Not exercising and taking a respite day is something I still struggle with. I am the first to preach about, “listening to your body and rest being an essential part of training,” but I don’t often listen to my own advice. I understand that you should not work the same body part consecutively, and I don’t. It is when I miss a scheduled session that I experience the guilt. Not for illness. I do not encourage going to the gym when sick to compromise your recovery and spread your germs. The guilt is due to other reasons, such as feeling lethargic and not going or situations that may come up suddenly that prevent me from gym time.
Andy is “just wonderful” at calling me out on this. He will say, “You tell me to rest when I over-do-it. Maybe you should listen to yourself.” The thing is, when I begin to see changes in my body, it makes me motivated, driven and of course, happy. I want to see more! If I am not weight training, I try to justify going to the gym by thinking that I at least should be doing some form of cardio, if I haven’t already done my scheduled two days for the week. I always envision my thighs becoming slimmer and toned, or my endurance improving if I just fit in a run. On the negative, I envision two evil little saddlebag twins. Blobs of fat with mischievous faces, giggling sinisterly and finding their way back to my thighs. Take for instance last Saturday. I was supposed to do a 5k with Mary and Leslie through the park, but was not able to join them. I had gone to my first Pilates class called core and glute strengthening the night before and I woke up feeling extremely sore. Andy advised me to take it easy. I made the right decision and told the ladies that I was in too sore to run, but mentally I did not like it. I was antsy all day for missing the run. I tried to come up with instant solutions, such as, I’ll take an aspirin to alleviate the soreness, take a nap and then I should be able to run. That is when I told myself, enough! I worked hard on Friday night, tried something new and challenging and my body needed recovery. That was that. Andy and I went out for breakfast and I put exercise out of my mind for the rest of the day.
This is how the evil saddlebag twins look, Flopsem and Blobsem: ( yes, they have names.)
Why do I suffer the guilt? Well, I have come so far in physical gains, especially in strength, that I feel if I miss my workout, I may lose what I have worked so hard for. I am so close to doing an unassisted pull-up, I can taste it. I am afraid of becoming like the image on this t-shirt again:
Love the T-shirt and plan on buying it naturally, but that is truly what I looked like a year ago under the weight of just the Olympic bar. I fear the pear! This is what I think to overcome my exercise guilt:
1. Things come up and life happens. My car break lights may go on en route to the gym, or more importantly loved ones may need me unexpectedly. The people in my life are my priority, not an unassisted pull-up. They come before the gym.
2. My body is sore for a reason. I don’t want to jeopardize my training long-term by working out and hurting myself when I need recovery time.
3. I won’t lose mass, endurance or strength from missing one or two workouts. The evil saddlebag twins won’t return from missing a cardio session or two. Such factors happen over a prolonged period of missing workouts and over indulging too often.
4. Who cares if I miss a gym session? I’m setting these goals for myself, for my own personal best. I’m not planning on entering a contest. Even those who are training for a competition have to miss the odd gym session, I’m sure.
5. I exercise to feel internal wellness and energy. It is not simply about body transformation….but still keep away from me, Flopsem and Blobsem. I mean it!
The verdict is in. Guilty on one charge of exercise guilt, but with time served. Time to think, reflect, and yes at times regress on this whole journey.
T-Rex t-shirt information/source: Designed by UnicornTees.