To Exercise Or Not To Exercise

I exercise


Ever have a morning where you wake up and you know right away, you’re just not gonna be on your game that day?

That’s where I was yesterday morning. And by that I mean I woke up not feeling “bad”  just not feeling awesome.

My tummy was growling for food, but I wasn’t sure if I should give it food ( know what I mean?) I kinda felt like someone was just in my stomach stirring it. I didn’t feel super energetic and eek… coffee… made me feel a little queasy.

I know things aren’t going well if coffee makes me queasy… that is just so very…wrong….

Anyway, as I was waking up and determining what exactly the deal was and why I wasn’t feeling a 100% impressive, I was also weighing out this….

“Am I on for my workout? Is what’s going on enough to call it a rest day or is it something that I can stomp down and plow through?”

I’ve always been really in touch with my body and listening to it. In the past few years, as an athlete, I’ve become more aware and conscious of it. Running has taught me a head to toe awareness when I’m on the road… a constant assessment of all systems.

On rare occasions when I didn’t feel something was right, I’d cut my run shorter.

So here I was this morning doing the mental assessment. I didn’t honestly “feel” like it but if I listened to my feelings there would be a lot of times I didn’t get out there. I was trying to listen to my body and determine….

was I trying to make an excuse to not workout ( hey, you could make today a “rest” day) it seemed like a good morning to just put my feet up…sip on coffee that was making me queasy…. OR…

get my gear on and head out for a little and see how things went. I convinced myself I could go try 30 minutes on the rowing machine and if I wanted to do more, I could. If not, I’d wrap it at 30 minutes. I can do anything for that short length of time.

I grabbed the weights thinking I’d do a short session with them first before the rower. That was my first clue… they felt so…heavy. Now I hear you… “aren’t they supposed to be?” but you see there is the heavy I’m accustomed to and prepare to engage with and then there’s the “it feels heavy ’cause I don’t feel so strong this morning”  feeling.

After a few minutes with them, I left that behind ( no weights today) and moved to the rower. Again, 10 minutes in I was feeling warm but not the usual way I feel when my body is getting fired up from a workout.

I finished out my 30 minutes (cause I’m stubborn like that and knew I wasn’t going to die for doing it)

I headed in and feed the body a protein breakfast with some veggies which it handled fine.

And you know what? Mentally I just felt better for having done something. It’s crazy but I feel so “off” when I don’t get a workout in.

I knew I wasn’t totally on my game so I adjusted my plans. A little bit was better than nothing.

Don’t get me wrong or hear me wrong…. if I’m really sick I won’t work out. That’s just paying attention to my body and listening and honoring it.

But I’ve learned that I have to discern sometimes between my mind and body connection and fight down things that come to all of us.

Do I have a valid issue for not working out? Or am I leaning into the “being lazy” zone?

I’m no different than you. There are days I want to make excuses to not get up and get out there and do it. Trust me… I’ve had those thoughts. It’s just way easier for me to stomp them down and keep moving and not listen to the voices that are encouraging me to be lazy ( because that’s what it is for me).

I know that my workouts empower me and make me feel strong and energetic for my day. I feel worse not doing them. I feel out of sorts and not myself.  These reasons are exactly why I push through the ideas suggesting I not workout.

Maybe you struggle with similar things. Perhaps you have been in places of assessing if your workout needs to go on, or if it’s a time for you to rest and come back stronger for the next one.

I want to encourage you to listen to your body and do what you need to maintain your health, but also be mindful of those lurking excuses that might keep you from doing what you need to do.

Tell me… do you listen to your body when it comes to working out? How do you call a workout? Are you able to see excuses over valid health concerns?

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8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

3 thoughts on “To Exercise Or Not To Exercise”

  1. I think sometimes it’s important to listen to your body when it’s something more serious than just being tired. For example, I am dying to workout today. My mind is already there but after working with some weights the other day and wearing heels to work while I was sore yesterday, I managed to turn some soreness in my upper thighs to full on pain today. I thought maybe I could still pull through and just focus on my upper body today, but seeing as I can’t walk without limping…probably not a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you for pushing through. There are days that I mentally don’t want to exercise because I am drained and I take that as a challenge to push through. When I do challenge myself to exercise when I don’t want to, I feel so much better. There are times when my body is too sore or too exhausted to exercise and those days I listen to my body and let it rest. It’s key to understand our bodies and to navigate what is a mind game or what our body is telling us.


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