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The Myth of "Starting Over" with Fitness and Nutrition

How many times have you said,

“I just need to start over…”

”I need to go back to XYZ diet program and start again…”

“I’m going to hit the reset button with another cleanse or another round of Whole30…”

If you’ve been in a season of struggle with your workouts and nutrition, there’s a strong urge to wish for a clean slate.

When we’ve think we’ve been bad - skipped workouts, over-ate, gained weight, become reliant on sugary, processed foods - a clean slate feels good, right?

Saying you’re “hitting the reset button” feels like having your indiscretions forgiven and forgotten.

But I’m here to tell you:

You only start this journey once.

The belief that lifestyle change is something you start, stop, and re-start many times over is a myth - and it’s holding you back from making real progress.

Running The Race

Have you ever signed for a 10k race, or a half- or full marathon?

At some point during the race - unless you’re an elite, professional runner - you likely slowed down. Maybe you even started walking or stopped to grab water.

When you slow down or stop in a race, that doesn’t mean you have to go back to the start line and re-run those miles again. They are already behind you.

Running/walking those miles - however slowly - is what got you where you are right now and you’re closer to the finish line now than when you started.

It would be absolute insanity (and probably a disqualification) if you started walking back to the start line just because you stopped or slowed down.

“I messed up so I have to start over!”


NO! Any sane person would JUST. KEEP. GOING.

(You know where I’m going with this…)

Fat loss is no different.

When you stop or slow down with your workouts, nutrition, or habits, saying you want or need to “start over again” is like going back to the start line after you’ve already run part of the race.

Not only does it not make sense, but YOU DON’T ACTUALLY WANT THAT.

The idea that you can or should “start over” with your workouts or nutrition every time you mess up is a myth. And here’s why:

1. Real, lasting lifestyle change comes from an accumulation of knowledge and experience.

Hitting the “reset” button and continually looking to start over ignores what you’ve learned about yourself.

For example, let’s say you did a Whole30. It was very hard for you to follow and you barely made it to day 30, but you did it. Then on day 31, you absolutely lost it with sugar and ate ALL THE THINGS you weren’t “allowed” to eat for the past 30 days.

What most people will say happened here:

“I fell off the wagon and gave in. I need to hit the reset button and do another round of Whole30.”

What ACTUALLY happened here:

You signed up for a strict program that was unsustainable for you, that doesn’t work in your real, everyday life. By restricting sugar and putting certain foods “off limits,” it made you crave these foods even more and gave them even more power. You learned that this type of program doesn’t work well for you. You learned that Whole30 is not a viable solution for you to change your lifestyle and actually makes things worse, so you don’t need to do it again.

See the difference?

The first scenario is about judgement. The second scenario is about learning.

The best results come from consistently living this lifestyle for months and years, making adjustments along the way as you gain more knowledge and experience about yourself, your process, and what works for you.

You don’t want a clean slate. You want to take what you’ve learned, use it, and build on it.

2. There’s No Deadline.

One of the hallmarks of lifestyle change is that there is no end date, no deadline.

If the way you eat, train, and live needs a STOP or PAUSE button, that’s a red flag: a sign that your approach isn't right for you and/or may be too strict.

One of the best ways to ensure sustainability is to LOVE the way you eat, train, and live. Then it becomes something you WANT to do, not something you HAVE to do.

In Fat Loss Lifestyle School, we teach our clients how to build enjoyment and relief into their lifestyles with strategies like:

  • Weekly Treats/Treat Meals;

  • Short, effective workouts;

  • Buffer foods;

  • Prioritizing stress management with sleep, rest days, and leisurely activities.

We’re not white-knuckling our way through every day, trying to HOLD ON and stay on a plan.

The secret to our consistency and longevity is that we genuinely love this lifestyle! We don’t need or want a break because it has become part of who we are and what we do. Honestly - we can’t NOT do it! :)

If you find yourself repeatedly stopping and starting over, consider this: have you really committed to lifestyle change or are you still in a diet program mindset where you’re looking for easy, fast results by a date-certain?

3. Lifestyle change is an individual process.

Changing your lifestyle does not happen as a result of “finding the best plan” or “staying on plan.”

Lifestyle change happens when you CREATE your plan and take total responsibility for the outcome.

For true change to take hold, you have to take responsibility for yourself and how you want your life to be. Sure, you can hire teachers, coaches, and trainers to teach you what you don’t know. But it’s then on you to execute.

No one can hold your hand or “motivate you” and make you do the workouts or cook and eat the food.

We can teach you how fat loss works and give you a blueprint to start building your new lifestyle, but you are the only one who can:

  • Break the habits that aren’t serving you and replace them with new ones.

  • Stop the negative self-talk and Debbie Downer attitude and replace it with positivity and a can-do attitude.

  • Set your environment up for your success. For example, stocking your kitchen with the right foods each week, making your workouts part of your daily schedule, and planning ahead when eating out.

  • Stop overthinking, start taking action, and do the damn thing!

When something goes wrong, instead of disempowering yourself by blaming someone or something else, what if you said:

“This is on me. I am the only one who can fix this.”

How POWERFUL could that be? To accept that the only thing standing in your way is you!

Remember this the next time you slow down or hit a road block on your journey:

There is no such thing as a “reset button” - so stop looking for it!

Mistakes and slow-going are not signs of weakness. They are opportunities to learn. If you slow down or hit a road block: get back up and keep going.

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