I really need your advice. My mother passed away 3 months ago and since then I have let my health slide. I have put on 20lbs and I am miserable. I used to go to the gym 3 days a week and also I went for long walks at least 2 times a week. Now I lack all motivation, and cannot even begin to get back on track. I admit that I am eating fast food and snacking on chips and ice-cream every single day. How can I get my old life back? My heart is heavy with grief but I feel worse when I eat bad and sit around in a dark cloud. Any advice would be welcome!
Hello Heather. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved Mother. I can only imagine how hard this has been on you. We all grieve in our own way, and now that you have accepted this awful fate, you must decide in which direction you will go.
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, there will be obstacles and challenges. An injury, illness, or in your case a death in the family can leave you feeling overwhelmed. The first thing that people in such situations usually do is to cut out that which helps them cope the most- exercise and eating healthy. Due to a lack of motivation, and discouragement, few have any idea how to get back on track. I have a few suggestions…
As long as you are taking steps, even baby steps, you are moving in the right direction. Start by choosing a new goal, one that is attainable (ie. losing 1-2 lbs a week, not 10). You must be able to measure and manage this goal or you won’t be motivated to attain it. Maybe your first goal, Heather, could be to lace up those sneakers and set out for a nice long walk. It would be good for you to think and reflect on the present moment. Perhaps this week you could also decide to cut out one “bad” food that is not contributing to your health goals. Do these things for the right reasons. In other words, do them because you want to, NOT because someone else wants you to, or because you think that is what you should do.
Create a Vision Board. Gather magazines, books, or other resources, clipping out anything that inpires you, whether that be quotations or photographs, and pin them up on the board. Seeing this material on a daily basis can act to remind you why you are pursuing specific goals.
Watch a motivational video. I am always watching clips of my favourite bodybuilders and figure competitors training to get me jacked up to go to the gym. I visualize them while I am there. Then I pose in the mirror and visualize my perfect body! (I am vain).
Book a session with a Personal Trainer to get some fresh ideas. (I wouldn’t normally say this as I would like you to book a trainer who is knowledgeable and professional, but book someone who is also hot, which could provide a nice distraction for you).
Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure that your circle is positive and motivating. Those who are not supportive can leave you feeling negative and grouchy. Such people might be jealous that you are back on track when they are not…leave them in the dust!
Finally, realise that you are human. I believe that your reaction to this stressful situation is normal. Cut yourself some slack and know that this happens to all of us when we are in pain or facing challenges. Stop beating yourself up. I think that your mother would say the same thing. Start living your best life EVER!!
Yours in HEALTH,
Deanna Harder: Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer), and Figure Competitor. She will be back on stage, competing in figure, on June 1 2013.