So, you did it, you joined a gym!
“This time it’s different,” you say, “this time I’m going to stick with it! Let’s DO IT!”
You make a goal to go three times a week for at least an hour. You even hired a personal trainer for a few sessions to get you used to the equipment and give you a plan of action. You’re pumped. You’re ready! Life is going to change! WOO HOO!!!
Three weeks later you turn the alarm off, ready to head out to get your workout in when you remember you have a doctor’s appointment in an hour. The rest of your day is packed, you know you won’t have another chance to go to the gym today but you can’t cancel your appointment. You decide, instead, to go the next morning but when the alarm goes off you hit snooze, you’re not used to getting up early on that day! You go back to sleep. The day after you get ready to head out but got an emergency call from work, you have to go in early. You’re already riddled with guilt for skipping the day before. Why couldn’t you just get up and go?! Why did you sleep in?! You wonder what the regulars at the gym will think when you go back. They’ll obviously have seen that you’ve been missing. They won’t know you had an appointment, they’ll just think you stopped going. You couldn’t hack it. They’re judging you.
You stop going to the gym. You tell yourself that you’re a failure (again). You tell yourself that you don’t have what it takes, that you don’t have the discipline. That you’ll always be unhealthy. You’ll always be FAT.
Whether it was at a gym, Weight Watchers, our own program or whatever, it’s happened to ALL of us at some point or another. We get so jazzed up to start building a new, healthier life but the moment life itself pops up and throws a wrench into our beautifully laid out plans we stop, figure we can’t do it and tuck our tails in defeat.
I’m here to tell you that you never have to go through that again! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you find yourself sliding off the wagon and back into sedentary living:
One (Or More) Missed Workouts Does NOT Equal Failure
The truth is that missed workouts happen. Sometimes you’ll even (*gasp*) SKIP workouts on occasion! It’s just life. It has nothing to do with you or how worthy you are or how determined you are. Life happens. Life will always happen. On those days that you wind up not working out, stop yourself immediately from judging your actions and, instead, either figure out when/if you can make up the missed workout or just call it a day and make sure you do your next scheduled workout! There’s absolutely NO reason to miss a workout just because you missed a previous workout. You won’t have lost any fitness in those few days and even if you have (if, say, you had an off month), you can gain that back much easier if you just get back on it rather than just pack it in! It’s no biggie!
Because life happens it’s best to plan for missed workouts in advance and figure out what you’ll do if something comes up. For instance, when I train for races I always look at my schedule for the weeks where I’ll be training. If I have appointments or it’s exam time I take that into consideration while creating my training plan. I work in active rest weeks during exam time because I know my priorities will have to switch to school instead of training. As much as I believe in prioritizing your workouts, there are occasions when it’s advisable to prioritize other things so just plan for it.
Also, make a mental plan of what you’ll do if something comes up unexpectedly the day of a workout. Have a Plan B waiting where you’ll either work out for 10-20 minutes at lunch, go for a walk after work if you can’t get in a good sweat session or get it in the next day. If you plan ahead you’ll know exactly what to do when these inevitable situations pop up.
You Are NOT Being Judged
Dude, let me tell you right here and now that no one at the gym gives a damn if you go or not. They’re all too busy working out themselves to bother worrying about you as well. Even if there is an idiot who pretends to care what’s it to you? They’re only acting that way because they have no confidence in themselves. You don’t work out for their benefit, you work out for yourself. I know this is easier said than done but is something you’re going to have to get through if you want to make working out a regular routine. Get over yourself! Besides, if there are administrative peeps or personal trainers who do notice your absence they’ll be MORE upset that you stopped showing up completely than if you missed a few workouts and came back! They want you to be there because they want you to be happy, they’re not judging you as a person!
If you haven’t already, you need to identify what your internal motivation is for getting healthy because if all you have is an external motivation (like having others look highly on you) then it won’t work at all. That motivation needs to come from inside of you and that will push you back into the gym regardless of who is, or isn’t, looking at you.
Don’t Think, Just Do
Most of the time we just need to get out of our own heads and just do it. We spend so much time overanalyzing how it’s going to look or how horrible we are for missing a workout that we just talk ourselves out of getting healthy altogether. That because we missed a workout or several weeks of workouts, we’re not worthy to receive the benefits of living a healthy life.
Stop thinking so much! When your alarm goes off, don’t think. Just turn off the alarm, sit right up in bed and put yourself on autopilot. If your brain tries to think about the exercise, tell it to shut the hell up, get your clothes on and do it Nike style (just do it)!
The important thing I want you to get out of this blog, if you haven’t already, is that you deserve to be healthy. You deserve to be happy! You have what it takes to achieve your goals and you are no different than anyone else. Other people miss their workouts. Hell, I missed mine TWICE last week! It doesn’t make you a loser. It’s honestly no biggie. It means nothing and says nothing about you as a person so make your plan and get back at it, no excuses!