‘Starting over’ can mean many different things for different people. In the world of health ‘starting over’ must be done with the correct perspective. This is only developed through a positive self-loving mindset. In fact, many people think it should not even be called ‘starting over.’ They feel this often has a negative connotation because it leads people to eventually be resigned and cynical.
If someone is ‘starting over’ it can lead them to believe that they have lost all their progress thus far. It also reinforces the common number obsessed mindset in weight-loss. When someone is ‘starting over’ they likely also have an end weight goal in mind. The question is however, what happens next? What happens after the goal is met? Are the healthy habits gone? For that reason, we must refrain from using words like “starting over” when describing diet and fitness. They infer there is some sort of end point or finish line. Rather we must promote a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
We can promote such a lifestyle to ourselves by re-framing our thought process. Rather than focusing on the end goal or destination we should focus on the journey. So, if a break is taken from a fitness plan, frame it as a vacation. Then go back to the activity or way of life guilt free soon after. Thinking of breaks from exercise and Mindful Living as vacations is helpful for long term results. It creates space for people to return to their lifestyles even after they may have deviated. It also relieves the pressure many feel to be healthy EVERY single day. Making lasting long-term results much more likely.
Without such an approach people often deviate early in their health plans. Once this happens, they feel immense amounts of guilt for “cheating” or “falling off the wagon.” This guilt does nothing but get in the way of the next healthy choice. Rather than guilt we must promote self-awareness in people. We must help people slow down and realize why they make poor choices. Then we must use this knowledge to ensure healthy decisions moving forward. The key however is removing guilt from the equation. It’s easier to maintain healthy habits long term without guilt. It is also easier to return to healthy habits if there are no feelings of guilt in the way.