So let’s talk about workouts. Or, more specifically, the lack of them on my part 😉.
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys when I say that, prior to last Friday, it has been about 6 months since I did anything that could really constitute “working out”. Basically, I did lots of walking to and from class and weight lifted food into my mouth. Anddd the majority of that food was not home-cooked since I just did not have time to grocery shop or prepare meals. No treadmill, no dumbbells, and not too much action in the kitchen. Woops. Not exactly along the lines of a “good” healthy living blogger (<— what does that even really mean anyways), but necessary at the time because prioritizing mental health always comes before physical health for me.
Yes, there was a little more squish and a little less muscle, but for the most part, I wasn’t too fazed by it. And this, my friends, actually came as a surprise to me since I used to be allllll about fitness and health and being that girl who lifted all the weights and ran all the miles. I’m sure a lot of you guys know what I mean when I say this. It wasn’t my main identity by any means, but I certainly associated myself with an active lifestyle.
So anyways, I thought I’d share a few things I learned from not working out for half a year. Onwards!
Everything will be fine.
I didn’t gain 54302 pounds. I didn’t notice a huge change in my body. I didn’t instantly become depressed from the lack of endorphins.
You know what did happen? I had more time to take care of my mental health. To sleep and spend time with friends. I decreased my anxiety by taking off something on my to-do list and refused to guilt trip myself over it. I was happier and more balanced because of it.
It’ll be hard to get back into working out, but not as hard as you think. Last Friday marked my first official day back in the gym. I signed up for a membership the night before, and was there bright and early with Kyle. I was tentative and didn’t push myself too hard. My workout consisted of 10 minutes (of death) on the stairmaster, a little breathy ellipticalling, and an arm workout. By the end of it, I felt good. Tired, but good and happy to be back. I without a doubt lost some of my stamina and strength, but it’ll come back faster than I think. I feel excited and motivated.
I realized how insignificant a workout can be in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let the fear of missing a workout cause you to miss out on memories and life in general. It’s not worth it. I used to feel moderately guilty if I hadn’t made a trip to the gym in a few days. It would nag at me from the back of my mind and would lead to me pushing myself when I was already exhausted and way overworked. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, but there are times when other things matter more. Way more!
I think it’s so important to be flexible. To be flexible with your relationships. To be flexible with your plans. To be flexible with your diet and fitness regime. Flexibility is key for my personal happiness because, as soon as I box myself in and set rigid limitations, I hinder my ability to grow and to adapt to different periods of my life. My last quarter of college was hard. Really hard. I was trying to balance being a full-time biology student, two growing businesses, and maintaining my social life. Add on the pressure of making my last few months in college “count” since the end of college often marks the end of your childhood life. It was scary and difficult and made me incredibly anxious because I wanted to do more more more, but was at my mental limits.
So I was flexible. I decided that school and my business and social life were more important to me at the time than maintaining a good eating and workout routine. And I dropped it. Almost cold turkey.
And everything was fine.
That’s not to say that I think healthy living isn’t important. Not in the slightest! For me, being active is something I want to always try to put on a last of things to prioritize, but sometimes life happens and it just isn’t feasible to be at the gym 7 days a week. And it’s okay!
I wanted to share this post because I know that it’s easy to get caught up in it all. The constant barrage of social media and the comparison trap make it difficult to find a healthy balance that works for you and for the current life situation you find yourself in. So, a little mid-week reminder to be kind to yourself never hurt!
Hope your week is going swell!