The past week represents the Kayla train getting derailed. For the first time in this entire process, I skipped my workouts yesterday and took two rest days in a row (not unheard of in day-to-day life, but somewhat unheard of when you are 5 weeks out from a competition and still sitting at 16-17% bodyfat). I went out to eat twice over the weekend, and while I did try (there’s that word again) to make good choices, in hindsight it was probably a pretty bad idea to eat out this close to a competition.
To top all of that off, I was in class for almost the entire weekend – Friday 6 PM – 10 PM; Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday 9 AM – 12 PM. I had social commitments immediately after class on Saturday night (eating out #1) and immediately after class on Sunday afternoon (eating out #2). I feel like I wasn’t even home all weekend. Plus, I was awake until midnight on Saturday working on a PowerPoint presentation for class on Sunday.
When I finally got home on Sunday evening, I surveyed the damage:
- Physical exhaustion – not getting enough sleep because of staying up too late.
- Intellectual exhaustion – 15 hours of class over a 3 day period will do that.
- Psychological exhaustion – not having any down time for myself. I spent the entire weekend engaging and socializing with others. While I enjoy spending time with people, I am a true introvert, which means that I find engaging others draining and need a break to recharge afterward.
- Loss of motivation and focus – I was so busy running from this place to that place, I had lost sight of what my goals and priorities are, why they are important to me, and what is necessary for me to do in order to achieve them.
- Guilt – not sticking to my meal plan, letting stress get the best of me, overextending myself with social obligations, skipping my workouts, etc.
- Negativity – I had been battling destructive thoughts about competition all week. I thought that I should be leaner than I was at this point in the prep, I was doubting whether I would be ready on competition day, I was discouraged by the fact that I was losing focus/motivation so close to competition when I had been so on track until that point.
Being the introspective, contemplative person I am, I thought that the way to fix everything was to think about it more. I wrote down in a notebook how many days I had left until competition, my workout schedule for the week, and my daily meal plan/supplementation schedule. I also wrote down some of the things I want to accomplish to help me connect my day-to-day activities with my short-term goals (i.e. studying/class in order to get my Master’s) and my short-term goals to long-term goals.
Did this help? Somewhat. I still felt emotionally and physically crappy even though I had a plan. I woke up this morning and executed the plan I created last night. I felt a little bit better (a good night’s sleep usually does that in any situation), but still didn’t feel the same level of enthusiasm/excitement that I had before. Since it was on my plan, I hit the gym.
I had an awesome workout. I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt good about how I looked in the mirror. I had energy, power, strength, and endurance. I feel connected again to who I am and what is important to me. All of the mental muck from the past week and the night before dissipated. My body feels great, my mind is clear, and I feel recharged and renewed.
This led me to my new mantra. The next time I am bogged down in negative thinking, guilt, doubt, and confusion, I will simply tell myself:
Get out of your head and get into the gym!
The Kayla train might have taken a bit of a detour, but I am officially back on track and full steam ahead! P.S. I love the image below – it is so simple, but so true!