How to deal with setbacks when leading a healthy life

How to deal with setbacks when leading a healthy life

It’s not uncommon to experience a few setbacks when you change your lifestyle. Old habits do indeed die hard. They can come back and get you when you least expect it. It can be terribly hard for someone to get back on track after succumbing to old habits. I know this from experience as I’m facing my own sweet setbacks.

Many of you may or may not know this but I don’t use sugar. Not in my tea, drink, cooking or baking, it’s out of my daily life. (Yes I do use natural sweeteners in cooking or baking). It’s been almost two years and I have no regrets. Trust me, my morning coffee taste like coffee flavoured cream (YUM!). But something happened last year that brought back one of my most horrible habits. And this one took the longest to shake.

Setbacks: Old habits die hard

I went to my uncle’s wedding and decided to have some ice cream. Not a big deal right? Except since then, I can’t seem to fight to urge as much as I could before. I end up giving into my cravings. At one point, I craved it every single day. What haven’t I read to help me get over it? Nothing seemed to permanently help. Looking deeper into where this habit came from helped me to create actually steps towards breaking it. If you are facing similar setbacks or any other and you can’t fully get back on the proverbial horse, then these steps can help you get there.

Deal with your setbacks step by step

  1. Accept it– Be honest about it. Accepting that you’re having a problem is important. In fact, it’s the most empowering thing you can do. What do I mean by that? If you accept it, let’s say cutting back on sugar or even quitting smoking, you’re no longer living in denial. You’re taking control of the situation and taking your power back. This step has to be the most important because without accepting that you have a problem then you’ll never find a solution.
  2. Identify what triggered your setback– What was the cause of it? For me, it was my first sugary intake in months since I cut it out of my diet and lost weight. Now every week or so, I have uncontrollable cravings. Especially when it’s that time of the month. I tried reading about controlling my hormones during that period but nothing helped. After reading a very helpful article, I learnt that the reason was my mindset towards food. When you classify food as good or bad, you develop a unhealthy relationship and even become anxious. I didn’t want to gain the weight back so I became fearful of ice cream. Which was crazy because I was having a regular serving size of one scoop. That anxious feeling, that’s what kept triggering my setback. I kept saying I couldn’t have it or it was the last time I can have it for months. This was the realization I needed to slowly find my way back. When you find the source and where it’s coming from, you get to the heart situation. This is where you begin the journey back to good health.
  3. Create realistic steps to slowly get back on track– Now that you’ve accepted and have found the source. You can create actionable steps towards your goals. I recently learnt that making ONE goal at a time with steps towards that ONE goal is easier to attain. This is how you should approach your problems. My first step was to identify whether I truly wanted ice cream or it was just a momentary craving. Because I don’t eat added sugar, sometimes my body needs a little sweetness. Understanding the signals your body is sending you is important. The next step was to differentiate between the two. If my body needed a little sugar, then I’ll have something else that’s sweet like a mango. Or I’ll have a scoop of ice cream. You might wonder why I would go for the ice cream. Well, I believe in moderation. Food is neither good or bad to me, it’s just food. Some I know will nourish my body and others won’t. Not only does it take the pressure off but you grow to have a healthy relationship with food. If it’s just a craving, I can reassure myself by accepting what it truly is. This isn’t the last or only time I’ll eat ice cream. What it does is take away the need to have it every single day. Because you know it won’t be the last time.
  4. Start again… and take your time– It’s time for you to start you’re journey again. Whatever setbacks you’re facing can’t hold you back from the ultimately goal. You’ve created your actionable steps and are ready to put them in motion. It won’t be easy but nothing good in life is. Just think about childbirth, it’s not easy at all. But think about holding your baby in your arms for the first time. You realize that the whole process was worth the reward. Cutting back on food that isn’t good for me will have it’s rewards. That reward is good health and it’s well worth it.

Whatever your journey is, remember you aren’t alone. Everyone struggles with something. Some may try to hide and deal with it later. I prefer to deal with it now so I can move forward. Stay strong and reap the rewards in the end. What goals do you have and setbacks you’ve faced so far this year?


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