There are plenty of articles about how to get back on track
How to dig deeper, how to optimize nearly every aspect of your life. And good grief, everyone on the internet is all #riseandgrind – posting workouts, donuts, and booty pics. (Maybe I need to do some unfollowing?) But you know what I’d like to see more articles about? Cutting yourself some slack. If only we could build ourselves up with as much exuberance as we cut ourselves down.
The 28-day Challenge wrapped up awhile back here at SOF, and while our challengers made awesome strides, you might be thinking that maybe you didn’t do so great. Even if you didn’t participate in the challenge, maybe there always seems to be people getting better results and working harder than you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – check in with yourself. Be honest with yourself, but make sure you look at the whole picture.
You might be thinking about ramping it up
Maybe you want to start really pushing – to start eating better, meal prepping every weekend, and busting plateaus in the gym – but psychologically and physiologically you might not be quite there yet. Take a real look at what’s been happening in your life the last few months.
Because I rarely shy away from using my own life as
a cautionary tale an example, here’s what I mean.
Over the last six months, I went from a job that was solitary and sedentary to working on my feet with physical demands in a very social setting. And disrupting my workout routine was the fact that I could no longer sign up for sessions ahead of time – everything was now on a drop-in basis, taking away the accountability aspect I’d come to rely on. (No one wants those late cancel fees!)
I figured I’d get a break once the internship drew to a close. I figured wrong. December brought more changes and an increase in hours as I prepared to become a trainer at SOF. Oh yeah, also holidays and family stuff, because life happens. Then January started and I felt like I’d been shot out of a canon. I volunteered to sub more, and while being a new trainer was exhilarating, it was also exhausting.
I spent the early part of this year beating myself up
I couldn’t seem to find the energy to meal prep or get in quality workouts at the gym. Everything was around “meh” level. It was a NEW YEAR, I was a now a Trainer with a capital T, where was my motivation?! I wasn’t taking into account all the changes I’d been through in the last couple months – my heart and my body knew better, for sure. But my mind and ego? They were the last to catch on. The message, had I been willing to listen, was “Hey, there’s a lot going on right now. Maybe we’re flying just under status quo for the time being, but we’ll get it figured out. This is another season of life.”
Here’s the thing
Most people work more hours than me, harder than me, and have more stress at home than me. But life isn’t a comparison game. You have to focus on what’s going on in your own life. I realize that on paper my new routine didn’t seem all that taxing, but it was for me.
And now, it’s nearly May. Things have finally settled into a good routine. The newness has worn off, and I greet each day feeling ready for the challenge, not daunted. For the last few weeks, I’ve gotten in more consistent, high-quality workouts, and have started eating more green things again. Cooking! Real meals! You know what? It’s fueled me to do more. As the saying goes, “Action begets action.”
So what’s been going on with you?
Maybe your job or your family situation has been particularly stressful, you’ve been traveling a lot, or just under an unusual amount of strain. While it’s not an excuse to go off the rails, it might explain why you don’t have any motivation to start pushing hard in the gym or with your nutrition. You’re being pushed in other areas.
You aren’t some kind of failure if you’re struggling. Maybe you don’t get to the gym four days a week – maybe it’s only a couple days for a while. And maybe that’s good for now. So you’re not the Martha Stewart of meal prep lately, but are you getting enough greens, and enough protein? Taking your supplements to help fill in some gaps? Even if you find yourself ordering takeout or going out to eat, you can still make good choices. Get in the gym, but don’t worry if you’re not crushing it. Start where you’re at. You’re not weak; you’re not a wuss. Stop the comparison. You’re human. And the beauty of it is that life is seasonal, and when you’re good and ready, that push will be there.