“I got up at 6am, before my kids woke up. Even though my son kept me up most of the night, I decided I needed to still get up early to get my work out in before they got up for the day. No excuses.”
We’ve all seen it. We’ve all read stories on Facebook or Instagram where someone will create this elaborate story about how they had the “odds against them” during the day, and yet, they still found time to work out. Whether it be their kids are sick, THEY are sick, they didn’t sleep well, etc etc…”no excuses,” and they got their work out in.
I’m here to say…STOP. I’ve been there as a trainer. Heck yeah, I’m guilty for saying this to my clients. I drove the bus to “No Excuse-Town.” I would look at a client and if they ran down a list of their excuses, I found a way to ALWAYS make them realize that NO MATTER WHAT they could get a work out in. Ugh. I hate myself for it. But, I’ve grown up, and I’ve realized that the “no excuses” mindset can be really damaging. So I’m here to tell you that making exceptions is OK.
We are human. Some of us are parents. I’m a mom. We have busy lives. We get sick. Our kids get sick. We stay up too late binge-watching The Office. Kids don’t sleep through the night always. But this is life. There’s one thing that I’ve realized as I got older (and wiser, right?), is that we need to have balance in our lives in order to function properly. Too much of one thing is never good for anyone, and yes, sometimes that even means exercise.
(In the above pic, I’m cuddling both my sick babies. I had planned on working out but I knew they needed me and mamas cuddles. What’s better than mommy’s cuddles when you’re sick? Amiright?!)
My goal in life is to live as actively as possible, being a great example to my children, but one of the BIGGER lessons I want to teach them is how to achieve balance. I have learned over the past few years how to balance my life in such a way where I don’t get stuck in a guilt-ridden rut, and make proper goals (read: not lofty and achievable) for myself where KNOW I can be successful. So if that means skipping a workout when I need to rest, then I will absolutely skip that workout and relax. Some of us can workout every day of the week, and never ever have a reason to skip (are you a unicorn?!). Some of us are up all night, whether that’s with sick kids or working a night shift, and maybe that workout just isn’t your priority at the moment, nor is it feasible to do.
So many of us get wrapped up in this mindset that we feel guilt when we miss a workout. That even though we may have only had 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night (this was me!), we force ourselves to work out, which really isn’t beneficial. How many of us have worked out when we are dog-tired? Raise your hands. Yup. Me too. And how did it make you feel during the workout? Sluggish? Like you were just going through the movements? And after, did it make you feel even MORE tired than before?
Or…we feel this immense and overwhelming guilt that consumes us because we skipped. That could cause a downward spiral into skipping MORE workouts because you are just overworking yourself and YOUR BODY NEEDS THE REST.
When you feel guilty it takes the joy out of a lot of things. Think about being a mother. If we sat all day feeling guilty because Miss Susie Perfect Mom is baking cookies all day with her kids and teaching her children how to read, write, and speak French, and you’ve barely made it off the couch and have puke in your hair…it takes the joy out of being a mom. Fitness should be handled the same way. If you’re feeling guilty, or tired or stressed, fitness won’t be as fun. We need to learn to let the guilt go and truly be happy for what we’ve accomplished and what we WILL accomplish, even if that means you’re listening to your body and taking a rest day.
There are days when I put on my workout leggings and get all ready for my workout, and it just doesn’t pan out. It’s either I’m feeling under the weather or my kids need me more than I need to workout…and I’ve come to realize that IT IS OK. Life goes by fast. Don’t live it feeling guilty because of a missed workout. If you’re in this fitness “thing” for the long run, learn that it’s OK to make exceptions. It’s time to make fitness a part of your life, not your whole life.