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Fit For Life: Take a Deep Breath. Start Again

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I like to drive fast. I am not reckless, but when I get behind the wheel, I am not going for a Sunday joy ride. I have somewhere to go, and I usually have a short time frame to get there. So as I was driving in the snow this week, I was forced to slow down, and in a lot of instances, had to come to a halt. I expected this, and although not happy about all the holdups, I stayed calm, and shrugged it off. I turned up the music, slumped into my heated seat, and enjoyed the white blanket and the snail’s pace that the state was moving in. Why? Because it was all out of my control, and getting aggravated would have been a complete waste of energy. So I started thinking, and putting it all into prospective. I told myself that this was a temporary setback, and when the snow melted, things would be back to normal, and I would be able to speed up again soon. Then I started thinking deeper, and realized that most setbacks we encounter in life are temporary, and with the right mindset, we can overcome them, and move on. Here are a few common setbacks we will encounter in our lifetimes, and how to overcome them.

Stops & New Starts

Falling off your nutrition/clean eating plan can be frustrating. Especially if you regain some of the weight you worked hard to get off. These setbacks can be caused by holidays, summer cookouts, vacations, extra overtime at work, school, and numerous other things. It happens to all of us. The problem is that some people let minor, or manageable setbacks completely derail their goals. They give up, and everything previously worked for goes away. Instead of stepping back, figuring out a solution, marking a new deadline on a calendar, and creating a plan of execution, most people self sabotage, or use setbacks as an excuse to quit. This approach will always create more work when you try to get back to where you were. So next time you fall off the clean eating wagon, tell yourself that the best way to overcome this setback, is to assess the situation, and figure out a way to get back in your routine. If you are on vacation and there isn’t any healthy food you can eat, make the last day of vacation your deadline for bad eating. Hit the ground running as soon as you go home. Unpack, and hit the market. Holidays come and go, and so should the eating celebration. Instead of letting your careless eating continue till March, then scramble to get fit for the summer, make changes ASAP. Working too much overtime at work? Can’t get out to eat clean? Either bring food with you, or know when this busy season ends, and set a goal to get back to your program. My first year in business took a toll on my training. I was so busy, I didn’t get to workout enough, but I always ate clean, and found ways to stay active. Now I have a coach, and I set appointments, and pay for it. I am not up to full strength, or feeling invincible again, but I am feeling stronger every week. Whatever it takes, just know that this is a temporary setback, and you can fix it if you want to, and try hard enough.


Although there are some injuries, and sicknesses that can unexpectedly disable you, there are many instances where people let occurrences hold them back longer than they should. Many folks milk injuries, or bouts of sickness way too long, and the longer you stay away from your fitness lifestyle, the harder it is to get it back. I have examples of two different people that had major injuries, but had different mindsets, and the difference in their recovery time is amazing. A guy I work with suffered a major knee injury. One that could have left him off his feet for eighteen months, but instead he had the mindset that this injury wasn’t going to defeat him. Granted this guy is an athlete, and athletes have a more competitive demeanor than most, but he was back in the gym working out in three months. He could have (without judgment) stayed on his back for a year, but instead took the high road, realized this was a temporary set back, and got himself back in working order, quickly! On the other hand, I know someone that had a similar injury, and he allowed it to alter his life. He used pain as an excuse to be miserable, lazy, and get himself addicted to pain killers. He didn’t do the proper rehab, and it has taken years for him to recover. Instead of this being a temporary setback, he let it bring him down - for years.

We are all going to encounter temporary setbacks in life. It’s a fact, and there is no way to avoid it. The thing that will be different is how each person handles them. You can see it exactly as it presents itself, as temporary And look at the positive light at the end of the tunnel, or you can decide to live in darkness. We will all get sick, injured, have accidents, so don’t adopt the “why me” attitude and spend your days wallowing in pity and grief; instead figure out a way to get yourself back on track. Get up, brush yourself off, and take back control of your life. It’s yours to live - or ruin. You decide.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one!"


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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