“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement.
One fails forward toward success.” –C.S. Lewis
When one slip-up turns into a week of being “off plan,” it
is easy to feel out of control or disappointed and become discouraged.
Take heart! Everyone experiences blunders at some point or another in
his or her weight loss journey. Below are five steps for getting back
on track after going off plan.
1. Make an appointment with your coach.
Losing weight and reaching your health goals is hard work. Our coaches
know that and understand that going off plan happens. Don’t be afraid
to have an open conversation with your coach about the challenges you
are facing or examples where you went off plan. The worst thing you can
do after going off plan is cancel your coaching appointment or avoid making
another appointment out of fear or embarrassment. There is no better time
than after going off plan to make a coaching appointment. Ultimately,
we want to help you recognize and incorporate habits that work for your
life in order for you to sustain and manage your weight loss long-term.
2. Write it down.
Be specific! Note the first example of when you went off plan. List where
you were, what you did, and how you were feeling. Continue to note as
many examples that you can remember of going off plan. After compiling
your list, look for any patterns. Did you mostly feel anxious when you
went off plan? Had you just finished going on your evening walk when you
went off plan? These are all things to look for when identifying certain
situations where you are more prone to go off plan. If you cannot recognize
any patterns, take this list to your coach and discuss it with them. Perhaps
an outside perspective can help you sort out situations or feelings you
cannot recognize alone. The more you learn about what situations work
and do not work to help you reach your goals, the better prepared you
are moving forward.
3. Change the way you think about it.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure
is not fatal.” Rather than thinking of certain days as “failures,”
replace this language with “learning experience.” Don’t
go off-plan at breakfast and then consider the rest of the day a free
for all. Start over again at your mid-morning snack and focus on the things
you are doing well. Black and white thinking can result in you sabotaging
your own weight loss efforts. Don’t let one slip-up snowball into
an entire day or month off plan.
4. Find a Reminder
After going off plan, try writing down or remembering why it was you started
your weight loss journey. Did you join Profile to get off of certain medications?
Did you join in order to have more energy to be active and play with your
kids? Consider writing the reason(s) down somewhere where you can see
it everyday, such as your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator. Sometimes
just being reminded of why we created health goals in the first place
is enough to get us back on track. If you can’t remember your reason,
draw on past experiences of success. Perhaps you have lost weight before
successfully or maybe your past success was your ability to graduate college
or start your own business. Certainly, you can think of an example in
the past where you were capable and determined. Use this example to propel
you forward in your weight loss efforts.
5. Stay Positive
It is easy to feel angry or frustrated at yourself for going off plan.
While these feelings are understandable, they also might stand in the
way of you getting back into routine. Acknowledge your frustrations and
then let them go. Try talking to yourself as you would talk to a friend.
If your friend was trying to lose weight and went off plan, you probably
wouldn’t say to them: “You are a failure and you will never
get to your goal weight.” Why should you say those things to yourself?
Instead, talk kindly to yourself: “It is human to slip up here and
there when making a huge lifestyle change. I am doing the right thing
by taking control of my health and I will get back on track in no time.”
Don’t let you stand in your own way.