It happens to all of us…we get in a good routine and are super motivated for a handful of weeks…and then we have a disaster week. Life gets stressful and workouts are infrequent (or not at all), healthy eating takes a back seat to convenience, we get less sleep (or lower quality sleep), and it all starts to spiral into a negative feedback loop.
That happened to me the other week. Work got crazy, home renovation issues galore, workers were at our house from 7am to 7pm nearly every day, we were living out of boxes, we couldn’t leave our dogs at home without one of us sitting in a room with the door shut… There was no respite from the chaos. Stress at work and stress at home with no place to retreat became a bad combo. My wife and I had short fuses, stress eating empty carbs happened more than a few times (often accompanied by a beer…or two), I stayed up too late trying to get caught up, key workout sessions were missed. Not exactly living the “Tri Balanced Life” that I’m after.
When a disaster week strikes, I do my best to just focus on the basics, which are my core foundational principles (Sleep, Diet, Low-Level Activity, Productivity, and Relationships). Everything extracurricular gets put on hold…including training sessions. Disaster weeks are stressful and the body doesn’t differentiate between work stress and workout stress. Skipping a workout could actually be for the greater good if the body is already run down from life stress. Therefore, I’ll listen to my body and take an extra rest day if I need it. Sometimes the best workout session is extra sleep after all.
Even when I focus on just my core foundational principles during disaster weeks, some days I might only muster enough self-discipline for one healthy meal and I strike-out on everything else. The important thing is to NOT stress about the perceived slip-ups and imperfections. In fact…imperfections might actually be exactly what I need sometimes. Sitting all afternoon might make me a little more productive than standing. Sharing a gluten-filled pizza and a local craft beer on a date night with my wife could be the perfect way to hit the chaos pause button and relax. I try to be intuitive (within reason). On the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days I’ll just go to bed early and get after it the next day.
Eventually…the disaster week passes and normalcy resumes. By staying focused on my core foundational principles I can pick up right where I left off without too much regression in my health and fitness level.