Did I mention that I stopped working out?

I went to Vegas a few weeks ago.  If you’ve read my past blog about eating healthy, you know that while I’m on vacation, all health and fitness rules pretty much go out the window.  Mind you, I try to compensate by being extremely disciplined with my nutrition and workouts during the weeks leading up to it.  I also accept the consequences and detox when I get back.

So with my Vegas trip, that was the intent.  I didn’t follow through.  Here’s what really happened:

I followed through on my pre-vacation commitment.  I stuck to my prescribed 4-times a week heavy workout with cardio intervals.  I stuck to the nutrition plan.

I followed through on my vacation commitment.  I ate burgers and fries, eight kinds of meat at a Brazilian churrasco restaurant, indulged on chocolate lava cakes, and drank way too many vodka tonics and long island ice teas.  I didn’t even bother bringing any workout clothes because I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

I got home on a Monday afternoon with every intention to clean up my act the minute the plane landed.  But we got invited for sushi that evening.  And with my sushi, I naturally ate 3 different desserts.  Who can turn down tiramisu, chocolate cheesecake and eclairs?  (mini versions, of course)  What’s one more “cheat meal”, right?

Okay, so Tuesday.  Really, Tuesday my plan was to get back on the wagon.  Shake for breakfast, pack my mid-morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack, and bring my gym clothes and recovery drink for my workout after work.  But I woke up late that morning and rushed off to work without any of it.  Felt dehydrated all day which led to a headache, came home, and crashed on the couch.

Wednesday.  Wednesday would be much better…But I plain forgot my gym bag at home, ended up working late, got home around 8 and crashed on the couch again.

So Thursday…I think you get the picture.

What happened?  What happened to my good intentions?  As James Ray says, “Good intentions, poor follow-through.”

And so it went for 2 weeks.  Every day, at the end of the day I had two choices: either 1) beat myself up for being a flake and freak out about the weight I’d gain from my non-compliance or 2) put the day behind me and start the next day over again.

What would you do?  I chose #2.  I am a firm believer that everyone does the very best they can given the person they are at that moment.  I could have beat myself up about it and freaked out about gaining weight, but decided that doing so would just put me in a worse mood than I already was, which would lead to emotional eating, high stress, and it would in turn become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, I decided to note how I felt (usually lethargic and dehydrated), consciously decide that I didn’t want to feel that way the next day, and realized that tomorrow is a new day.

So it took me a couple weeks to get back on the wagon.  Looking back on it, I’m kind of glad it did.  Firstly, because sometimes if you’ve been on a rigorous fitness plan for a few weeks, it’s good to take a break.  Let your body recover.  And if you have been on a rigorous fitness plan for a while, you’ll find that you can afford to be bad for a while.  Your body can handle all those calories much better than it could before.

Secondly, I learned to be patient with myself.  I did notice the difference in my energy levels and did understand that if I kept going down this road, I would end up reverting back to my pre-working-out condition.  With that realization, I had every faith in myself that I would pick myself back up, and in turn I did.

You can’t always be perfect.  Don’t force yourself to be.  Learn from it, move on, and realize that tomorrow is a new day.

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2 thoughts on “Did I mention that I stopped working out?

  1. Wow! This is post is how I’ve been feeling in nutshell. Similar story – life stresses caused me to give myself what you might call a “vacation” – but my vacation turned into day after day (ok a few weeks) of “messing up” over and over again.

    Sometimes, I think it is easier said than done to not beat yourself up. For me, it’s a control thing. If I can’t get on top of my health/nutrition then I can’t get on top of anything it feels like…. and that really bugs me.

    However, I think what resounds with me that you said is you have to look at each day as a new opportunity instead of a continuation of dwelling on your mistakes. And like you said in your other post, picking one thing you really are thankful for or feel good about, and focusing on that to pick you up out of the funk.

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks so much for the comment! I’m so glad that my experience resonates with you. It feels so much better being forgiving of yourself than it does beating up on yourself. I can be an emotional eater, and I find that when I’m pissed off at myself, I’m much more likely to eat the chips instead of the carrots and peanut butter. So getting pissed at myself is completely counter-productive.

    Anyway, like I said, just remember that everyone does the best they can given who they are at any given moment. That includes you. So when you wake up tomorrow morning, choose to be the person who grabs the carrots. And if your hands are still drawn to the chips instead, wake up the next morning and start over. Just have faith in yourself!

    Have a great week!

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