Updated: Jun 4
Have you been trying to be consistent with your health habits, especially diet and exercise, but find yourself starting and stopping several times a year? Does the thought of starting up again make you want to curl up in a corner? That's because there's a vicious cycle that keeps you in discouragement and defeat.
This is how the cycle works. First, we are excited and ready to take on a habit. We go for it and kill it for several weeks. We can't believe how easy it's going. And then something sabotages the momentum and we just give up. A few months later it starts all over again, but many pounds heavier, more tired, and less energy.
Starting up again is just overwhelming... and not fun!
The thought of starting up again is overwhelming and not as fun as watching TV, shopping, or just sitting on the couch. The merry-go-round of starting and stopping your diet and exercise habits is dizzying. Understanding where you are in the five stages of the vicious cycle can help you break the cycle.
DEFLATED. Feeling tired of starting and stopping your health habits, like diet and exercise. It's exhausting to even think about. You have no energy to start up again. You just give up.
OPPORTUNITY. Something has clicked and you feel ready to start doing something about your health. Many times it's an illness, an eye-opening situation, or even the New Year that can spark some interest in getting started.
MOTIVATED. You're feeling better and exercising more and starting to see some small changes, even in your energy level or mood. You're paying attention to your habits and goals. This is working!
CHALLENGES. Something gets in the way of the momentum. It could be a special event or holiday, an unexpected change, or just busyness. It veers you off track a bit or a lot.
PUNISH. The inner critic kicks in, 'I knew you were gonna fail.' Disappointment leads to punishment, which leads to giving up all together. Then you move back into being DEFLATED to start the cycle all over again.
Don't get taken for a ride. Break the cycle and stick to your health habits once and for all in 2021.