56: 3 Ways to Bounce Back from a Health Funk

Mar 11, 2024

If you’re feeling drained and fed up with the constant effort it takes to prioritize your health, you're not alone. Every few weeks, it seems like I hit a wall where the thought of sticking to my health routine feels like a monumental task. 

Luckily, I’m usually able to snap out of this funk after two or three days. But it’s a stark reminder that if you are someone that has to deal with a chronic medical condition like obesity, every day requires something of you. Yes, we can build out habits and yes, we can use tools to make it easier, but ultimately, there is a lot that you have to give to this if you want to maintain your progress. 

It can feel exhausting and I know how tempting it is to throw yourself a little pity party during those tough times. But those moments of struggle can actually be a sign of growth. Think about when you have a rubber band between your two thumbs and you're stretching it apart. There's massive tension there before you see a new shape. And that’s exactly the same for our own health journey. 

It is energetically expensive to go through this process, work on your health, and make these important changes. So when we're pushing ourselves to build healthier habits, it's completely normal to feel uncomfortable at times. Growth and comfort do not coexist.

So what are the best ways to navigate through these rough patches now that we acknowledge they are part of the process? 

Let's dive into three strategies that have helped me—and countless others—pull ourselves out of the slump:

  1. Trust the Process

Five years ago, when I first started on this path of self-improvement, I would often find myself caught in cycles of high motivation followed by periods of self-doubt and overeating. It was like clockwork—three months of intense energy, followed by three months of feeling like a failure.

But over time, I've learned to trust the process. I've come to understand that meaningful change takes time and consistency. None of this is a quick fix; it's a lifelong commitment to myself and my well-being. Just like caring for a child, I can't simply walk away when things get tough. I'm in this for the long haul.

Trusting the process means embracing the ups and downs, the successes and setbacks. It means acknowledging that I won't always have perfect discipline or stick to my goals every single day. And that's okay. In fact, sometimes those off-plan days can lead to even better results in the long run.

I've learned to listen to my body and trust its signals. If it's craving carbs or fat, I'll give it what it needs. If I don't see immediate progress on the scale, I remind myself that there are countless factors at play, many of which I may not fully understand. That's where tools like body composition testing come in handy, providing insights that I wouldn't otherwise have.

So, as I continue on this journey, I'll trust in the process. I'll stay committed to my goals, knowing that every step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. And who knows? Maybe one day I'll look back and realize that those moments of doubt and uncertainty were just part of the process all along.

  1.   Zoom Out and See the Bigger Picture

When we're feeling overwhelmed, it's easy to get lost in the sea of negativity. That's why it's crucial to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. 

For example, the other day, my husband surprised me with German cookies, a nostalgic treat from my childhood. Normally, I'd enjoy one as a part of my balanced diet but this time, I ended up indulging in a few too many, leaving me feeling sluggish and guilty.

In that moment, my mind  started to fixate on what I’d done and it became the defining moment of my day.  I knew I had to zoom out and so I reminded myself of everything else I had accomplished that day—the healthy breakfast, the nourishing lunch, the small victories I was overlooking.

It's easy to get lost in negative thoughts when we're struggling. We question our ability to keep going, wondering how we'll ever overcome the challenges ahead. But that's precisely when we need to zoom out and take stock of the bigger picture.

Have you ever taken a moment to list all the positive things you do for yourself each day? It's surprising how much we forget about. From simple habits like taking a multivitamin to more intentional choices like prepping nutritious meals, every action adds up. Remind yourself of all the ways you're taking care of yourself, even if they seem insignificant in the moment. It's these small acts of self-care that pave the way for lasting change.

In those moments of doubt and fatigue, it's crucial to shift our focus from what's going wrong to what's going right. Yes, our brains have a natural tendency to dwell on the negative, but we have the power to counteract that bias by intentionally seeking out the positives. We need to embrace that gray middle zone where progress is made, imperfect and uncertain though it may be.

  1. Create a New Identity

To help shake yourself out of these periods of struggle, sometimes what we need most is a mental reset. It's okay to step away from the constant focus on health and wellness and engage in activities that bring you joy and distract your mind from the struggles. Whether it's diving into a captivating book, exploring new podcasts, or simply spending quality time with loved ones, find ways to create balance in your life. How can you get out of this being your whole identity and everything that matters? 

Navigating the ups and downs of prioritizing our health requires trust, perspective, and balance. Trust in the process, zoom out to see the bigger picture, and find joy outside of health goals. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, is progress toward a healthier you!