Stray Dog Revolution
I want to take a little time to talk about how to get back into a fitness routine. We've all been there: going to the gym every week, working out at home to a program, walking everyday... We get into a good routine of movement and being active and then BLAM!!! We have to travel for work or we get sick or we go away for the weekend for a friend's wedding. And our routine is shot. At first it's no big deal. But then, before we know it, it's been a month and we haven't been to the gym once!
Why does this happen? Well, because life. Life gets in the way sometimes. This? We can't control. What we can control, however, is our mindset around these matters. Here's how it used to go down for me: I'm working out every day, getting in a real groove, and then I go to a conference for the week. And I'm eating out, staying up late, totally out of my normal routine. Then I'd come home and feel blah, not into it, and all these thoughts would run through my head:
"I've been working out so consistently! I deserve a break!"
"I can start the program over, but let's wait until Monday so I'm on track with the guidebook."
"I'm so close to my goals. Don't worry about it."
"I'm never gonna reach my goals anyway, so I'm just gonna take a break."
"I missed three days of the program, I can't just jump back in. Where should I start again? Should I double up on the ones I missed? Should I skip those and start fresh?! Ug! I don't know. I'm just gonna go out for a drink."
(Yeah, I'm clearly a little cray.)
I've learned much since those days. And here's the biggest lesson. Ready?
Fitness is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
When we view fitness as a quick fix, it's easy to get derailed. Maybe we don't see results soon enough. Or we get off our program and feel like we need to start over completely, so then we say "screw it!" and give up. When my goals used to be to reach a certain weight, or fit back into a certain pair of jeans, I found that my motivation wouldn't last. Which led to yo-yo-ing. Some months I'd be a beast, others a slug. So I changed my mindset.
And it happened in a moment. I literally woke up one morning and decided I was done feeling grumpy and weak and tired. I was done feeling bad about myself. I was done making excuses and I was done thinking this was about anything other than my long-term health. And when I say I decided, I mean I felt it in my bones.
And I started putting my health first. Putting fitness on my list of non-negotiables. Because when I work out or am active in some way every day, I feel 100 times better than when I don't. I'm more confident, I'm happier, I'm more patient, more emotionally stable. So I do it. No matter where I am. No matter what I'm doing. I find something. Even if it's just for 20 minutes, I do something. I've made into such a good habit, that it's become just like a bad one: hard to break.
But I'm not obsessive about it. I don't freak out if I just can't make it work that day. Because again, I've shifted my mindset. This is something I'll be doing forever. Because I like being active- being able to hike and climb and run- and I want to keep doing these things for as long as possible. Like my mom, who's almost 70 and can still hike in Yosemite.
Changing our mindset around fitness is one of the most important things we can do to reach our goals. Because our mind is usually one of the biggest obstacles in our way.