One of my long-time clients confided to me last week that the scale hasn’t moved in a while.
She just doesn’t feel that into it anymore, and she’s exhausted. Ever since the holidays she hasn’t been eating great – skipping meals and eating high-fat, processed foods – and hasn’t been doing all of her workouts.
Between family visiting, the holiday goodies, the change in schedule and starting back at work after her baby, she has taken quite a bit of time off from her program, which previously consisted of some cardio dance classes and yoga, in addition to strength training with me once a week.
Looking back on our schedule, it had been at least a couple of months off. She feels like giving up, like maybe she’s never going to reach her goals. Although she knows what she is still doing has health benefits, maybe she’s never going to get into that smaller dress size she had in mind.
Wow! Is that you? It has happened to me, too!
Yes, even some fitness pros have moments when the whole enchilada, workout and nutrition, goes kaboom. Maybe a stress, like family visiting or emotions or a bingeful off-season gone awry or an injury, set you back and you’re not sure if you can ever pick up all the pieces…or if you even want to.
Naughty, very naughty!
It doesn’t feel good to be in that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” state. I’m not going to tell you to pick yourself up by your boot straps and get moving because we know if that was gonna happen, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Now is the time to be nice to yourself. It feels awful enough already. You haven’t worked out and yet you are tired nearly all the time. Be good to yourself. Can you think back to a time when you were energetic? What activities were you enjoying? Are you doing any of those things now?
Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Dig out that workout and or nutrition journal and go back to the early pages when you were so excited. Read through your goals…especially the “why” behind your desire to start a fitness program. Do those reasons apply still?
- Try a new recipe from a healthy cook book or online site or magazine.
- What did you do differently at the times when you were looking and feeling better? Were you eating breakfast, did you have more salad? Did you go places or do things that made you happy? Would you want to do just any one of those things now?
- Skip the ‘go hard or go home’ style workout, try a restorative yoga class!
- Try a new piece of equipment. I know some of us have equipment graveyards in the closet and under the bed, but if it gets you off your tush and back on track even for a little while perhaps its money well spent. The idea at this time isn’t to start a new long-term program, but to merely get off the couch.
- Too much effort to get out? Why not just put on Pandora and dance around in the kitchen to some tunes!
- Pull out a DVD and just hit play. No commitment, just hit play and see if you want to try it. YouTube a cardio workout or check FitnessGlo.
- Get a Groupon for an activity you have always wanted to try.
- Have that pedicure, that cup of tea, that chat with an old friend…something to just incorporate “you time.” After all, that’s what your workout should be – time to be good to yourself, not beat yourself up or down. Maybe all the holiday stuff – the emotional and the seasonal treats everywhere and the focus on doing so much have made you disconnected from taking time to recharge yourself, so take the time to self-indulge with feel-good things to build you back up.
- Go shopping for a new fitness outfit or sneakers. The sale racks are bursting right now with returned gear that might motivate you to put it to good use.
- Make a date with a friend to go walking…Or come to one of my walking groups. Groups can make us feel part of something bigger and making new friends and having the support of a group helps reset your mood and motivation.
- Buy a few sessions with a personal trainer – someone who can focus on you since you spend so much of the day, whether as a Mom or daughter or student or a hard worker, putting yourself aside for others. The trainer can focus on you, coach and motivate you. The trainer can create effective and safe workouts so you don’t have to worry about becoming injured or creating a workout program that will be effective. Have an expert in your corner. Its cheaper than therapy!
- Just get outside!!! (This is the one that got my long-time client back on track). I find the air, the change of scenery, even for a 10 minute walk once a day, helps break me out of my sedentary rut. Being in nature lifts my mood and the walking gets my circulation going. Don’t overthink it. Just get outside once a day and see how you feel. Maybe just a walk around the block today. Maybe in a couple days you will feel like a block and a half. Maybe you like hiking or horseback riding or raking leaves in the yard.
- Don’t let your mind talk you down. If the thoughts come, like “Oh, why bother? I am fat and nothing will change,” just acknowledge it, “Oh, you again” and tell it “next” or something similarly non-judgmental, but dismissive and let go or focus on part of your life you like and think gratitude thoughts. Just be in the moment for those 10 minutes you are walking or noticing the smells outside or the colors of the leaves.
- Know this is normal and temporary.