Apr 102017
Taking Fitness Breaks

I haven’t been to the gym in over a week and I’m perfectly OK with that.  Before I would have stressed about it but now I’m kind of at peace with needing to take breaks. It took me a very long time to get here.

The first two days I missed because I was so tired. Like, my body and mind were just exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I have this sometimes, especially if my diet gets a little off.  More about on that at another time though.

Then I missed all of last week because we’ve been having some work done on our house and dealing with workers coming and going.

I was also feeling a little overwhelmed as well because I was in the process of getting this site set up while also decommissioning my old site. My most productive hours are first thing in the morning and I really needed that time to myself to do work and get centered.

Today is the last day of having work done and I’m so ready to not have people coming over to my house anymore. I’m also ready to have my bedroom back after being displaced for 4 months.  And, yes, I’m ready to get back to the gym and my normal routine.

It can be hard to take breaks from the gym when it’s your happy home. Especially when you see folks on Instagram kicking ass and your friends are wondering WTF happened to you.

But for me personally, sometimes I just need some space.  I used to get frustrated because I don’t progress as quickly as others do and with taking breaks that meant that my progress would be stalled even more.

It’s always drilled in to your head that you won’t get any where unless you’re consistent.  And so when I needed to just take a break and chill, I felt like shit for doing so.  How am I going to reach XYZ goal, if I’m not at the gym?

This article from She Thrives really resonated with me because it’s exactly how I feel.  There’s going to be ebbs and flows to working out and that is OK.  Because it is your journey and you are going at your own speed.

To quote the article:

Every body is different and the length, style and definition of your “off-season” will be unique to you and depend heavily on your own personal journey and what your body needs. Maybe instead of weighing and measuring all your food you estimate your portions or eat intuitively for a while. Or instead of lifting heavy you spend a couple weeks stretching and doing yoga. Or instead of running a few days a week you just walk a couple days. Or maybe you don’t run or train at all for a couple weeks!  (Gasp!)

YES.  The article is awesome and really captures how I feel about taking breaks and what the process is like, everything from being content to being frustrated.

I used to be upset about taking breaks.  I never had to do this before! Why can’t I go like I did before?

Wanna know why? Because I’m not a GD 20 year old anymore.  I’m older and with that comes the need for more rest.

At first that sucked.  I had serious trouble coming to terms with that.  Let me be clear, I don’t care about getting older, that’s life. I cared about my performance. I cared that I wasn’t doing what others in the gym were doing. I cared that what I struggled with seemed effortless to other people.  I cared that one lighter meal during the day or some not so great sleep totally impacted my performance the next day while others could do more on less.

So taking breaks, at first I viewed those as obstacles to get over.  Things I had to overcome or else I’d never improve on anything.

Now I see how foolish that was.  Taking breaks is normal and it’s OK.  Sure maybe others don’t feel the need to or don’t have to as often.

But they aren’t me. And every so often I need to take a break in order to be my best and that’s OK.

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Andie lives in Idaho with her husband and dog (a sweet pittie girl). She's training to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with a focus on womens' health and autoimmune conditions.  By focusing on whole foods and being active, her goal is to heal her body and to create a healthy work/home/life balance.

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