I recently posted on social media that I was taking a day off of my workouts. Really I was just switching my rest day to Friday and working out on Sunday.
Another fitness friend of mine, of whom I respect and am by no means talking negatively about, commented that I was letting my mental weakness get the best of me. I know that this person was just giving me a hard time and meant nothing of it.
This got me thinking about how pressured I can feel to keep pushing myself, even when it’s not the best option. It got me thinking about how pressured we, as objectified human beings, feel pressured everyday to meet a certain standard; even if that means pushing yourself too far.
Now, let me be clear, I do agree that it happens. We can let our minds convince us that we aren’t capable. We can give up in a moment of weakness. It has happened to me in the past. I am sure I will succumb to it in the future. I’m not perfect.
There is such a thing as too much in the fitness world. You can overdo yourself, max yourself out or burn yourself up.
The word in the “biz” is exhaustion, and it’s the third type of reaction to muscle stimulus. It leads to injury, which puts you out of commission for far longer than an extra rest day.
The key to knowing the difference is listening to your body and the way it’s reacting to your workouts, daily schedule, sleep regime and mental state.
Listen ladies and gents, sometimes you need a damn break. Sometimes you need to just stretch it out and spend time with friends and family.
Sometimes you need to have carbs and cocktails and every laugh that is available to you. Being at your physical peak is not always the most important (unless you are a professional athlete, of course).
Usually when I am low energy, sad or anxious working out makes me feel so much better. So when my work outs are making me feel like I’m coming off the flu, instead of that good type of weakness, I felt the need to listen.
That particular day had been a dozy. I had gotten up super early to head an event at work. I had spent all day running all over our huge building. I then came home for the bus drop off and jumped into mom life hard core.
I was barely able to muster the strength to cook dinner and play with the kids. I felt it coming on, Momma needs a cocktail. I knew a work out would put me over the top, energy tapped out. Wrap me in a blanket in put me to bed.
Words were hard to form, standing felt like a chore and napping was all I could think of. We had been dealing with some family business all week that was draining. Not to mention, I had felt emotionally raw for about 3 days; not my strong suit.
So I was mentally, physically and emotionally wrecked. I made a choice.
Not today. Today I was going to self care in a different way. I filled a tumbler with ice. Put a little vodka in there with some sparkling water.
I had now committed. Today I would SKIP A WORKOUT!!
(Screeching sound in the background. Jaws dropped open. A pin hits the filthy flooring I have not cared to sweep this week. Just kidding literally no one in my household cared in the least.)
Guess what? I had a great time. I made dinner with my husband, had a cocktail with my husband and his friend and watched RHOC.
And guess who woke up feeling refreshed and killed her workout the next day?
That’s right, me!!!
I not saying go and skip your workout if you don’t feel like it. You have to push through it when it’s just you not feeling it, or you just had a bad day. You have to get yourself over those “slump days.” That is different.
What I am saying is you sometimes you have to back off when your body and mind are telling you to take a break. When there is a lot going on in your life and your stressed, exhausted and emotionally drained, one day to recharge isn’t going to kill you or your goals.
My body wasn’t a sloppy mess in the morning when I woke up, it was still strong; stronger in fact, because I gave her a rest.
The next day I woke up and got back to it.
It’s not a fail. I didn’t let myself down.
So to all my people out there are working full time, parenting, working out and managing your social schedule, remind yourself that your are worth the time and energy to dedicate to working out on a regular basis. But also remind yourself that you are worth a day off.
You are worth a relaxing day devoted to your spouse or family. You are worth a day chilling with your friends. You are worth a day spent doing your favorite activity. You are even worth a day spent binge watching your favorite show.
Yeah, I went there, nothing wrong with it. Just don’t make it a habit.
You see, amazing people, being healthy is one of the most important things; one of many. But it’s not always the most important. We put too much focus on what are bodies look like, versus how they are functioning.
There is a different between working out to be healthy and working out to impress others. It’s called vanity, and I struggle with it regularly! It can become unhealthy, just like everything else. We can push ourselves too far, and others away.
Who wants to miss out on brunch with friends, or a movie date because you haven’t worked out yet? That’s nuts to me. Your work outs should work around your schedule, not your schedule working around your workouts.
So take your day off, balance that life. Not too many, there are stills goals to be met here. But when you really need it, take the time. This is your life. That day is yours to do with what you want.
Sometimes it’s going to make you feel guilty, like you just farted on all the work you did over the last few months.
And sometimes, you’re going to come out on the other side even more dedicated than you were on the days you pushed through.
Your healthiest you isn’t always spandex shorts, a sports bra and a gallon of sweat. Sometimes is pajamas, an over-sized sweater, a glass a wine and a movie. Both are you, both are beautiful, both are healthy.
Write that down.