Michelle always tells me getting in shape, fitness and working out has a direct correlation life. The obstacles you face in the gym are often the same ones you face in life at large. Are you slow to change? Give a 110% then bail after 2 weeks. Are you inflexible? Not in touch? If you are these things in the gym there is a good chance you are this way in the world as well.
For me, I am the second one. I come in guns blazing, eager to tackle a new goal, project or obstacles, but when too much adversity hits I move on to the next thing. This is a hard quality to admit to, as I don’t wan to think I give up that easily. I like to think I am driven, goal oriented and capable… and honestly I AM, but those things don’t mean I am not ALSO struggle with defeat. Frankly, we don’t live in a culture that teaches us how to buckle down for the long haul, the struggles and the patience anymore. Everything is instant gratification, so when I started to head south in my training regimen a couple weeks ago I really had to take a close look at who I really am. Before, if I lost sight of my goals, it was never the end of the world. It usually seemed I had stopped with one thing because something better came along. I didn’t ever think it was because the first thing got hard, but maybe that IS what I had been doing.
Training was starting to get hard. I was starting to get tired. The work it took and still takes was seeming more than what I had planned for. I mean, logically I KNEW it was hard work, but I hadn’t really been through it so there was no way to truly prepare myself. I was having a breakdown. I obsessed on the why’s . Why was I tired? Why didn’t I want to work out? Why was I so emotional? I began to question everything about my choice to “get in shape” Was it the heavier weights? Was I sleeping wrong? Was I doing too much in my life in general? Was this just an off week? My head was spinning and I was not excited anymore. It became too much to think about and it wasn’t fun anymore.
If I am being honest, I even had a few secret tears (after swearing I wouldn’t be that girl) just because. I had to force myself to keep a smile and deal with the internal frustration and all the over thinking. Quitting is so easy and started crossing my mind daily for the first time since I started this journey. It’s so easy to give up. However, as much as I wanted to quit, I also felt guilty for this desire. I felt guilty about being tired. I wanted to be in #beastmode, #noexcuses, and all that other stuff I see daily on social media. I didn’t want to be a #quitter.
Lucky for me I have a lot of support in my life with my brother and sister and my trainer, Michelle. I’m a talker and I started talking about my feelings. When Michelle first told me it was ok and to just take a few days rest, I thought she was babying me. But then my family and friends said the same thing and slowly but surely it sunk in. The guilt was still there, but I guess that’s cause I’m just the type to always push myself, but I was letting myself do it.. I was slowing down for a few days.
In this time the worries and whys and what ifs slowly subsided and my thoughts began to get clearer. I was able to reassess why it was I went after this goal in the first place and started to comprehend that REST is part of the process with getting in shape. IT isn’t GO GO GO.. No one can go from out of shape to beast mode. It will always be a little 2 step forward 1 step back, or so I am told, with every progress there will be an adjustment period and a moment needed to catch my breath.
This moment of catching my breath really allowed me to start to remember why I started in the first place. I was calming down and regaining my energy and instead of tears I started to look at myself in the mirror and see the progress I had already made. Hell I was getting LINES in my ABS! What?! I had been so focused on the end game, big picture before, I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for the little goals and this one was exciting enough to fame my flame of excitement again. The rest time also gave me a moment to reassess the larger picture and see what my true priorities were. In the past, as I said, I often would move on to the next new thing carried by excitement and adrenaline. Not really prioritizing any real goals. However, I DID want that amazing body I had dreamed of for years and so this time I KNOW I had to do something different. I looked at everything I was doing. Michelle told me to pick the three most important things in my life and if something I was doing to benefit those three things, I shouldn’t do it. This was great advice. I was doing hundreds of things hoping something would pan out as my golden ticket (and also because I enjoyed them), but was realizing I would be successful at none of them if I didn’t give them the proper attention. I wanted to succeed at this, and my breakdown was now appearing to be a break through!
A few things I really addressed and feel helped me get through are as follows
1-Rest is good. Don’t beat myself up for it. Michelle always says; “muscle grows while you’re resting”
2-Always remember 1 or 2 solid reasons WHY I am doing this, so in moments of doubt I can quickly remind myself.
3- Don’t just TALK priority. Really LIVE my priorities
4-Be patient with myself and think progress not perfection. Keep going.
5- Expect Obstacles
6- Expect frustration and then let it go. Don’t give it the little energy I have.
7- Most importantly, this is my new lifestyle not just a goal to be tackled and moved on from. There is no end game just constant and steady progress.
I believe more now than ever that sometimes you have to get to the lowest point in order to see what you are really made of. Are you going to let adversity be a breakdown or breakthrough. It’s all a part of the process and growing. Today I am just happy to be pressing onward.