It’s a familiar scenario. A friend, partner or family member brings over a tub of Ben and Jerry’s to treat/comfort/console you, you inhale, and it’s gone. Where that Chunky Monkey went is anyone’s guess. Typically, because you’ve let loose once, you crack on with a few biscuits too for good measure, and before you know it you’re in a sugar coma and have cancelled tomorrow’s spinning class.
We’ve got news for you. TOTALLY NORMAL. For further proof see Joe Wicks ' recent Facebook video on motivation, or the lack thereof. He’s been in a perennial state of Ben and Jerry’s/ general junk food induced paralysis for the past month, and a prolonged period of basing meals around supersized burgers and buttermilk chicken have left him feeling distinctly sluggish and unwilling to workout. And this is The Body Coach talking.
It all began with a bit of a homesickness induced binge, thanks to his mum bringing over supersized bars of Galaxy and Dairy Milk from the UK to the US, where he’s staying for three months. His mum’s “care” hamper also included shortbread, Hob Nobs, Percy Pigs and pretty much every other British family favourite not available stateside. You can see where the impetus to gorge emerged from. Apparently he doesn’t even like milk chocolate. Combine the Brit blowout with such American health food staples as pancakes and fizzy soda, and to say that Joe’s feeling a tad bloated and lethargic is putting it mildly.
He shared the fact that he’s feeling demotivated, hasn’t been keeping to his workout or meal prep schedule and has been trapped in a negative cycle for the past four weeks with his 2.7 million followers, which is a brave move for any PT, and revealed that his lifestyle is affecting his wellbeing across the board. From disturbed sleep to experiencing physical and mental comedowns after hitting American buffets too hard, he’s also admitted that he’s been making excuses and blaming a small injury for his lack of fitness drive. All in all, Joe lost his mojo, but he’s turning over a new leaf and using his platform to express to his fans that talking about feelings around fitness, food and mood is important, and being self-aware and willing to forgive yourself and get back on the wagon is essential. Here are his tips for overcoming a tricky patch in your health and fitness quest…
Admit and accept
Been eating mostly beige things and scrimping on exercise? We’ve all been there, and it’s not a blame or shame game. Getting back into the swing mentally depends on not feeling guilty, and instead feeling empowered and back in control of your health. Think how virtuous and buzzing you feel after a workout or healthy home cooked meal , and aim for that feeling of satisfaction rather than wallowing in your junk food “fails”. Also, Joe’s keen to emphasise that if this kind of despondency happens to him, when fitness and health are his profession and passion, it can happen to everybody and anybody.
Cheesy, but tomorrow might turn into mañana. No matter if you’ve been ‘blah’ for a week, a month or a year, kickstarting a lifestyle that makes you feel better can’t wait.
Workout first thing
Joe swears by morning workouts for a more positive mindframe from the get go, not to mention a productive day and post- HIIT glow (or profuse amount of sweat). Don’t let dark days or getting to the gym be a barrier- a short workout in your front room is all that’s required to reap the mental and physical rewards.
Stay away from the sad step
For all SORTS of reasons but particularly after you’ve been on a health and fitness bender- the scales could tell you that you’ve gained weight when it’s simply fluid retention, and even if you have put on pounds, you won’t feel better for weighing yourself. Joe estimates that the scales would probably tell him that he’s gained 4 kg in the past month, but he’s not going there.
Make two of your daily meals at home
You’re “two nil up” according to Joe if you stick to this as a guideline. For Wicks the lure of the American breakfast bar has proved particularly irresistible, but he’s found that everything from his workout plan to his energy levels have benefitted when he’s returned to the habit of making at least breakfast and dinner at home. Check out Joe Wicks' Lean in 15 recipes here for inspo.
Remember why you’re taking care of yourself
Because it makes you feel awesome, mainly. Also long-term health, weight maintenance, better skin...there’s a myriad of perks to eating good food and exercising regularly. See the perks, not the pain.