The weight loss goals have gotten away from us and we’ve decided to get back on track…
Sometimes I wish I was a Sim and someone could just speed me through my weight loss journey and put me back at normal speed in 90 days or so when I’ve achieved my goals.
That way, we won’t need to get back on track. We’ll be moving too fast to get off of it. Anyways…
Weight loss. Tricky stuff when we let it be. Actually, many of us are good at losing weight and have done so several times. It’s the “keeping it off part” that’s tricky.
I would know. After losing 75 lbs, I gained 55 of those bad boys back.
No, I didn’t get pregnant. I was not breastfeeding. I also didn’t develop a disease, get injured, or have any health challenge medically cause weight gain.
What I developed was an addiction. (Is addiction considered a disease?) I became addicted to marijuana and smoked myself into being a full-fledged, binge eating, non-exercising pothead. Gaining weight came with the territory.
“Falling off the weight loss wagon” is an understatement. I fell off and then locked mine away in a shed somewhere.
If you’ve also experienced this level of “fall off,” or something like it, the method explained in this post is how you too can take your “wagon” out of the shed, dust it off, look at it with renewed enthusiasm, and get back on.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Full disclosure.
Reflect on what went wrong
This isn’t a time to curse yourself, though. No name-calling, beating yourself up, or punishment. Instead, observe. Objectively. Become an observer taking note of what got you here.
(Beating yourself up can actually prolong the behavior you’re beating yourself up for. Crazy, huh?)
Reflecting on what choices I’ve made that threw me off helped me discover that I had a way of thinking about healthy living that was essentially out of alignment with my goals. Discovering that led to me prioritizing work on my mindset.
Identifying what went wrong for you helps you see it to prepare for it. It helps you put together a plan to address it and work on it.
And to be honest, you might have to do this step a few more times until you’ve worked out the obstacles to your healthy lifestyle.
It’s a journey.
Create a contingency plan to get back on track
This is what you’ll do right away if you fall off again or are close to falling off again. A good contingency plan is quick and easy to implement, is something you remember to do as soon as possible, and works best FOR YOU.
A contingency plan can include things like:
- Calling a supportive friend
- Viewing your vision board,
- Reading your list of goals
- Reading affirmations
Anything healthy that’ll help you stay on track or get back on track quickly.
My contingency plan includes viewing my vision board, reading my vision statement, reading my affirmation cards, and practicing riding the waves of cravings by setting a 15-minute timer every time I get a craving.
This plan doesn’t have to be fancy.
Write it down on a 3×5 card, carry it with you and whip it out anytime you feel like you’re going to slip up. Follow your contingency plan and make adjustments to create a plan that works best for you.
Re-identify your health, wellness and weight loss goals and why you want to achieve them. Re-assess if they still work for you
Maybe you’re falling off because your goals and why you want to achieve them aren’t as motivating to you as you think. Or, you’ve lost sight of why you really want to reach your goal weight.
According to self-discipline expert Martin Meadows, the reasons we want to achieve our weight loss goals have a huge impact on the amount of self-discipline we exercise to achieve them.
If we want our goals to impress or get others to do what we want them to do for us, we’re less likely to stick with our plans to achieve our goals.
But when we want to achieve our goals for our own personal development, enjoyment, challenge, interest, and gains, we have stronger self-discipline and are more likely to follow through. We are more likely to have our own drive to keep us on track.
I’ve learned all types of stuff about self-discipline since getting into this Audible box set from Martin Meadows. If you don’t have Audible yet, you can listen to the box set for free when you sign up for a free trial.
Re-identify your action steps for achieving those goals
Once you’ve determined if your goals still work for you, and adjusted your “why” if needed, the next step is to identify what your action steps are for those goals.
Getting clear on the action steps is another self-discipline and follow-through hack that can improve your likeliness of sticking with it.
In his book Goals!, Brain Tracy discusses how the simple action of writing down your goals and what you’ll do to achieve them helps them get into your subconscious and update your mindset.
Getting your mindset into alignment with your transformation goals is pretty important in helping you stick with your goals and follow through until you achieve them.
Create what your ideal healthy routine and schedule will look like
This is what your day would look like if you were to do the healthy habits you have to do to achieve your health, wellness, and weight loss goals.
I find creating an ideal routine and schedule helpful for mapping out what I’ve got time for and what I can make time for. It’s a personal schedule template I use to stay on track.
You can also use it to remember what you’ve got to do until you no longer need reminding.
Use your ideal healthy routine and schedule to plan your first healthy week back on track
Get your healthy routine, workouts, meal planning, meal prepping and whatever other healthy tasks you’ve got into your planner. Set notifications if you need to.
When you’ve put it in the schedule, you’ve made time for it. Stick with your scheduled healthy habits unless you really, really need to change it.
Not feeling like it is not a good enough excuse to change it. Challenge yourself to show up anyways.
Use your current habits and routine to restart your healthy habits
Got something you already habitually do? Try adding one of the habits you’re looking to establish right after it.
I’ve read this in a few places and it does in fact work. So far, I’ve established a daily reading and writing habit thanks to adding these two habits right after my morning journaling session that was already a habit.
I’m currently working on establishing an exercise habit right after I make my bed. Making my bed triggers putting on gym clothes which leads to a workout.
Creating a schedule and routines that flow well together and triggers the next habit helps improve self-discipline and consistency because… it’s hard to explain.
It’s like a chain reaction. Once starting the first habit, it’s easier to move on to the second habit and so forth. It’s a flow that doesn’t take much contemplation to follow through on… so I’ve experienced.
Take your time to get back on track
While you can try to do all the healthy things you plan to do in a day, self-discipline experts tend to say it is better to ease in and build on habits. Easing in and taking your time to establish new habits increases your likeliness of sticking with it.
- Adding one healthy habit to your schedule at a time
- If it is a daily habit, schedule it for a few days a week
- As you get better at sticking with the new habit, add another habit
- Or add more days that you do the habit
And if you’ve got a goal date for your goal weight, this method might look like:
- Phasing in new habits on a set schedule
- Drinking 8 cups of water a day on week 1
- Establishing a clean diet on week 2
- Adding exercise on week 3
I’ve been taking the “ease in” approach this time around by starting with a healthier diet. No intermittent fasting. No focus on macros or calories. I only focus on the quality of the foods I’m eating and having them prepped for the week.
And in about a week or two (from when I’m writing this), I’ll add in one weight-lifting circuit 3 mornings a week.
Get back on track by focusing on practice, not perfection
Trying to achieve perfection tends to get a lot of us humans messed up. We tend to procrastinate, let go of, and avoid our way right out of getting stuff done when we try to get that stuff done perfectly.
In the case of a weight loss routine, this is called the “screw it, I blew it” situation. This is when someone decides to toss their diets and weight loss routines completely out the window because they’ve made a mistake or had a bad day.
If you mess up, instead of allowing your mind to let your new habits go because you’re not being perfect, view your new routine as something you’ll practice being better at next time as soon as you get the chance to do so.
Tackle your triggers
These are the people, places, things, and actions that make you do the unhealthy things you no longer want to do.
In order to tackle your triggers, you’ll have to first know what they are if you don’t already. Spend a few days or so observing yourself and journaling what triggers your poor habits.
Once you’ve identified some, work on ways to manage the ones you’re able to manage. This could mean clearing out your kitchen of triggering foods, changing the types of dates you go on, or going prepared with snacks.
Consider adding accountability
Consider telling people about your goals and checking in with these people regularly. This can range from a friend or family member to a Facebook group or community.
You can also bet someone or send someone you trust a check they cash if you don’t stick to your rules.
Healthywage.com is also a cool way to put your money on the line for your goals while earning money for losing weight.
Give something else a try
And if you really can’t stick with your weight loss plan, or the habits you chose to work with, give something else a try. There should be no shame in dropping a healthy habit for another healthy habit that works for you, personally.
Avoid forcing yourself to do something because it got your favorite YouTuber to her goal weight in record time if you can’t stick with it. You’ll have a better chance getting to your goals by choosing something you can actually do consistently.
Getting back on the weight loss wagon after falling completely off is hard but not achieving your weight loss goals is also hard. As those cliche Pinterest Pin quotes say: choose your hard.
This plan can help make the process of getting back on track less hard and help you establish habits that actually stick. This won’t be easy and you might even have to do this again.
But with this plan, you’ll be doing more tweaking to create a plan you can stick with than forgetting your goals because you’ve slipped up. Spending more time on the wagon than off.
What do you usually do to get back on track? Do you find yourself having to get back on track more than you care to admit? Comment below. Let’s chat!