the best thing about “falling off the wagon”….
is that it’s always there, whenever you’re ready to get back on it!
you just have to choose
and maybe today isn’t the day
but tomorrow might be.
oh that dang wagon.
and there are so so many dang wagons to fall off of, aren’t there?
this time of year, after the festive holiday season, I’m realizing I fell off a wagon or two (sugar, exercise, self-kindness).
Did you too?
Of course there is the obvious wagon of relapse related to substance abuse that can have serious consequences for oneself AND others. Please get help if this is you.
More frequently, it’s the other wagons that I hear folks talk about:
I fell off the (fill in the blank) wagon.
(exercise, nutrition, supplement, friendship, volunteering, kindness, gratitude , yoga)
Now I feel like a failure. I failed. I’ll never get back on it. What’s the point. I suck. I’m grumpy. I’m a looser. Boo Hoo.
Ok, so what? you fell off the wagon. Breathe. You are human. We ALL fall off the wagon. It’s part of being a human being living in this world. It’s OK. (yes, your doctors, your yoga teachers, your counselors, your teachers….all fall off the wagon, humans!)
STOP the self judgement that keeps you off the wagon. STOP sabotaging yourself with all the negative self talk.
Just Calm Down. Breathe. Just decide if you want to get back on it, because it’s there if you want to.
It’s your choice.
My pattern for most of my life has been to be negative towards myself when I fell off the wagon. Like somehow, I just wasn’t good enough or it wasn’t worth it enough, and the self loathing would set in.
I’d miss a week of swim practice due to sickness and I thought I would never recover my physical stamina, EVER.
I’d miss a test due to sickness and I thought my future would end FOREVER.
I mostly notice this around my “wagons” of exercise, nutrition, and self talk.
After my pregnancy with Ayla, I weighed 80 pounds more than “normal” for me. (This happened after Mia too and breast feeding didn’t help me loose it.)
I was hard on myself.
Maybe I should just be a couch potato.
Maybe I should just eat more cake, what the heck.
The way I spoke to myself inside my head was terrible. I was sabotaging myself. No one else was pressuring me but me. I was my own worst enemy. How could this be?
So I started to listen and I started to give myself a break. I started to treat myself like I would treat a friend, encouraging, comforting.
I got curious about other possibilities or benefits to my being active, besides loosing the weight.
I choose to not get on the scale because every time I did, I was sabotaging myself.
I decided that exercise made me feel better. Made my body feel better but more importantly made my mind feel better.
Then I started to crave it. Finally!
Sometimes I could not get out and exercise like I want to and I start to slide off the wagon.
Maybe I am sick. Maybe I have an injury. Maybe I am just too dang tired. Maybe I’m traveling. Maybe I have to take care of my children.
Maybe I am off the wagon for a day, a week, a month even or longer.
I no longer get down on myself or slide down the path of sabotage.
I no longer choose Sabotage.
I calm down.
I think what can I learn from this?
I get curious about what I could do instead.
I wonder how long this will last.
I remind myself that this is temporary.
I don’t give up.
I realize that I have the power to choose, when I’m ready, to get on the wagon again.
and when I do, maybe I’ll do it solo, but if that hasn’t worked in the past,
Maybe I’ll grab a friend or hire some help.
Guess what? Many of my friends also fall off the wagon so why don’t we support each other? Encourage each other to exercise, eat healthier, be more kind.
Call each other out on the negative self talk and on that second piece of cake.
I’ll have a sense of humor with my friends and myself. Keeping it light yet honest.
or get more serious.
Hire a trainer.
Hire a coach.
(I did both in 2019 and will again in 2020. Nothing like being accountable to a trainer and a coach to keep you accountable to yourself and who you want to be.)
Chose to put one foot in front of the other rather than choosing sabotage.
You got this!
(even if it’s not today).