistic health coach do when she’s recognized that the summertime vacation attitude plus the ankle self-pity party has added up to going on a binge and falling off the rails a bit?  She takes total control of the situation by recognizing what threw her off the straight and narrow and fixes it.
First order of business, I have to change my attitude about my ankle.  Yes, it’s a bummer.  Yes, it’s inconvenient.  Yes, it’s impinging on my lifestyle.  But instead of focusing on what I can’t do and how rotten I feel about it, I’m going to focus on what I can do and start kicking this up a bit in spite of my ankle.  I am feeling really confident in the pool these days, and I am going to continue to work on improving.  I’m extremely pleased with how strong I feel after a month.
I’m also going back to CrossFit this week.  I’ll have to modify and scale things to work around my injury, but so be it.  I’ve been afraid to go back and I can’t live like that.  Tonight, I’m headed back to the box.
My second order of business is getting my eating under control.  I’m not completely off the wagon, but I’m definitely hanging off the wagon and letting myself drag on the ground more than I should.
Luckily, I’ve been given a terrific resource for helping me to get back ON the wagon.  Did you catch my review of Practical Paleo?  I went on and on about how it’s THE book for getting your eating back in line and so I’m taking advantage of it.  I started following one of the 30-day meal plans from the book. Check out my breakfast:
That’s my version of the Swirly Crustless Quiche.  I omitted the swirls and opted for a standard “entropy” pattern, but it still tastes delicious.  😉
Today’s lunch is mustard glazed chicken thighs with a green salad.  After my Tuesday swim, Dude and I are having lunch together to eat a few of these babies along with some tossed greens.

I can’t quite say that this is going to be a Julie/Julia Project style cook through of Practical Paleo or even one of those blogs where each meal is photographed, but I do plan to keep you up to date with what I’m making and eating for the next month.
In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with some tips and hints for getting yourself back on track if you’ve fallen off course.

  • Stop, look, listen — Take the time to step away from the frenetic life we all have and take a long hard look at what is going on with you.  Are you happy?  Do you feel well?  Do you consider yourself to be healthy?  Are you doing everything you can do to live your most healthy life? Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.  It is essential that we take the time to look for the mental and physical cues our bodies are giving us to show us that we’re not on track.
  • Be honest with yourself — If you know that something is bothering you, don’t hide it or lie to yourself about it.  Face it.  It’s hard to admit our shortcomings, even to ourselves, but we won’t get anywhere if we pretend they don’t exist.
  • Identify the core issues — When you’re honest with yourself about what is going on, you can strip away all the drama and hurt feelings to uncover the real issues that are at the root of the problem.  For me, my ankle whining and my lazy summer attitude have put me in a spot that I don’t like very much.  I can say it’s a hundred different things, but these two things are the sources of my problems right now.
  • Form a plan — Because what’s the point of knowing what the problem is without having a plan to solve it?  It’s going to be a daily struggle to change my attitude about my ankle, but each day I am going to work on something that will make it stronger, plus I’m going to let it heal in its own time.
  • Be accountable — Tell your partner, a friend, a co-worker, or your health coach what you’re doing and check in with him or her regularly.  I plan on staying in touch with all of you and updating you with how things are going.  I hope you’ll hold my feet to the fire!

Now it’s your turn.  What has you down and off track?  Has a simple indulgence turned into a wagon fall-off of epic proportions?  What is your plan to get back on it?  Share with me in the comments or on Facebook.

6 Comments

  1. Kelly
    August 14, 2012 10:13 am

    Great post Jill! Really hits home for me too and my pity party over my back!

    • Jill
      August 14, 2012 10:23 am

      We might not be able to do everything we want to do, or everything we used to do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do SOMETHING, Kells!

  2. LizziMac
    August 14, 2012 11:05 am

    I read that article you posted yesterday and it really helped me out. You know how I fell off the wagon (hard) (and then was dragged behind it for a couple miles), and I’ve since gotten back on track. It can be really challenging to redirect your trajectory, but it is worth it.
    I try to remind myself there is a time and place for wallowing (sometimes we just need to let ourselves throw a tantrum), but eventually one must put an end to it. It always helps me to remember how much BETTER I feel holistically when all of my ducks are in a row. And then getting my sleep, exercise, food, activities, etc in check happens and I FEEL BETTER. That and falling off the wagon doesn’t mean someone is weak, simply human. Just have to dust yourself off and jump back on.

    • Jill
      August 14, 2012 2:09 pm

      So true, Liz. Sometimes it is so important to remember how good it feels to eat well, sleep enough (something I struggle with!), and work hard. 🙂

  3. Hope
    August 14, 2012 12:43 pm

    This post is doing for me what the healthy home economist did for you. Have been knowing that I need to get back on the wagon, and this just inspired me even more. Have realized that the core of my issues with staying on the wagon is from previous emotional damage. Going to be blogging more to help me through this and keep me accountable. Thank you!
    http://www.tumblr.com/blog/hopesicle

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