By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer

One of the most critical parts of a fitness program can easily be that moment when we first slip up and deviate in some small way from our plan. It will happen, most likely, and will probably happen to all of us. It happened to me the second week of the 10-Week Photoshoot Ready Challenge. I missed a few workouts because of some unexpected things that popped up and needed my attention, and before I knew it, it was Friday and I had only gotten ONE workout in.

“Seriously, Naomi? This is only the second week and already you’re missing, not just some, but all except one workout? So early in the Challenge? This is ridiculous,” I thought to myself, beating myself up over it.


It would have been so easy for me to just call that week a “screw up week” and start fresh on Monday. That was that pivotal moment for me – that critical moment when I realized I had a choice to make. I still had Friday, Saturday and Sunday left to make up as many of the workouts as I could, or at least one or two of them.

But, I kept thinking that I could just start fresh on Monday. Why was I even considering not working out the rest of the week just because I only got one of the five workouts in? I had no idea why the thought even crossed my mind to not do anymore weight lifting the rest of the week. That was really bugging me, but after really thinking about why I was considering not doing anymore workouts, it dawned on me: I felt like the whole entire week was a failure because I was so behind in my workouts! I felt so strongly that the week was a failed week that I was willing to just take the remaining three days off and wait until Monday to start lifting again.


“NO WAY! Are you kidding?” I thought to myself, giving myself a serious lecture. “You get your butt to the gym and you get your workouts in!”

Between Friday and Sunday, I was able to make up all 4 workouts, condensing two of the workouts into one workout and lifting Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was a really good lesson for me. But it almost didn’t happen.


Every one of us here in the Nicole Wilkins Family, every one of you reading this, has felt this before and can identify with what I’m talking about. I know this because all of us here are on a journey to better ourselves, to improve some aspect of our health, fitness, athleticism, confidence, self-esteem, inner and outer strength, or maybe a little of all of the things I mentioned.

Any time you strive to be better, to push harder, to be more, to achieve more, there’s going to come a point when we’re going to fall short. None of us are immune to this, no matter how long we’ve been working out, how much experience we have, or even how much self-discipline we have. It’s just part of this journey. It’s inevitable that when you try things – difficult things – in order to improve, you are going to fall down, or come up short at some point in some way. And you will fall down again, and again, and again.


This is where you find out what you’re made of. It takes more strength, courage, dignity, fortitude and perseverance to get back up and try again, and to keep getting back up and trying again, than it does to just throw your hands up and call it quits.

The falling down and getting back up over and over part is where a lot of the growth and the strength happens! No one ever improved by taking the easy road. You improve when you struggle and push through despite the struggle.


So you ate off plan for a day, or maybe longer. So what? Is continuing to eat off plan going to make you feel better about the situation? Is it worth it to continue down that road? How is using the fact that you ate off plan for one day as an excuse to continue eating poorly working for you? How is it helping you reach your goals?

Maybe you missed a workout, or two, or, like me, all but one of your workouts for the week? What does that mean to you? Does that mean you’re failing, or slipping? I certainly felt like I was failing (at least for that week) until I chose to turn it around. Brush it off and keep forging ahead! You have a choice weather or not to accept defeat, so to speak.


If you feel like you are slipping a bit (or a lot) with your workouts and nutrition, or you feel like you’re falling down and not always able to pick yourself back up, or you’re letting life get in the way of your fitness program and your goals, here are some things you can do to prevent yourself from taking a complete nose dive with your progress.

1. Recognize this is part of the process. We aren’t always going to have a perfect week, that is a given in life. You may have an off day, or you may have several off days, but recognize that this is just going to happen sometimes for a number of reasons as part of your life long fitness journey.

2. Don’t feed the feeling of failure. When you have an off moment, or off day, or even an off week like I did, don’t beat yourself up over it, which is what I started doing initially. The more you beat yourself up over veering off plan and the more you dwell on how poorly you’re doing, the more likely you will feed the feelings of failure, making yourself even more susceptible to excuses and continuing the cycle.

3. Look at the big picture. In the grand scheme of things, your cheat meal, or cheat day, or few days of eating off plan, or your missed workouts, even if it’s a whole week, will not reverse your progress if you immediately do everything you can to get back on the path to progress. For example, let’s say you ate off plan for 3 days straight, and you are following an 8-week fitness program. If you immediately got back on plan after 3 days of eating off plan, you will still have eaten on plan 57 out of 60 days. That’s a lot of good days! But often times, after eating poorly for 3 days, it’s easy to feel like too much damage has been done and all your progress is down the drain, so might as well not even bother with eating healthy at that point, right? That, my friend, is where you have a choice to make. You can use eating poorly or missing workouts as an excuse to continue doing so, or you can stop yourself from falling off the wagon right then and there. Try to look at the big picture and realize the only way you will hurt your progress is if you continue partaking in the behavior that will reverse your progress.

4. You are in control, you have a choice. It sucks to be hit with this hard truth, but you (almost) always have choices when it comes to how you eat and if you make exercise a priority. There are exceptions, for sure, but most of the time you have a choice to make time for workouts, to make time to go to the store and buy healthy foods, a choice as to what foods you put in your mouth, and how much reaching your fitness goals is a priority for you. You are in control of this, no one else.

5. Brush it off. You can use one little deviation to completely knock you off course, or you can just brush it off as a minor inconvenience and keep pushing forward.

No matter how many times you stray off plan, readjust your course and get back on the right path to reaching your goals. No matter how many times you stumble and fall, brush yourself off and get back up on your own two feet. You can do this. You are stronger than any excuse your brain will try and muster up to get you out of this (and it will try, that is for sure). Don’t let a day or two of eating off plan or missing your workouts be a reason for you to keep having more of those kinds of days. Make the choice to turn it around and start conquering your fitness program again!

Tip Me Tuesday: The Big 3 Goals
Tip Me Tuesday: Why We Eat
Tip Me Tuesday: The Sweet Spot
Tip Me Tuesday: Calories And Fat Loss
Tip Me Tuesday: Rise To The Challenge

Naomi-lighterBIOOne of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.

Go here to find out more about training with the NW Fitness Training Team!