5 Tips To #TreatYourself While Still Practicing Self-Control
We can all agree that it’s super important to #TreatYourself every once in awhile. Buuut let’s be real — *once in awhile* can quickly turn into *everyday* [#guilty]. A treat is a reward for your perseverance + sweat. Still — life happens + plans can change. So how do we distinguish a *lack of willpower* from a real special circumstance? Here are 5 tips to increase self-control + practice moderation.
1] ESTABLISH A STARTING POINT
Everyone is at a different place in their health + fitness journey, so your starting point is not going to be the same as your best friend’s. It’s important to not compare yourself to others + how far they are in their journey — instead appreciate how far you’ve come + use how far you have to go as motivation. Remember that your health + fitness journey has no *finish line.* These are pieces of yourself that you will focus on + improve upon for the rest of your life. Maybe your goal is to only have a treat once per day. That’s a great start! Practice that for a few weeks + reevaluate how you’re feeling after you’ve given that a chance. Remember that your progress is relative to you.
2] SET GOALS YOU CAN ADHERE TO
One of the reasons you can get derailed from your health + fitness goals is because they are too challenging too quickly. The same can happen when it comes to how often you feel the *need* to have a treat. Consider how often you crave something sweet or if you have any special occasions coming up soon [think graduation, birthdays, holidays!]. Health is not about restriction — it’s about balance. If you are miserably passing up chocolate cake on your birthday because it’s not fitting into your calorie count for the day, you’re not living.
3] PRACTICE LONG TERM GRATIFICATION
At first, it will be difficult to understand when it’s time to #TreatYourself. That. Is. Okay. Find your own flow. Practicing moderation + learning self-control will require you to practice long term gratification. Do NOT starve yourself or feel guilty, but try to reason with yourself. Are you really hungry? Are you bored? Would water be enough? Food is fuel, so make sure you are mindful when it comes to what you’re putting into your body!
4] ALLOW ROOM FOR ADJUSTMENT
Surprise parties happen, last day celebrations result in donuts ++ landing your dream job calls for a night out with friends. Your plan is not going to go accordingly at all times — expect that + leave yourself some wiggle room for adjustments. Stayed up all night having a heart-to-heart with your roommates? Sleep in + get a short workout in after work + go harder the next day. Ran into an old friend at the gym? No biggie! Cut this workout a little short, but substitute extra veggies in place of some of your starch tonight. Think of this plan as more of an *outline* that may be modified as you figure it out. Live spontaneously + when things change — bend, but don’t break.
Perhaps the most critical thing to remember — self-control + moderation will prove most beneficial when you learn recover from a *misstep* in your health + fitness journey. You will fall off track at one point or another because you are human + we are not meant to be perfect! The most important part will be whether or not you can separate this action from the bigger picture. Skipped three days of working out? It’s okay! Hop back on the #SweatSesh train tomorrow + CRUSH it! Ate a little too much junk food? It happens. But the rest of the day can still be filled with nutritious food. For me, when I eat something *unhealthy* [for lack of a better word] — I immediately think my *healthy* day is ruined. But it’s not true. Reevaluate where you are + go from there. Food is meant to fuel you — no matter what form it comes in. Try to prevent yourself from labeling foods as *good* or *bad* — instead evaluate how you feel after you eat them. Are you happy? Are you full? Move on from there.
Moderation means something different for everyone — we cannot stress this enough. Avoid comparing yourself to others + focus on what makes you feel good! If you have any opinions about implementing self control while still treating yourself, we’d love to hear them! : )
++Alyssa [@gratefully_nourished] // VirtCHAARG Pittsburgh