Let’s face it;
sometimes you just.don’t.want.to.go.
You know- to the gym.
The thought of changing your clothes, tying your shoes, putting your hair in a ponytail, driving/walking to the building… it’s all too much. And sitting on your couch watching the latest episode of Real Housewives seems way easier and probably more fun.
I recently suffered a “don’t-want-to-go” day. The weather is changing, and it’s borderline perfect for outdoor activity/must go back indoors to work out. What’s a person to do?
When I get into a rut, I try a few different things to get unstuck:
- Change into gym clothes as soon as I get home. No in-between sweats. Straight for the real stuff.
- Pick a time you’re going to leave. And then STICK to it. No excuses, even if it means setting an alarm. Sometimes I’ll plan for a time that will get me there just in time to tune into a favorite show.
- Switch up your routine. Do you always run on the treadmill for 1/2 hour regardless? Maybe you need to add a little biking, weight lifting, or even some intervals to the mix. You can really go on a ledge and take a class (Zumba is one of my favorites) or join intramural team or even try your hand at the rock wall.
- Call a friend and make a gym date. If you cannot go at the same time, just let them know when you’re going to keep each other accountable.
- Get some new music and save it for the gym.
- Psych yourself up! Dance around the house as you are leaving for the gym. It’s time to CELEBRATE GOOD HEALTH!
- … and finally, remember how good you feel after you finish a workout. If you go with a friend, end with a high five. ESPECIALLY on the toughest days. Every bit of effort is something! (Full disclosure: on more than one instance I’ve been tempted to run around and high five people at the gym who look like they would like to be anywhere else but at the gym. So if I ever run up to you with my hand in the air, you know why.)
As the weather gets colder, it’ll get easier and easier to talk yourself out of a workout. Start your mental training TODAY by developing an exciting routine; and keep it fun, fresh, and full of HIGH FIVES!
Do you ever get so lost in your own thoughts that when you “come to” you struggle to put the pieces together, like how much time has passed, maybe how far you’ve ventured from home, how you could’ve possibly missed the ringing of your phone?
This happens to me. A lot. It’s almost always brought on by the same things:
exercise + good music + nature.
I swear I go into a trance.
I was out on the Greenway one day and actually jumped as a person passed me in the other lane. I was thinking about life, about love, about people… and all of a sudden a girl jogged past me and my rollerblades literally left the pavement.
Oh- Hello there, Reality!
Sometimes life sucks. It just does. You do really bad on a test, your car breaks down, your hair won’t work, you sleep through a big meeting, you get into a fight with a loved one, your morning coffee is now down the front of your shirt, you lose your pet… the rain just won’t seem to quit!
In those moments, I get a choice. In those moments, I have become totally and completely aware of the choice I get to make. This awareness has resulted mainly because of a 16+ year food battle.
1. I can eat my way through the emotions. I can quiet those voices that used to tell me it was the only way and listen to the ones that tell me I’m worth so much more than an entire package of cookies and the guilt that ensues.
2. I can explode on some unlucky recipient because it just becomes too much to hold in. “I SAID NO ONIONS ON MY SANDWICH, HOW DARE YOU?!” Ridiculous… right?!
3. I can lace up my shoes, grab my iPod, and cover some ground. (My family jokes that I am the “philosopher” of the bunch- I love quotes and emotions and talking and people.) I’ve discovered that my Greenway visits fill my soul like nothing else. There have been times when I’ve walked for over 4 hours without even realizing it- just thinking about life. When I return home, almost Army crawling because my legs have had it, I feel refreshed (and usually really thirsty)!
Whether it’s walking, running, rollerblading, biking, lifting weights, playing tennis, shooting some hoops, joining a kickboxing class, or whatever else gets you up and off the couch and clearing the clouds out of your mind… Just do it. Trust me. You’ll feel so much better mentally, physically, and emotionally when you finish; the best kind of therapy.
This week has been CRAZY-busy. I had no clue what day it was (until Friday, of course), and the only reason I knew the time was because my faithful cell phone kept telling me where I needed to be with each alarm.
I decided at the beginning of the week that I would do my best with working out and just be at peace with where ever that ended up. (This is hard for me to accept sometimes.)
I finally had a chance to get my hair done (first time since OCTOBER! I KNOW- I WAS DESPERATE.) 3 hours later, I emerged feeling confident and ready to conquer the world.
It was nearly 9pm
(practically my bedtime) and I was closer to the Wellness Center than my house. I decided that I would stop for JUST 20 MINUTES- that’s it. Piece of cake.
Normally I have a very “all or nothing” mentality with exercise- if I can’t get the full time in for some reason my brain deems it as pointless.
Not that night. I ended up going for just over a half hour, and it felt great!! I walked out of there with my sweaty new hair ‘do and a big smile on my face.
Your workout doesn’t have to take hours, or even a full hour. It doesn’t have to take place in the gym. Just get off your toosh and MOVE!
Remember that every minute counts.
Your heart and mind will thank you!
Finals are just around the corner, and even though I’ve graduated from college already, I still have nightmares of the last push to Christmas break occasionally.
The truth is, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in, it’s important to remember that we have limits, and we must act accordingly.
Remember when I told you that I recently moved back for a new job and new adventure? I still love being back in Grand Forks. And I still love what I get to do at my job every day… but I recently learned that there are moments when I might fall off Cloud 9.
For the most part, my job keeps me very, very busy. And because I love what I do, I think about it… almost all of the time. And because I’m a very “do it now and get it done” kind of person, I catch myself even sending emails in my sleep. The truth is, it doesn’t bother me… or so I thought.
Ever since my accident, I’ve started a downhill-spiral-caught-in-a-snowball-toward-a-tree kind of thing. It wasn’t necessarily that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things kept happening to me, I was just extra sensitive to the every day things that just sort of “happen.” Because I was busy reacting, my head was in a fog, and I started to just numbly coast toward Thanksgiving.
I was working out last Monday. A meeting went later than expected, so I missed a class I wanted to attend (another layer on the snowball). I decided to do some running/walking around the track… and the running part felt so good: I was FREE! Eventually I finished and started stretching. When I stopped, my racing mind caught up with me, and… so did the tears. Luckily I was sweating enough that the tears weren’t too noticeable (at least in my own mind). But as soon as I went outside into the fresh air it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’m not sure what “it” was, but it made breathing difficult. So I did what every daughter in distress does: call home. I talked to my dad about the Sing-Off, the weather, the upcoming vacation, and just about anything else that he could think of to distract me. Eventually that suffocating feeling passed, but sleep was the furthest thing from my mind.
I made it to the long weekend, and “home.” I slept 2-3 times longer than I had in weeks, turned off my phone, and laughed with loved ones. I ate good food (but not until I was sick), made sure I snuck in physical activity at least once a day, helped Christmas
puke all over our house come alive through decorations, and enjoyed the simplicity of life for a few days.
As I was driving back at the end of the long weekend, I started to think about what led me to those tears while I was stretching. The truth is, I was trying to do too much. The lack of focus resulted from trying to think of too many things. I was so busy trying to be one step ahead I was tripping over the imaginary hurdles right in front of me. I hit my brick wall of reality.
WORKINGSPIRIT wrote about the importance of slowing down a few weeks ago, and I just have to say “ditto.” After a few days of slowing down, I feel refreshed and ready for the week ahead- finally.
As you approach the finish line- whether it’s in the form of tests, papers, projects, meetings, tasks, or anything else that is in front of you, make sure that you take care of yourself and pay attention to what you need. Set aside one hour to hit the Wellness Center for some activity; it will leave you feeling refreshed, happier, less stressed, and and sleeping better. Even though you’re surrounded by some pretty amazing(ly rich) foods, enjoy them in moderation; healthier choices give you energy, make you feel better about yourself, and sleep better too. Sleep enough- 7 to 8 hours at least every night- that means you may have to make a schedule and stick to it. Being tired won’t help your thought process. Know that it’s OK to talk to someone if you need too (being honest with loved ones helps me tremendously).
Although You are pretty darn amazing, it’s good to know your limits and respect yourself by respecting those boundaries.
Best of luck as you enter the week (and the challenges) ahead!