Let’s be a little realistic. You decide today is the day you start your new lifestyle, you’re going to eat right, workout three times week and ride your bike twice a week.

You do well the first couple of days, then day three comes around and that chocolate chip muffin sways your steely resolve and you surrender.

No matter how dedicated you are to your healthy lifestyle, there are times it won’t go to plan. You turn up at a party and find nothing fits your eating plan; or you’re at a restaurant and can’t resist ordering a menu favorite. Then there’s the one-drink-leads-to-five sin that leads to waking up with a kebab wrapper.

The list of excuses can be endless, but you still have options: Give up; rationalise it; or  perform some penance – that is make up for the sin.

Penance is by far the best way to remain on track; so if you have had a binge on something delicious, but it’s not a part of you plan, you would make up for it by doing a little more exercise. Some common sins and their penance are listed below.

It is unrealistic to expect a plan to run smoothly all the time without any deviation. Therefore it is important to expect times when we fall off the wagon and we must have a plan to get us back on track. Beating yourself up and quitting won’t get you looking and feeling fantastic.

Just forgiving yourself for the binge and keeping with your routine is much better; you are still on the journey to success. By erasing your binge you haven’t fallen behind in achieving your goals, you remain on track and you have even enjoyed eating something naughty without guilt. It’s simple and ensures that your lifestyle plan is flexible enough to take into account the times your will-power lets you down. You don’t need to feel guilty and think looking and feeling fantastic is out of reach for you.

By PAUL PEROY
info: Paul Peroy is Lifestyle Fitness Australia’s Group Fitness Manager.

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