Part of the reason I’m writing this blog is to be open and honest about my path to fitness. Fit folk (including myself) can talk all day long about the benefits of exercise — and it’s all true! — but I also want to share the hard times, too, because they’re just as real and everyone goes through them.
This week, I’ve been in a motivational slump, which stands in stark contrast from the last several weeks, where I happily hit the gym for a couple of hours everyday.
Two days ago, I took an extra day off, which is almost unheard of for me. Yesterday, I planned to do cardio and weights, but ended up skipping the weights. Today, I cracked the whip on myself and completed my planned weights, but I still only completed half of my planned cardio even though I had the new episode of Bones to watch on the Kindle.
The analytical part of my brain wants to figure out what’s changed–why has my drive suddenly vanished? Could it be that this week is a heavy test week at school and that I’m not getting nearly enough sleep? Probably. Could it be that I’m a little bit burnt out from the last several weeks of pushing hard? You bet.
What isn’t explicable, is why this is so emotionally draining to me — I’m still doing a healthy amount of exercise, what’s the big deal? Well, I am extremely self critical. Some degree of self criticality is beneficial — it pushes me to do well in school and stay in shape — but perpetually expecting self perfection inevitably leads disappointment. I should be happy with a 98% on a test and a 90 minute workout, but instead I obsess over the 2% and the ab routine that I skipped… More than motivation I wish for the ability to gracefully accept my own imperfections without the obsession and disappointment. I also need to recognize that I can’t do everything; this week I had to focus on school and get in “just enough” exercise for health and maintenance.
I find that it’s a delicate balance between being overly critical and whole-heartedly working towards my goals. I’m always trying to find the happy medium. And because I still have high fitness aspirations, I’m going to have to find my motivation again…
In an effort to reclaim my motivation, I’m going to try not to think about it all too much (this is me trying to not obsess). I’m just going to lace up my shoes when it’s time for a workout and get my butt out the door. I also need to keep things in perspective: even if I can’t muster an epic workout, a short workout is better than no workout — and that’s okay once in awhile. I am going to get more sleep to remove the chronically-tired haze I’ve been living in this week.
I’ve had slumps like this before, and all it took to get out of it was a few good workouts — even if they were a little laborious, because positive actions beget more positive actions. Looking at my Pinterest motivational board and reading fitness articles doesn’t hurt, either.