One of my coaching clients reported to me recently,
“I’m totally tapped out after a month of hard training. I’m eating too much, eating the wrong things, I just feel like I’m too drained to put in the effort. Help!”
Now, this particular client happens to be an Olympic Gold Medalist, so when she says she’s training hard, I know we’re talking 5-7 hours a day of intense activity. Of course she’s feeling drained! But I’m no stranger to that feeling, and I bet you aren’t either. We all have those periods, when mental, physical and emotional needs have left us with very shallow reserves. Is the solution to just buckle down, dig deeper for some resolve? We need to just try harder, right?
Nope. We need to try easier. Make the healthy action the easiest thing. The most convenient. The foods within closest reach. The autopilot response.
Some ways to do this include modifying your home environment. What foods do you have on hand? If you stock the fridge with salad fixings and cooked protein, you can toss together a tasty, nutrient-rich plate more easily than calling for pizza. If you develop a default list of healthy meals you know you can order at local eateries, you can sidestep the internal moral dilemma while staring into the menu. Just walk in and order your standard.
Keep some premixed spice blends on hand so you can season some meat without thinking or measuring and throw it on the grill. I like Greek, Cajun, and Montreal Steak. I also keep frozen veggies like peas, spinach and carrots on hand that I can heat up when I’m simply too drained to tackle washing and chopping.
Leave your sneakers in the car so you can take a walk after work, instead of having to go home first and change. Why add the extra step?
Can you think of some way you can make your fitness and nutrition goals a little more automatic, a little easier? Especially when you are stressed, exhausted, or tapped out from training like an Olympian….you’ll be glad you did.