Derailed! What I'm Doing to Get Back on Track

It's official. I spent almost all of February being sick. I know a lot of other people who've been in the same boat. For me, the worst part about it is that it completely halted my exercise program and put several writing projects on the shelf. It has the potential to be very discouraging. Lost! An entire month with nothing to show for it except for sore ribs from all the coughing.

What to do? As I see it, there are only two choices. Give up and sit on my sofa eating Pringles until I weigh 500 pounds or...

Get back on track!

Get back to working out every day, even if it's just 6 minutes of strength-building exercises. Get back to writing every day whether it's the blog, articles or just a little bit of editing. Get back to eating healthful foods instead of eating for comfort (mmm, Pringles).

First thing I do is not get discouraged. It's a horrible emotion. Dissect the word: "dis" is a Latin prefix that means "apart" or "away" or having a negative or reversing effect; "courage" is a quality of mind or spirit that lets you face fear, difficulties, or unexpected changes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.

Being discouraged means you've lost self-confidence and now you can't face the inevitable ups and downs of life. Gosh, the next step is hopelessness and I absolutely don't want to go there.

One part of getting back on track is realizing that it's a normal part of life. This wasn't the first time it happened and it won't be the last. Nothing goes straight up forever. Ask stock brokers.

Even world-class atheletes like Lance Armstrong don't expect to get infinitely better every single day. They take breaks so that they can come back even stronger. So I tell myself, "Hey, I'll come back refreshed with a new enthusiasm for exercise and writing because I haven't been able to do it in so long."

I also don't expect to get back to where I was, expecially with working out, in just a few days. In fact, trying to run two miles today would probably kill me. I'd cough up a lung in the first few running steps. So I've got to start slow. Just enough to rebuild the habit. It takes 21 days to create a new habit or break an old one. I've got to break the old "habit" of not exercising and then reestablish the new one. Figure 42 days or six weeks to really get back to where I was before I got off track.

Therefore, patience is the final key. In another week, I might be up to 15 minutes of brisk walking, not where I want to be, but a lot closer than I was.

I'm also looking on the bright side. The enforced rest has helped my very sore shoulder get much better. The break from writing has given me a better perspective and perhaps will release a new flood of creativity. And, for a couple weeks, I ate whatever I wanted!

Now, back to reality of a little bit of exercise, a lot less chips and chocolate, and a lot more keyboarding.

I'm looking forward to it.

Photo from Flickr courtesy of AussieGall

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