I got sick recently, to the point where I took a day off work purely to sleep. This, of course, put me behind on everything, this email included. What it didn’t do was interrupt my 16:8 fasting habit.
I don’t share this to pat myself on the back. It wasn’t a struggle to maintain my fasting practice while I was mostly sleeping and blowing my nose; I barely had an appetite. Did my full daily health routine remain intact? No. But I also didn’t feel like I was “falling off the wagon” for missing, for example, my Active Minutes. I think that’s because Zero has helped me stop seeing my health as a “wagon” in the first place.
Taking the Long View
When you’re trying to form healthy lifelong habits, you can’t treat them the same as a short-term goal, where any derailment leads to failure. Professional stress, a new baby, the death of a loved one, and even holidays and vacations — these things are going to happen. So, any health routine that is meant to be followed indefinitely needs to take these instances into account.
This is what we’re doing at Zero. You might not want to fast for 16 hours on your birthday — that’s okay! We’ll encourage you to fast for 12 hours instead, and maybe take a quick walk or grab a few Mindful Minutes to set yourself up for tomorrow. A flexible routine is a sustainable routine, and over the long term, sustainability is what will yield weight loss that sticks and good health that persists for years on end.
Making the Most of Your Situation
Of course, it doesn’t take a big life event for your health habits to be disrupted. I got stuck tinkering with a spreadsheet the other day, lost track of time, and completely neglected my evening walk. If I had been a little more keyed in to what my body needed while I was chasing subtle formula bugs, I’d have paused to make time for mindfulness in my day; after all, that’s still the part of my health routine that I neglect the most. I didn’t do that, but you know what? The next time I opened the app, Zero reminded me of how important stress management is for my overall well-being. So, next time — and there always is a next time — I’m going to try to do better. I encourage you to do the same.