HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR COMMUNITY!

Pressing pause, or adjusting the dial?

“I’ll resume healthy eating after this lockdown… once the weather warms up I’ll start training again… I’ll start Monday… on January 1st – Oh no wait, that’s passed, maybe next year.” 

While this kind of thinking seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

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“If I miss some workouts, eat the wrong things, skip the finisher… I fail.

Aren’t I more likely to succeed if I take a break, just until I have the time to do it right?”


This is what we call the ‘pause-button mentality’.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I think it’s normal — even commendable — to want to do your best. To consider taking time to regroup and then resume (or start over) when life feels easier.

At the same time, this completely natural and well-meaning impulse is one of the fastest, surest, most reliable ways to sabotage your plans for improved nutrition, health, and fitness.

Here’s why — and what to do instead.

Starting fresh after you lose your way is a really comforting thought.

That’s probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, especially following the indulgence-fuelled holiday season.

Give me those biscuits. I’ll pick my diet back up on Monday!

In fact, we’ve learned that the idea of a do-over is so alluring you don’t even need a mess-up for the pause-button mentality to take over.

But here’s the problem: The pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.

Whether it’s tomorrow, Monday, next week, or even next year, hitting that imaginary pause button gives you some sense of relief.

It allows you a little respite from what can be a really tough slog.

(And the middle is always a tough slog, it doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re working on.)

This perceived relief is compounded by the illusion that if we “start fresh” later we can find the magical “right time” to begin.

Listen, we get it.

It can feel absurd to try to improve your eating and exercise habits while you’re in the midst of a lockdown, suffering chronic stress, looking for a job, starting a new job, caring for aging parents, raising small children and now being a part-time teacher.

We want it to be perfect or be nothing at all.

But what does that really teach you?

The skill of getting fit within a very short (and completely non-representative) period of your life.

What don’t they teach you?

The skill of getting fit (or staying fit) in the midst of a normal, complicated, “how it really is” sort of life.

This is why the yo-yo diet thing has become such a phenomenon.

It’s not about willpower. It’s about skills.

In most fitness scenarios, you learn how to get fit under weird, tightly-controlled, white-knuckle life situations.

You build that one, solitary, non-transferable skill—to slam the accelerator down, drive the needle into the red, and squeal down the road for a little while, burning the rubber off your tires until you (quickly) run out of fuel and crash.

What you don’t build is the ability to get fit under real-life conditions.

That’s why it doesn’t stick. Not because you suck.

But because the natural and predictable consequence of having a limited skill set is short-term progress followed immediately by long-term frustration.

What will be different next time we ask?

Whenever life isn’t perfect, which is most of the time, you hit that pause button. You wait for a better time. (All the while losing the health and fitness you previously worked so hard for!!)

That’s why, when our clients ask to press pause, we usually ask them:

“What will be different when you come back?”

Nine times out of 10, the honest answer is nothing. Nothing will be different.

Life is just… happening. And it’ll happen again, perhaps in the next lockdown (let’s hope this is the last!), or when a different life event happens, a new job, a stressful time in your life….

And what then?

We are here to help you BUILD those skills, so that you are that healthy and fit person every day, even in the craziest of times, even when you feel motivated or feel unmotivated, having the best or worst of days you ARE still that person.

Think of it instead of pressing pause, adjusting the dial.

Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life.

We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human.

If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.

Here are a few strategies for getting out of the pause-button mentality and into a more realistic, effective, sustainable way of thinking.

“Always something.”

1. Try the dial method

Think of your fitness like a dial that goes from 1 – 10.

If you were to dial it up to “10”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/ habits would you practice in that scenario.


If you were to dial it down to a “1”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/ habits would you practice in that scenario.


Giving thought to your life right now, where is your dial set?

Would you like to make any adjustments?

Could you move the dial up a channel, or even half a channel?

If so, what would that look like?

On the other hand…

Should you move the dial down a channel so you can stick with health and fitness even during a difficult time?

2. Aim for a little better.

An all-or-nothing approach usually doesn’t get us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

Do you know what actually works?

Small improvements done consistently over time work.

You might be trying to make a meal out of hospital cafeteria food or scrambling to pull things together in your chaotic household. You might be spending hours awake with a newborn in the middle of the night, or stuck in yet another full-day meeting.

These aren’t ideal scenarios, but they’re not necessarily hopeless either.

Look around. Get creative. See if you can find some small — maybe minuscule — improvements.

3. Anticipate, strategise and plan.

Since we already know that stuff is going to go wrong, the best thing we can do is anticipate and make plans for how to deal when they do.

A simple way to do this is by answering two questions:

  1. What’s likely to get in the way of what I hope to accomplish?
  2. What is something I can do today to help me keep going when I face those obstacles?


For some people, that might be a Sunday ritual where they prep food for the week so they won’t be scrambling for healthy meals on busy weeknights. For others, it might mean having a healthy meal-delivery service on speed dial.

Don’t be surprised and dismayed when things go haywire. They will at some point. Just arm yourself with the best tools and strategies so you can stay in the game when you’re thrown a curveball.

We are here to help YOU, create some time, structure, small do-able goals, we are here to guide you and to keep you moving FORWARD not stagnating and losing all your fitness.

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