I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Staring back at me was someone I didn’t recognize, someone totally broken, weathered, lost in a world of a poisonous stupor. Having spent the majority of my day in the emergency room on November 5th, 2017, I couldn’t help but sense that sheer level of despair and shock. How did I get here. . .again? It was even more shocking to find myself on a van within just a few hours after my hospital stay on my way to a rehabilitation institution, where I would spend nearly 3 months doing a lot of hard, personal and interpersonal work.
I no longer recognized myself. I no longer knew who I was. But most importantly, I took it upon myslef to do the work that needed to be done to unleash my inner strength once again, and to rise up stronger, healthier, and much more mentally resilient than before.
Hi. My name is Janelle. I am an addict in recovery. Relapse is a part of my story. Just for today, I will relate a relapse in recovery with a relapse in your own personal fitness journey.
As with any part of a health and fitness journey, we all can find ourselves at the opposite end of where we truly wish to be. If you have ever been through the hell of a drug and alcohol addiction, you will understand relapse to be a point of deterioration from your sobriety time, a moment when you use drugs or drink alcohol after a period of time away from such substances. Relapses happen in our fitness journeys too, and the same set of circumstances may apply when we fall off what many refer to as the “fitness wagon”.
Missed workouts. Longer and longer work hours that disrupt our sleep. Missed sleep altogether. Grabbing fast food for the sake of convenience, or just scraping by entirely with our nutrition / lack there of all for being “too busy” or too caught up in life itself. We may find ourselves succumbing to the distractions and temptations of people, places and things in an effort to cope with our personal / interpersonal problems. The inevitable happens. We lose our strength and athletic vigor. We gain unwanted pounds from nutritional and psychological stress. We become tired, burnt out, frustrated with our failed efforts, which often results in us repeating the cycle of self-destruction over and over and over again. We collapse under pressure, wondering how we can pick ourselves back up off the floor and start a new.
Relapse happens, and though relapses may become a part of our stories, relapses do NOT have to be the final chapter in the book of our lives. The most important part of moving past such set-backs is to notice and name the very factors that lead up to our own fall, and most importantly, to execute the appropriate plan of action to move past the set back itself.
Have you fallen off the wagon? Have you experience a set back? Have you relapsed?
Here’s a short list of what you can do to move over the obstacle of relapse.
- Notice and Name. Identifying the factors that lead up to a relapse in behavior puts the event itself in perspective. Were you hanging around the wrong people, places and thing? Were you working yourself too much and not getting enough sleep? Did you forget to prep your meals in advance for the week, and on that note, did you make it to the grocery store in general? Did you budget the time to workout?
2. Make a Constructive Plan of Action. Sometimes, writing down the exact steps that need to be taken makes all the difference. We will find that we are less impulsive in our decision making to get our health back on track if we take the extra two minutes to write it all out on paper. Grab yourself a notebook and map out exactly what you would like to accomplish in a 30,60 and 90 day period. Get as specific and precise as possible when writing out your vision too. It’s your destiny! Chase after it!
3. Execute the Plan of Action at the Appropriate Level of Care. This step requires a little more self awareness, coupled with the advice of from a solid team of support. Are you able to workout on your own or do you need a coach? Can you talk to your significant other about setting up good boundaries for healthy sleep? Can you discuss with your household how you can work as a team to grocery shop and meal prep for the week? Who is in your recovery posse, and are they willing to lift you up to be the healthy, strong, empowered person you know yourself to be? Most importantly, get out there and do the work that needs done!
4. GIVE YOURSELF A HUG! Mentally berating yourself over making a mistake on the road towards a healthier you serves no purpose. We are human. We all make mistakes. The important thing to remember after a relapse is that a relapse is NOT the end of your journey. It is a pause, a point to get recentered, and a place that can be incredibly freeing when you venture back into the land of strength and power. A friend of mine in recovery had the best way of explaining how to bounce back from a relapse, so I will leave you all with this final word today:
“It’s not about how hard you fall. It’s about picking yourself back up, no matter what.”
Personally, there’s no better way for me to get back to my movement than heavy kettlebell swings (featured below: My own call to action through 32kg two-handed swings).
Without further delay, I would like to announce that our Powerful Strength Coaching forum will be back up TODAY on facebook! This FREE forum is designed to talk about strength, in all aspects of our life, be it in our nutrition, training, or personal lives as well. Join a community of people that are committed to lifting everyone up to become the strongest, most powerful versions of themselves. WATCH FOR THE UPDATES ON FACEBOOK! Should you need more individualized coaching, please request a free consultation by clicking this link.
OH! And one last thing. . .
Based on my won need to swing back into action on my lifting, I figured we can all gear up for some solid kettlebell swings for April. You know what that means, right?
Let nothing stand in your way!