When NOT to start your health change

Friday, August 8, 2014

You read it right: there are times when you should not start trying to eat better and exercise. Why? The probability that you will fail is very high. Here are a few examples of such times and seasons in life: 
New baby goodness in 2009
Major Family Changes - having a baby changes everything. When they first come home the adaptation to a new bundle of joy as well as the recovery from giving birth takes up all of your time. Putting yourself on a strict diet or exercise regimen during that time will only make you miserable. Waiting until the fog lifts is wise. Try to start taking baby steps when things are more stable as far as your schedule. I heard friends of mine who adopted their kids say that they too go through a stressful period. Once things get settled get started on your health changes, one baby step at the time.  
Got Deadline?
Extreme Stress - the deadline for that work project is near and you are nowhere close to the end. You are putting extra effort into something that is causing you extreme stress. Instead of adding more stress into your plate in the form of a new exercise program, wait until you finished your work project. The hope is the next time you are under a tremendous amount of stress, you will be able to lessen it by exercising. There is no point in being sore and stressed at the same time. Take small steps when your work flow is back to normal. The key here is to finish that big project and then start taking small steps towards your health change. 
Grief is strange
Grief - grief is such a strange, strange land. It comes in different ways to different people. I learned that trying to start a new lifestyle change when I'm grieving is a recipe for failure. I have heard people say that they enjoy eating and grieving for a while but then they get back to better eating and exercise. Once that first shock wave passes, try to slowly start taking better care of your health. I understand not everyone enjoys eating while they grieve. If you are not given to eating while grieving, try to slowly get back to healthy eating after a while. Always seek your doctors for advice on how to better take care of your body. 

Sickness - Being sick sucks. I don't know about you but I feel yucky and my mind immediately decides to jump into some kind of health change so that I can recover quickly. The issue for me is not the healthy eating but the strictness of the program I may be trying to follow. The extra stress will not help me recover from sickness. A couple of weeks before the Houston Marathon I got sick and I decided to take it easy for a couple of days. My doctor gave me some meds and told me not to run outside for a couple of days. I told myself not to try to be so strict with my eating and after I got better I was able to resume my health change. When you are sick, you need to focus on recovering, not breaking records. 
I heart to travel!
Travel - I've learned that when I travel it is challenging to start (or maintain) my health change. It can be challenging to get out and exercise as usual because I may not be familiar with that certain location. I hate it but not every hotel has a treadmill and you may be so tired you can't fit one more thing in our schedule. Travel is the best season to try out new things such as new exciting foods. We tend to give ourselves more of a food allowance when we travel. Following a strict health change can be tricky when you travel. Make a deal with yourself to enjoy new foods while taking steps towards feeling great while you travel. A smart way to feel great is to make sure you drink plenty water daily. 

There's a time and a season for everything. If life isn't stable it might not be the time to start a major life change. Do remember that stability will come and you will be able to successfully start your journey to better health.
Lauren said...

Great post! I love the perspective. I always see posts about why we should start changing our health right now, but these are all fantastic points that everyone should keep in mind!

Cintia Listenbee said...

thanks for reading and for your encouragement Lauren!