So…with deciding not to compete and all of the changes and plans that come along with my upcoming move to Charlotte, I confess that I have not been to the gym for a month and a half, which is a little embarrassing. Some good has come from it. I stopped placing so much importance on trying to perfect myself physically and finally realized that whether I’m 12% body fat or 20% body fat, I’m still the same person and my self-worth doesn’t change according to whether I look like a fitness model or not. Maybe that seems obvious, and intellectually, I’ve always known that, but I can’t say that I felt that way emotionally until I took a hiatus from the competitor lifestyle/culture. Second, I’ve spent a lot more time with friends and family, which is even more important now that my time in AZ is ticking down. Although balance continues to be something I need to actively work on, my life feels far more balanced than it did before and overall, I feel much less neurotic.
That all being said, there are definitely some downsides. I’ve gained weight. I’m still well within the healthy weight range for my sex, age, and height, but I am uncomfortable. My clothes are tight. I’m self-conscious and have been wearing dresses and loose-fitting clothes to hide my discomfort. There are certain items of clothing that don’t fit any more. My energy is low. My shoulder has started hurting again. My sugar and junk food cravings have begun to regain power and the thought of eating what I used to eat when prepping for a competition sounds completely unappealing.
I’ve felt like this for a couple of weeks now. Why haven’t I done something about it? Good question. Feeling out of shape and uncomfortable means that I’m self-conscious to the point I don’t want to go to the gym. Not going to the gym means being sedentary and sitting at home being depressed over feeling out of shape and uncomfortable, which leads to eating junk to self soothe, which means more weight gain and more depression. It’s ridiculous, really. If you are overweight, out of shape, or unhappy with how you look, the ONLY way to change it is to break the cycle, get your butt in the gym, and clean up your eating.
Up until today, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. Then, I came across a blog post called Motivation is a Luxury. It woke me up. Just because I’m not motivated doesn’t mean I have an excuse not to do something. And that was the exact excuse I was using. “I don’t feel like going to the gym.” “I don’t feel like eating green beans and chicken breast today.” “I’ll get back to training and eating clean after I move to Charlotte.” We do lots of things every day that we may not be motivated to do – go to work, wash the dishes, study for class, etc. So, I made a conscious choice to eat healthy today and to FINALLY get my butt back in the gym. And that’s exactly what I did.
I’m not as lean. I’m not as strong. My cardiovascular endurance SUCKS. But the only way to change that is to keep eating clean, going to the gym, and gradually working my way back to where I am comfortable and happy. And you know what? After one day of making a conscious decision to break the cycle and change, my motivation came back too. Onward and upward!