Every Sunday, I email Nicole with an update on my eating, workouts, weight, etc. I sent her my update on Sunday. I have sometimes in the past dreaded her response, but have always been relieved to see that she doesn’t rake me over the coals for not being perfect and encourages me to get back on track the following week. However, this week was a little bit different. I explained to her that last week I was still sick and on antibiotics. I did make it to the gym twice, but basically didn’t follow the meal plan at all. Her response was:
No more messing around. It’s been weeks since you were on track.
Ouch. I know it’s the truth, but there’s something about someone else calling you on it (especially someone you admire and respect) that really makes it sting. Nicole sent me my off season program right before Thanksgiving and I have yet to have a single week where I came even close to following it. I looked back at my emails to her over the past few weeks and among the excuses are:
- I’m sick
- I’m depressed because I put my cat to sleep
- I’m going to Vegas
- I’m tired
- I don’t have energy
- I overslept
- The holidays
Those are mostly BS. Yes, there were a few days where I really was sick and needed to rest…but not for all of the past two weeks. Even on days I could justify skipping the gym, I can’t justify eating crap. If the Kayla who was one week out from the competition could see the Kayla sitting here typing up this post, she (or I?) would be very disappointed.
I’m doing myself a disservice. My endurance is way down and cardio that used to be a piece of cake feels difficult. I’m uncomfortable in my gym clothes and self-conscious when I’m working out. I don’t feel strong and disciplined and healthy. I feel like a slob.
Working out and eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore, but it does need to be a priority. Kenneth Blanchard said:
There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interesting in doing something, you only do it when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.
I don’t want health and fitness to be something I only prioritize when it’s convenient to do so. I want it to be an every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year commitment. There’s another quote from Jerry West (I tried reading his autobiography, but just couldn’t get through the whole thing) that hit home for me:
You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
I’ve been letting myself off of the hook and using bumps in the road to justify taking a major detour or even turning the car around and heading back the way I came! So, what do I do to get back on track? I keep talking about it, but I haven’t actually followed through.
“Shut up and do it” is good rule of thumb for me. If I start thinking about how tired I am and how much I don’t want to go to the gym, that’s giving me an opening to make the wrong decision. I shouldn’t even entertain those trains of thought and shut them down as soon as I recognize them. The only workouts you regret are the ones you don’t do!
Not only in fitness, but in life, being able to reframe your thoughts and attitudes toward things that happen is essential. Take something that you automatically see as a negative and find a way to spin it positively. Here are some examples:
Negative: I have no energy and had a super stressful day. I really don’t want to go to the gym.
Positive: Today was stressful and really drained me. I really need to go to the gym to blow off some steam and get a shot of endorphins.
Negative: My legs are dying. This workout is so hard. I just want to quit.
Positive: This workout is intense! My legs are going to look awesome after a couple of months of doing this workout every week!
I won’t deny that it’s hard to get started when it comes to working out and eating healthy. It’s pretty normal for out of shape people to hate going to the gym when they first start. Why? Because it’s hard! But the thing is, once you get yourself to go, you see results, you get stronger, your endurance improves, and before you know it, you are actually excited about going! When I first started training for the half marathon, I hated running. I forced myself to do it, and eventually it became easier and I actually started to enjoy it. During competition prep, I liked doing cardio (especially the stairmill) because my conditioning was good and a challenging cardio workout felt great. My 35 min cardio session last night on the cross-trainer was NOT awesome. I was huffing and puffing and bored, but I knew that with each training session I complete, I’m making small improvements and working my way back to being in great cardiovascular shape. It was also one step toward establishing healthy habits and a routine again, even if the workout itself wasn’t the greatest.
I ate clean and trained mean yesterday. I’m on track today and looking forward to tonight’s workout with excitement instead of disdain. I can choose to work hard or I can choose to make excuses. If I choose to work hard, I also have a choice to drag myself to the gym kicking and screaming, or to embrace the opportunity to do something that is good for me and that takes me one step closer to my goals. I choose the latter!
Also, when it comes to reframing your thoughts, I’ve found this extremely helpful: http://alienryderflex.com/fitness_meditation.html