After discussing it this week at the studio, I think I left out quite a few important issues, though. So, here is part two of my top ten list of what I know.
1. If I wake up feeling fantastic, like I lost 5 pounds overnight, it is a guarantee that the scale will show a ridiculous weight gain, thus ruining what could have been a great day. Which is why I say constantly, get rid of the scale. It's a liar. Enjoy feeling good, you don't need validation from a cruel robot that lives on your bathroom floor. Be your own validation!
2. If I wake up feeling awful, like I gained 5 pounds overnight, it doesn't mean I did. In fact, it is biologically impossible to store 5 pounds of adipose tissue (fat cells) overnight. I'd have to eat/drink almost 18,000 calories in a day. Salt is the most likely culprit, and the antidote to salt is water. Not- oh I think I'll sip some water today. More like- time to slug, chug and pound the water down today! Feel crappy? Drink up.
3. Every time I do something rather epic, whether it be a big hike, a half marathon, or anything else that requires lots of training, the moment I finish the event I experience a motivation crash. I think I am going to be wildly inspired to stay in the best shape of my life. Instead, a part of my brain takes over that demands Netflix, the couch and ice cream.
4. The part of me that takes over in #3 above requires an epic battle to be defeated. It has all these justifications. I need to rest. I just did all that training. Yes, there is a recovery period, but there's more to recovery than naps and Graeter's. I need to keep moving my body, or else it starts to stiffen up and feel very grouchy.
5. Speaking of stiffening up. I want to go back in time and experience that last pain-free day I had back in 2006, or whenever it was. I'd have been much more aware of what a fabulous day it was! Ever since then, something hurts. My feet hurt, my heel aches, my back gets tight, and I don't know what the heck is up with my achy big toe. But, one thing I know: It all hurts a lot worse when I stop moving. I need to lift. I need to walk. I need to work my joints through their range of motion.
6. It takes one hell of a strong psyche to deal with the aches and pains of getting older. Aging is not for sissies. Staying positive through these matters is a super-hero trait that I see in so many of my clients. I know things hurt. I hurt, too. Put on your cape and do your thing, anyway. For me, nothing feels worse than giving up, even this achy big toe.
7. I don't believe in starting over. By that, I mean, if you started in fitness months or years ago, then you are still IN IT. You may be in a period of relapse, but you are still in it. And when you decide you are ready to resume exercise, you will not be starting over. You bring with you every single thing you learned when you were committed to it, and also what triggered you to quit. This is great info to have. The best way to prevent relapse is knowing what triggers it.
8. Being committed to exercise is a long term deal. Some of us had the experience early on of losing weight, and getting that rush from seeing the changes. That's great, but that's not real fitness. Real fitness is staying committed, doing your thing, for years. Even when the changes are no longer evident, and there's no constant validation. This is when you either believe in the power of fitness, or you don't.
9. I believe in the power of fitness. I know what it does for my mind. I know what it does for my self esteem. I know being consistent with my fitness brings me to a place where I can deal with the more major stuff of life. It makes me strong. It helps me feel empowered. It keeps my brain balanced. And I just don't feel as good without it.
10. I believe I am worth taking the time to take care of. I started off as a care-giver which made it hard for me to learn self-care. But I did. And when I finally did, my life changed. If I can do it, you can do it! It really is like they tell you in the airplane safety speech. Put your oxygen mask on first, then help others with their mask. It just doesn't work the other way.
If you quit and you're ready to come back, get in here and get moving. Absolutely no judgment. We've all been there. If you have never worked out or if it has been years, get on the schedule this week. We'll help you get moving. And if you are one of the rock solid super-heroes of fitness who is lifting, walking and doing her thing week after week, I applaud you. Keep going. You are doing something really incredible in the way you honor your life, your health and your worth. Bravo!