After being fully invested in my personal fitness for most all of 2013 so far, I have a confession to make. I have completely fallen off the wagon. Since returning to school and work, I have officially been to the gym twice in the past 5 weeks, and both times were certainly not for my normal hour plus workout.
At first, it was ok. I felt like I deserved a little break, and then promptly fell ill within one week of being around children. Once recovered, however, I still found myself making excuses and my inner voice saying “I’ll start next week”. Honestly, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if it weren’t for the toll this kind of self talk was taking on my self esteem. I felt like I had let myself down. I felt like I could see and feel my muscles dissipating and slowly Miley butt was setting in. I needed to find energy to get into an after school workout routine, but as much as I wanted to and packed a gym bag every day, I found myself too exhausted to actually do it when the time came around. This is the week I finally started to exercise again and it took a major adjustment in my thinking.
A while back, I told you what I do on days when I am lacking motivation. It works really well when you’re having a bad day. Swear. When you’re in a long slump, however, it’s a little bit tougher to get started. You may need to temporarily modulate the exercise plan.
Cut yourself some slack.
I felt like I didn’t have the energy to make it to the gym in the afternoon, and maybe I don’t yet. Perhaps my body needs time to readjust to waking up at 5 a.m. My mind needs to readjust to not only satisfying work demands, but getting a weeks worth of cleaning and meal planning done on the weekends as well. It’s only natural for a schedule change as such to cause flustered feelings. If I have to cut out exercise temporarily to ensure I keep my other ducks in a row and sleep at night, so be it. It won’t last forever.
Even though I may not have enough energy for my normal hour long routine, I can probably do 30 minutes. And after 5 weeks of non-exercise, I realize that 30 minutes is certainly better than no minutes. Let me tell you, I’ve been sore after those 30 minutes too. Yesterday I only lifted legs on a very light weight compared to what I was doing and today I settled for 25 minutes on the stair climber followed by stretching. No, I didn’t even pick up a weight today. Until I get my stamina back, I’m doing only what my body feels willing to do, and I’m not feeling guilty about it.
Find a support buddy.
I’m usually NOT a social gym goer. At all. In fact, I hate working out with other people because talking gets me out of my zone. However, desperate times call for desperate measures so I’m giving it a try. I’m participating in a “Couch to 5K” running group at my school (Starts tomorrow!) and am looking forward to a switch in routine. Sure I’ve run many 5Ks and even a 10K with no problem, but considering how sore I was from 30 minutes of light lifting, I’m certain I’ll be huffing and puffing and breaking a worthwhile sweat. Want to do it with me? Check out the link and follow along!
Do it for leisure.
If you look at exercise as a way to relax your brain and have some “me” time, it really makes it a lot more appealing at the end of a long day at work. Again, push only as hard as you are willing. After all, a little exercise is better than no exercise.
If I start back up by following these 4 principles, I am positive that I WILL wake up one morning with my fitness motivation back in earnest. Until then, it’s not something I can force. So here I am enjoying this little light to moderate exercise life..... at least for a week for two ;)