Good morning! How is everyone’s week going thus far? Mine’s been pretty quiet…my class on Tuesday and one of my classes on Wednesday were cancelled. The extra time off has been appreciated!
Something else for me to appreciate:
The macadamia nut Kisses and the coconut M&M’s I won from Amanda’s giveaway a little while ago came in! I haven’t gotten to the M&M’s yet, but the Kisses are amazing. You know the cookies at Subway? Whenever I get one, my first choice is the white chocolate chip macadamia nut. Because chocolate and macadamia nut makes for a fabulous combo. Thanks love!
Speaking of good food, last nights dinner was the simplest, but most delicious dinner possible:
A shrimp ring with cocktail sauce and a loaf of cheesy garlic bread, split between the boyfriend and myself. All I had to do with defrost the shrimp and stick the loaf in the oven for a few minutes – best dinner idea ever. Yes, I am obsessed with shrimp and cocktail sauce
Workout Plan…or Lack Thereof.
So in my goal post on Tuesday, I eluded to a new approach that I’m taking to my workouts in April.
Basically, I love working out and being active. Sitting on the couch all day, every day is not appealing to me in the least – I just get lethargic and antsy. The last year or so, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into weights over anything else, and I’m happy with the results I’ve gotten. I feel stronger and more accomplished fitness-wise than I have in a really long time.
But, I think my relationship with the gym needs some work.
Although I had never really thought of it in these terms before, I think it’s safe to say that in recovery, I became dependent on exercise. It was more comfortable for me to watch my food and calorie intake go up when I was hitting the gym and burning something off 5-6 days a week. If something got in the way and I wasn’t able to fit my workout in, I would panic. Although I knew it was unrealistic to think so, I was convinced that if I missed just one workout, I would gain five pounds instantly. Last spring, I was working overnights and still dragging myself to the gym, even when I was exhausted. Because I had a plan, and I couldn’t deviate.
Over the last 8 months or so, I’ve broken away from that mindset. I remember when I started doing Jamie Eason’s Livefit Trainer last summer, I laid awake for hours at night agonizing over the fact that the first four weeks of the program had me working out 4 days a week. And there was no cardio. After working out 5-6 days a week for years with at least 3 runs or treadmill workouts, I was absolutely terrified to cut it out completely, even for only a month. I did end up following through with it, and began to realize that I didn’t have to ‘sweat every day’ or anything of the sort – the body desperately needs rest just as much as it needs to be active.
I’m confident in saying that I have a much more comfortable relationship with exercise and the gym. I’m perfectly happy working out 4-5 days a week, and I take a complete deload every few months to allow my body ample recovery. In fact, I ended up taking all of my two-week Christmas vacation off from exercise and I enjoyed every moment.
However, thanks to this post, I realized a couple weeks ago that I’m still more reliant on the gym than I need to be. I’m a perfectionist at heart, so when I can’t stick to my planned workouts, I get a little bit of anxiety or guilt. When I’ve planned 20 minutes on the elliptical and I’m only able to complete 10 due to time constraints, I mentally beat myself up for not planning my time better. It’s frustrates me now to think about why I let that bother me so much. Why do I let a piece of paper dictate how much exercise is ‘enough’?
The truth is, I allow the gym and my workouts too much control in my life. When I got my class schedule in January, my first goal was to figure out when I was going to fit in my workouts. I was 15 minutes late to class a few weeks ago because I ‘had’ to finish up my workout. When I go back to my parents for a weekend, I make sure to pack my running shoes because I usually have a workout planned on Saturday or Sunday. If I’m tired and don’t really feel like going to the gym, I go anyways, because I had planned for it. When I need to make an appointment, I make sure it’s not between the hours of 10:00-11:00 am, because that’s been my gym time all semester.
So, I need to break away from this mindset and give myself a bit more freedom when it comes to my workouts. So my workout plan this month?
No plan. Absolutely nothing. I will wake up in the morning and decide in the moment what my workout will be…if I workout at all that day. I love my heavy weights, so it’s likely that I’ll still hit the gym quite a bit. But now that the weather’s getting warmer, I may want to go for a run outside. Or take a walk on the trail around the river that’s near my apartment. I might stay in and stretch or do yoga…or plant my butt right on the couch. I will actually listen to my body, and not an obscure piece of paper telling me what I should be doing that day.
I’m starting to realize that I let my life revolve around my workouts, when really, it should be the other way around. I don’t know what’ll happen in May; I may decide that I like this approach and stick with it, or I might go back to following a plan (that I will allow myself more freedom on). We’ll see. But for now, I need to break away from the extra stress, guilt and anxiety that my workouts can cause. Perfectionism is stressful – when I broke away from that in my eating habits, I became a lot happier and carefree. I’m thinking breaking that mindset in my exercise will do the same.
<— What’s your approach to workouts? Planned or unplanned?
<— Anyone feel that they put too much pressure on themselves to complete workouts?
<— Favourite cookie? Oatmeal chocolate chip is another favourite for me.