Fitness and I have a very on again, off again relationship. I have fallen off that wagon again, and again, and again… I have been pushed off by pure lack of motivation (more than once), by injury (a mini-van hit me while riding my bike home from the gym), by stress amp; depression (divorce is brutal), and by illness (I started eating meat and became severely anemic, who knew?). I have dropped the ball again amp; again, even though I LOVE fitness. I love seeing my muscles amp; fitting into my skinny jeans, and I’ve rarely felt more satisfaction then when I could run 16 miles and lift more than I weigh up off the floor. But sometimes, it just can’t be done, and next thing I know I’m binging on entire pizzas amp; sleeping through my workouts and I’ve undone months of hard work.
Currently, I’m in the process of starting over again, all over again. Stepping back into that gym three weeks ago, four-sizes heavier, unable to run more than a mile, only able to lift a fraction of the iron I once could, was daunting. It always is. That first week back my ego writhed in it’s grave. And, I was truly sad about all the progress I’d lost. Was it really less than a year ago that I weighed 25 pounds less, with a flat stomach and buff arms, in training for a figure competition? Just three months ago, I had almost no muscle, but at least I was what I would consider skinny and I was back to running four miles, three times a week. Oh, how the mighty have fallen…
To everyone afraid to get back on the wagon or just dreading it, or anyone afraid to just get on because you might fall off; set aside your hurt ego, amp; your fear of failure, amp; seize the opportunity to make tomorrow better, even if the last day, or week, or month was bad, or the next day, or week or month might be.
Some observations on climbing back up:
– So what if we fall? So what if we fall again? It’s still worth the effort, and it’s OKAY to be human. Even professional bodybuilders and fitness models have an off-season and cheat meals. And so often the super-skinny, buff and tan, air-brushed celebrities we admire gain weight between projects and end up with unflattering pictures of them at the beach in the tabloids. They make comebacks all the time. So can you.
– You already know you can do this so use that confidence, see it as an advantage, not a past failure or something to be sad about. Maybe your body can’t spend a full 30 minutes on the elliptical machine today, but you already know that you are capable of getting there, you already know what it takes to get there, and you still have what it takes even if you take a different route. It’s easier to fight on if you remind yourself that you know how to win.
– The workout you do is always better than the one you don’t! Figure out what it takes for you to get moving again. Start off in the privacy of your own living room with a workout dvd, get some great new music or podcasts on that iPod and get walking, buy a fitness magazine and put one of their workouts to the test, join that gym, just do it. So what if your not running or lifting heavy? Worry about being your best later, and simply strive to do a little better right now.
– Remember that success and progress aren’t found only on the scale or what size you wear. Don’t you feel better immediately after finishing even one workout? That’s success. Did you workout twice this week when last week you didn’t make it to the gym at all? That’s progress. Every step forward, no matter how small, is better than a step back.
After three weeks back in the gym, I’m infinitely glad that fitness and I have kissed and made up, yet again. I’ve seen remarkable improvements even in such a short time, I feel better (though quite sore today, I must admit), and you know what? It’s easier than it ever has been. So, what are you waiting for? What excuses are you making? Get that wagon back in your sights amp; hop on.
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