When we make a determined effort to get our butt in gear and change our lives, we adopt a stick-to-it attitude. It makes perfect sense. Without continually recharging our motivation, it would be so easy to sleep through one early morning run or scarf down one delicious chocolate bar. Sometimes the motivation comes from within, sometimes it comes from our peers, and sometimes it comes in the form of motivational sayings and quotes floating around the ether.
After I started running, I was told that I had become inspirational to other people because I just kept doing it. There was a lot going on in my life
and I pushed through, running whenever I could, sometimes more often than my running schedule dictated. I just knew that each day I stepped out the door, each day I continued to focus on meal portions and nutritional values, was another day that I could be proud of myself.
But I also knew that breaking routine would be disastrous.
Excuses become infinitely more powerful when they transition from an idea to a reality.
It is always easy to take a break. It is rarely easy to get back into a diligent routine after that break.
For weeks, my motivation has stemmed from the realization that stopping, if even for a day, would completely slow down my progress. Giving up running would mean falling behind. Giving up counting nutritional points would mean finding myself addicted to snacking once again. When (if) I got back to these healthy habits, I would not start from where I had left it. I would be worse off.
This is all such a vivid reality to me because I had taken a “break
” from weight loss at the beginning of the year. I gained weight and lost self-confidence just as quickly. It took a lot for me to find the motivation to try again.
First steps are hard.
I’m so scared of that happening again.
So I keep going. I am up with the sun in the morning, running. I tell my husband when I can only eat chicken breasts and vegetables for dinner because I have used up my daily points. I refuse to purchase foods from the grocery store I that I know would be hard to resist on my counter.
I diligently keep at it.
Until I wasn’t able to do that any more.
Last week was a busy week. I was sick, tired, overworked, and over scheduled. I had a number of engagements that gave me very little control over the food I consumed. I had absolutely no energy or time to continue my running. I was exhausted.
I accepted my first excuse after a night of insomnia. The alarm was set for 4:50AM and I was ready to go running. But after only two hours of sleep, I had to consider the possibility that maybe my body needed rest more than it needed to run.
I flicked off my alarm and pulled the blanket to my chin.
And that excuse? It became reality.
It wasn’t hard after that to let everything else slip.
I had Martinis that night. I don’t even know how many points those cost me.
I could have gone to my husband for encouragement and motivation (he tried). I could have repeated to myself that I can do it!. I could have found any number of motivational sayings and images to push me during this past really hard week.
But the reality is, I needed
this break. I needed to sleep for a few extra hours. I needed to enjoy being social without feeling guilty. I even needed to allow myself to graze for lunch at a convenient store one day when there was no other meal option.
My schedule had stopped allowing me to focus on eating healthy and exercising and trying was only resulting in stressing me out.
So I took a break.
We know our bodies. The more I focus on exercise and healthy eating, the more I get to know how my body works. I knew that my body was overworked. I knew that it was time for a guiltless break – because I also knew that on Monday, when the weekend was over, I would diligently get back into my routine.
I will always try to be encouraging and inspirational and motivational. I will try to push those around me to scrape time out of their busy schedules to eat healthy and to exercise. But I now know that sometimes our body just asks to be treated a little gentler. Sometimes sleep is more important than exercise. Sometimes being freely social is more important than stressing about what the best menu option is.
I took a well timed break. My body begged for it. And because of that, I didn’t fall behind. I ran further than ever on Monday. I lost two pounds at my weigh-in this week. I am thankful for my break and I am thankful that I had the motivation to get back into my routine afterwards.
Starting Weight (this time around): 151.5 lbs
Current Weight: 141.1 lbs
And now, it is your turn. I would love to connect with you on your healthy living journey. You can talk about whatever you want – your milestones, goals attained (or not), losing weight, eating better, exercising, or other healthy lifestyle changes and choices.
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