How to Get Back On (After You’ve Fallen Off)

It happens to all of us. We’re going along all great:

  • getting our required sleep
  • doing our workouts
  • eating clean
  • nailing every single aspect of our lives

Work, love, life: Boom! We are flying … until we’re not.

Something happens—injury, illness, death in the family—and we’re not where we were before. We are cast adrift and nothing is the same and we feel fat and old and horribly out of shape, even though it’s only been five days since we last trained.

Okay, we might have high standards.

But the shock is real! The feeling out-of-sorts is real. The depression and the “Oh man, what do I do now?” attitude are factors to be handled, no matter if your lay-off was 14 days or 14 weeks. (Don’t tell me it’s been 14 years. That’s an entirely different topic.)

But no matter how long your break was, you need to plan your return. Other folks have hangover cures and detox plans, well we’ve got a Get Your Butt in Gear Recovery Plan.

Step 1: Toss the Junk

Whatever garbage you’ve been eating, just stop eating it. No more fast food, no more take-out, no more sugary baked goods. Toss it. Sure you paid money for it, but is it worth more than your health? No. Donate what you can and toss the rest. You can’t get anywhere fast if you’re still loading the car with rocks.

Order some jerky, get yourself some healthy protein bites, start collecting Paleo recipes. You can do this.

Step 2: Get Up

Get off the couch, get out of the chair, get away from the house.

Go out the front door, the back door, the kitchen window—whatever you have to do, do it.

Nobody ever got fit by doing nothing, so you need to stop doing nothing. A walk, a run, push-ups, burpees, squats—get some movement in and get it now. Plus, once you can breathe again, you’re going to feel a lot better. You know it, so you just need to get started.

Step 3: Consider Your Company

If your crowd doesn’t exercise, you might want to get a new crowd. Study after study (as well as anecdotal evidence) shows us that our peer group has a significant effect on our activities and our aspirations, so don’t dally with duds if you want to fly with angels. Look right now at the five people you spend the most time with—and realize that you’re looking at your future.

If you don’t like what you see, then it might be time to make some adjustments. Sorry. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your friends, but just that you consider what impact they are having on your life and your goals, and maybe make some adjustments.

Step 4: Don’t Expect Miracles

If you’ve been off for a while, then it will take you a while to get back in the groove. If you’ve been off for a short time, it might take a short time to get back. The problem many people run into is when their expectations do not meet their outcomes.

  • They expect it will be easy … and it’s hard.
  • They expect the weight will just “fall off” … and it doesn’t.
  • They expect they will look the same as they did ten years ago … and they won’t.

Remember that whatever plan you start—Paleo or Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater—it’s going to take time to see results again. Have patience. Keep working your program and getting your house in order, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Focus on the work, not the the results, and one day you’ll look up and big old beautiful Mr. Change will be standing there, grinning at you.

So, the next time you find yourself staring at the floor instead of staring in the mirror at your muscles, think about the Get Your Butt in Gear Recovery Plan. It works if you work it. Good luck!

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