Updated: Jan 10, 2019
I got this!.... oh look! A donut!....
Staying motivated when temptations arise.
Written by, Stephanie Santamaria IFBB Pro
So you’ve decided to prep for a show... or just on a mission to improve your physique; Well my friends your diet is your main source of success or the pitfall for failure. So how do you stay on track when temptations are everywhere??
It’s no myth, prep is not easy! (or dieting). Food is everywhere. And it seems to be the focus of all social activities. You should probably just come to terms and stay home for the next 3-4 months, right?? WRONG!
Food does not run the world... Girls do! Just ask Beyoncé.
The most important and first step you must do is; change your mindset about food. Secondly, and just as important; remember your goal. Why you started. What you set out to achieve.
Nothing worth achieving ever comes easy... yada yada yada... insert inspirational quotes here.
So, what are the main reasons people break and fall smack dab onto the pastry wagon...?
- Holidays, social events, etc.
- A bad day and/or mood
Let’s break it down....
Holidays/Social gatherings/outings: Contrary to what it may appear... holidays and social gatherings aren’t about the food. It’s about the people! Seeing your family and friends. Making memories with your loved ones. Quality time with the people you enjoy spending time with. Food just accompanies the gathering, it shouldn’t be the focus. Prepare, pack your meals. You can still eat along with everyone else. Who cares if you’re eating chicken while others have pizza?! Your goals are different than theirs. What matters is you’re with your people. Being social does not require food. If you look beyond restaurants and bars, there are so many fun things to do that don’t involve food.
Emotional eating: But I had a bad day....! Whatever the reason you’re feeling in the dumps; your boyfriend broke up with you, you got a flat tire, hard day at work.... The list it literally endless. Anyone can come up with an excuse and talk themselves into ‘deserving’ that pint of ice cream. I get it, when you’re on a strict diet at times it feels as if you have no source of comfort. I’ve been there, you’re not alone. You’re cranky, tired, hungry, sore from your workouts.... All you want to do in that moment is lie on the couch with a bowl of something delicious. Remember what it’s all for... that goal you set out to crush! Find other ways to calm or comfort yourself; a good book and blanket, a light conversation with a friend, a silly movie guaranteed to make you laugh, snuggles with your pet, or maybe you just need a quick nap. It’s normal to have bad days/moods, just find a better way to cope with them.
Impatience: We all want immediate results. You ate great for two weeks, you should be lean now right? Guess again. As an average we all spend days, weeks, months, maybe years putting junk into our bodies. It’s not going to just fall off in an instant because you started a strict diet. It takes time. And everyone’s body and genetics are different. Also since you see yourself every single day, you don’t see the gradual changes as easily. Be patient with your body. Stay the course and know, with time and dedication you can succeed in your goal. Undue stress and frustrations only raises your cortisol levels, making your goal to get leaner much harder.
Cravings: Here’s the tough one. GIVE ME SUGAR! You’ve cut many flavors from your palette that you were once used to. In return your mind and body are going to go through some form of withdrawal. Once again, remember your goal. The craving, the moment will pass. Do not throw away weeks or months of hard work on a weak moment. It’s just an ugly spiral downhill from there. You tell yourself ‘just one cookie’ you blink and suddenly realize you’ve eaten an entire row of Oreos! Now your disappointed with yourself, so you think, ‘I already screwed up, might as well finish off that ice cream too.’ ... and so it goes from there. Once you give into a craving, it doesn’t just go away... oh no sister, the floodgates open with a vengeance! And then you’re left with regret and shame, and the dreadful ‘what if’s’. Biggest tip I can give you on this one is; DO NOT get lazy with your meals. Be creative with your foods. If you’re eating plain chicken and rice for every meal chances are high you’re going to get bored with it. Switch up your cooking styles (bake, air fry, grill, crockpot, etc.). Switch up your seasonings. For those sweet tooth’s; there are several options available that are calorie free. From flavored syrups, to sweetener drops, to beverages. Recognize you are not sentenced to bland dry food, good whole foods can be very tasty if you take the time. Never be afraid to ask for ideas from others. Over the weeks I will share with you some of my ideas and recipes to utilize.
To sum it all up;
If you’re ever struggling with your diet, don’t hold it in until you break, talk to someone! Ask for help. Get new ideas. I’d rather get a message at 10pm from a client than the next day apology for ‘screwing up.’ And if you did slip up, let it go, move on, get back on track. Don’t give up.
Remember this is YOUR goal, YOUR victory to achieve. Don’t look for sympathy from others as you eat your prepped meals. Cause chances are when you’re rockin’ that bikini they’ll be envious of you and what you were able to achieve. They won’t be feeling sorry for you then.
Temptation is strong, but sweetheart you’re stronger! You can do this! I believe in you! Nothing can stop you!
-Stephanie Santamaria, IFBB Pro