Get Out Of Your Head and Get Into The Gym

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:

  1. Physical exhaustion – not getting enough sleep because of staying up too late.
  2. Intellectual exhaustion – 15 hours of class over a 3 day period will do that.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Guilt – not sticking to my meal plan, letting stress get the best of me, overextending myself with social obligations, skipping my workouts, etc.
  6. 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!



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