A year ago, you would find me skipping social events for workouts. It was lonely.
A year ago, I was doing cardio and full-body weights every day. I wasn’t getting results.
A year ago, I would spend no less than an hour a day at the gym. It got boring, fast.
A year ago, I “couldn’t” relax without a gym workout – even though I was walking at least 30 minutes per day. I was tired all the time.
I have come far since then – I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, and this is the least I’ve cared about fitness in months.
How did this happen? I’m pretty sure it all started with one unplanned rest day.
I’m learning to trust my body. I’m finally doing only workouts I love, and not forcing myself to do the ones that bore me to death. I’m motivating myself to move every day, and not stressing over workouts that aren’t 100%. And the biggest one: I’m not planning rest days.
I’m letting things happen as they may, and its a huge step for me. On Friday, I had nothing planned, and nothing to do. I’m bad at relaxing and always feel like I should be doing something – but as a challenge to myself, I took a day to just let things happen. I woke up, and really wasn’t feeling like going to the gym. So I started with a good breakfast – green smoothie in a bowl.
A year ago, I would have forced myself awake way too early, grabbed a half of a banana and rushed myself to the gym for what would usually be a sub-par workout. Instead, I went outside and saw this down the road:
And decided to just take a walk, and enjoy the outdoors. Yup, just a walk. In the past I would have been ashamed to do this alone, thinking of it as a sign that I had nobody to be with. But alone walking outside on a gorgeous day is way better than sitting alone inside on a gorgeous day.
I saw trails like this one that I can’t wait to run on, when the weather is nicer. That’s another thing – I’ve come to my limit with treadmill runs. I can’t do more than 1 or two per week, and they have to be interval runs – like this awesome one I did this week. In the past I would force myself to do cardio every day – but I walk every day, and much prefer how I feel and how my body looks with more strength than cardio.
I would much rather take pictures of the frozen lake ^, than run indoors for 40 mind numbingly boring minutes. Then maybe later I’ll do a quick strength circuit.
That’s a farm behind me – cool, right? Never would have been discovered had I forced an hour at the gym. Former Rachel would dismiss walking as ‘not good enough’ exercise.
There was even a barn, with lots of animals.
This was so exciting to see. So much that I got back to my room, cranked up some tunes, did my favorite BodyRock HIIT workout, and pushed myself harder than I ever have. And damn it felt good.
So my weekly workouts now look something one day of: 1) BodyPump or heavy weights 2) yoga 3) plyometric/bodyweight HIIT 4) interval run & core or arms 5) strength circuit 6) rest, stretch, or other light movement class.
And there’s Zumba and other cardio thrown in when I feel like it. I’m not forcing myself to fit these things in every single week. If I miss a circuit one week, I’ll do it the next. Not every saturday has to be a rest day – I’ll take them when I feel I need it, making sure I do at least once a week.
Am I thinner than I was a year ago?
Quite the contrary – I’m much heavier, and while a lot of the extra is muscle, definitely not all of it is.. But right now I’m trying not to dwell on that. My entire body is more toned than ever. I can do an entire yoga class without modifying any chatarungas (push up) or balance poses. I can run for 30 minutes straight, and climb a hill without getting out of breath. I won’t skip a coffee with people I just met just to fit in a workout. I feel a thousand times better I did a year ago. I have a thousand times more energy, I’m eating enough, and I’m loving fitness – not just caring about it.
What’s your attitude towards fitness?
Are workouts a necessary evil, or something you can’t live without?