These days I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to exercise. Right now you can find me doing a variety of workouts: Orangetheory, lifting, and yoga primarily (although I’ve been slacking on yoga lately). I still run occasionally, but I’m definitely focusing more on strength at the moment. It’s an odd feeling not to be training for a race or event, but I’m really enjoying doing my own thing right now.
To be honest, I never thought I would appreciate strength training so much and I kind of love it now. I’ve noticed a lot of progress and change taking place in my body. Don’t get me wrong, I L-O-V-E to do cardiovascular training, but right now I’m favoring the other end of the spectrum. And it feels good.
Maybe you want to start to exercise regularly, maybe you are stuck in a rut, or maybe you identify with a certain activity and are afraid to change? I’ve been in every spot. For so long I identified with being a “runner” and that was the only thing I could focus on. I felt like I didn’t belong in the weight room because I was small and wasn’t “built” for lifting.
But we are not defined by our activities. We define who we are. And we have every right to pursue the things that we choose.
Whatever it is that you need to do to get yourself on the right track, do it. And if aren’t sure what to do, try something new. Not only is it alright to switch up your routine, it’s a great way to stay inspired, push through plateaus, and challenge yourself in other ways.
Motivation can sometimes be difficult to rally when you are doing the same thing day in and day out. Having different activities to cycle through during the week keeps me interested and engaged. I know my way around the gym and enjoy doing my own training, but I also crave the community found in classes. I love the group setting and the variety it offers.
But sometimes my motivation just isn’t there and working out is the LAST thing I want to do. Some days I will walk to the gym only to turn around and go back to the office. Or I’ll decide I’d rather grab a coffee. I used to beat myself up about this, but now I just let it go. Because if I am going to give my workout minimal effort then sometimes it’s just better to take a break. If you make good choices most of the time then give yourself some grace.
Let life happen
Grace also means letting life happen. I don’t eat clean 100% of the time, but I try to eat really well most of the time. I’ve learned how to create alternative snacks and sweets so that when I indulge, it’s at least better than buying something processed that’s full of junk. There is a wealth of information online – you can find easy (free) recipes with identifiable ingredients to make meals at home. That being said, if I go off track, overindulge, or straight up fall off, I get back on track with the next meal. There’s always an opportunity to move forward in a positive direction.
And remember – we are all so much more than our appearance. We’ve got a lot more to offer others and this world than our looks.