Stick to your diet when everything’s going wrong
Sometimes, events conspire against the most determined of dieters. You can plan the perfect week of nutritious meals and plenty of exercise, but “stuff” just seems to get in the way. You leave your packed lunch sitting on the kitchen counter at home, the boss dumps an urgent project on your desk and you have to work late, you trek to the gym only to find that your class is cancelled, and you’re so exhausted by the time you get home, that you grab a ready meal out of the freezer, then follow it up with a giant bar of chocolate…
Where did it all go wrong?
The key is not to let yourself give up when things don’t go as you’d planned. Here’s my top ways to cope with some of the above problems:
Realising you’ve left your packed lunch at home
This is almost inevitably going to happen to all of us who take lunch into work at some point. You’ll be running late in the morning, grabbing your coat/bag/keys, hurrying out of the door…
…and when you get to work and open your bag to pop your lunch into the office fridge, you’ll realise what you’ve forgotten.
The best thing to do is to pop out to the nearest shops at lunch time, buy some fruit, a bread roll and a small packet of ham or a portion of low fat cheese, and assemble your own lunch. You are not allowed to use forgetting lunch as an excuse to go to the nearest McDonalds. Nor are you allowed to punish yourself for being forgetful by skipping lunch altogether.
To avoid it happening again, make sure you go through your mental checklist as you step out of the front door in the morning: mine is “wallet, keys, security pass, lunch, bike helmet”…
Having a piece of “urgent” work dumped on your desk
There’s often not much you can do to avoid this one: your boss comes over and insists that something needs doing the day before yesterday. It may mean you end up working through your lunch break or staying late to get it finished. (If you regularly work through lunch, read why you should take a proper break.)
Make sure you do get out of the office for at least ten minutes, however busy you feel; having a moment to clear your head will help you avoid going into panic-mode and making silly mistakes whilst rushing.
If you’re often overloaded at work, don’t struggle on in silence – speak to your boss or manager. And if the workload is unpredictable, don’t sit around dreaming about chocolate during quiet spells; get ahead with any little tasks so that you’re free to focus on big projects when they do come up.
Finding that your gym class has been cancelled
When you’ve psyched yourself up for a gym session, despite a long day in the office, there’s nothing worse than turning up to find a CANCELLED notice and no instructor. I think almost all of us are tempted, at this point, to see this as a sign that it’s a good evening to head straight home to the sofa (via the pizza shop).
But since you’re at the gym anyway, why not hit the machines? Get into your kit, and do a twenty-minute workout: really go for it, perhaps setting the rowing machine or cross-trainer at a level higher than usual. Force yourself to exercise, even if you don’t want to; the de-stress effect is almost magical. And you’ll not want to ruin your hard work by grabbing fast food for dinner.
Binging on chocolate
Often, when everything’s been going wrong, I find myself reaching for the nearest source of chocolate. If you come to your senses surrounded by wrappers, don’t think that you’ve “ruined” the day or the week. Just brush your teeth, and decide not to eat anything else until breakfast time.
Then, make tomorrow a new day; wake up with plenty of time to get ready for work, pack those sandwiches you forgot the day before, and refuse to let yourself procrastinate over that big project … earn yourself a full lunch-break, and spend it well away from the office!
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I got up early, had plenty of time for breakfast, made a healthy lunch, remembered my cereal bars, grabbed my gym bag and cycled into work. Then I realised that whilst I had my gym bag, my gym kit was sitting on the floor of my bedroom…
It can be very tempting to reach for the nearest source of chocolate on a bad day, or to “treat yourself” for successfully finishing a difficult task.
(Image above by SHamEy jo)