I took a long break from working out because I wasn’t in the best place mentally. I was in a rut, which meant I didn’t have an appetite and wasn’t eating much. As a result, even when I tried to exercise I got lightheaded and nauseous, and I felt weak.
It’s Normal to Go Through Ups and Downs
And that affects your healthy lifestyle. Before the lapse in physical activity, I used to be so active: I took workout classes at school, walked everywhere, and went to the gym frequently. I was in pretty good shape. After taking a break for months though, I lost a lot of strength and endurance. I felt out of shape. And I wanted to get back on my grind and feel energized and fit again.
I Got Myself Mentally Healthier First
I had to work on the inside before I could work on the outside. Once I started to feel better that way, I also made it a point to eat more even though my appetite still wasn’t back yet. Exercise obviously would also help my mental health because of endorphins and all that, so I knew I wanted to get back to the gym. But that meant I needed energy and fuel to move my body, and that meant eating enough. Like I mentioned before, not eating enough made me feel like I had to pass out while working out. So I needed to put enough food into my system to prevent that from happening. And thank god, once I started to eat 3 real meals a day and some snacks, I stopped getting dizzy.
I Hyped Myself Up With New Gear
You know when you have plans to go somewhere or do something that involves a cute outfit, you’re just like more excited to go because you can’t wait to wear that outfit? Or when you get something new to use, like a planner or a speaker, you just want a chance to go and try it out?
That’s the ideology I used to hype myself up to go workout. So I bought new workout clothes like sports bras, leggings, and gym shorts (shout-out to Aerie, my fave workout gear). Oh and I got the cutest Adidas gym bag (similar bag here) to carry all my gym stuff in, and I also use it to put my soccer stuff in if I’m going to play. Also, I got an armband to hold my phone, and headphones that I like because music is so important to me while working out. It gets me in the zone but also hypes me up.
Besides fun/cute stuff like that, I also got ankle weights and a yoga mat so I could bring those to the gym or workout at home.
My First Few Workouts Sucked
Like, real bad. And that’s okay! They’re going to suck for everyone! Our bodies just aren’t used to it – yet! I felt tired after barely running, I couldn’t lift as heavy of weights as I could before, I got lightheaded, and I just did not have fun and wanted so badly to stop haha. Regardless of all that, I just told myself that it’ll suck like this for a few workouts, but every workout will get better. I wasn’t where I used to be or where I wanted to be, but I didn’t let that get to me. I knew I’d get there soon. And guess what, I did.
What I Did/Do for My Actual Workouts
Well, I started off by doing only workouts I enjoyed doing. Which sounds kinda obvious, but I used to just force myself to run miles and miles even if I was not feeling it. To me, that used to mean I was fit – if I could run a lot. But there’s more than just one way of getting back into shape.
What workouts do I like doing?
I love doing:
- body weight workouts on a mat at the gym
- walking, especially outside
- playing soccer
- Kan Jam and other fun summer-outdoorsy-things
- workouts with light hand-weights at the gym in front of the mirror so I can make sure I’m doing it right.
I can’t stand just running on the treadmill or doing endless cardio anymore. I’m not wild about many of the machines at the gym. Don’t like crossfit, HIIT, biking, or swimming. And maybe you do, which is perfectly fine! Just make sure you’re doing something you enjoy doing, otherwise you won’t do it.
So, those are all the workouts I’ve been doing for the past few months and I feel so much better in my own skin. I just feel good, you know? I look forward to exercise nowadays!
If I did a “what I eat in a day”, you guys would be like wtf is wrong with you haha. I won’t lie, my diet isn’t amazing. But it’s not complete crap either. I have a… balance.
My mentality was mainly two things: 1. eat well so that I have energy, and 2. don’t restrict myself. Me and food have not had a healthy relationship in the pas. While it’s not an issue anymore, I learned from that experience that I don’t like to restrict myself. Instead, I like to think of it as adding healthy things into my diet, and that meas sometimes there’s just no room for junky foods. For example, I’ll think to myself: okay, I’m hungry, but only a little. What did I eat today already? What does my body need more of? Well, I barely ate any fruits or veggies yet, so I’ll have a smoothie to add some into my diet for the day. And what ends up happening is the smoothie will be a big enough snack that I don’t want something like chips, cookies, pizza, or whatever else my cravings could think of. It’s similar to intuitive eating, which this blog post explains very well.
However, I Still Have Ice Cream, Pizza and CARBS on a Regular Basis
I actually just had some ice cream before sitting down to write this post haha. I know every health guru is cringing right now, but coming from the past I have, it works for me to eat like half healthy and half “not” healthy. Well, it’s honestly more like 65% healthy and 35% un-healthy, but it works for me. You need to figure out what works for you.
For example, me and “cheat days” do not click. I hate the idea of being “good” all week but “bad” one day. Like it’s food, it shouldn’t make me feeling guilty and to me, a cheat day sounds like it might as well be called remorse day. I like living flexibly on a daily basis, and by having a the freedom to eat whatever I want, but responsibly. But I can “get away” with that because I’m active now and because I do eat well for the majority of the time. Just because it doesn’t work for me though, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Try it out for yourself.
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
This is my BIGGEST takeaway. I used to beat myself up for missing a workout or eating something unhealthy. If I didn’t have a great workout, I’d be hard on myself about it not being better. Not anymore!!!! I gave up being a perfectionist. I accepted where I was in the journey – getting back into shape, not where I wanted to be, and that made a world of difference. Fall off your grind for a day, hop back on the next. Keep going. And really really get it through your head the same way I had to that YOU WILL GET THERE, so keep working now, even if it feels like you’ll never get there.
A Few of My Tips:
- Drink half your body-weight in water daily
- Eat 2 hour before a workout
- Try to move daily, even if it’s just a walk outside, to keep your momentum going\
- Eat breakfast
- Eat when you’re hungry; don’t eat when you’re not hungry
- Really engage your body in your workout movements to engage your muscles
- Find workout you love and get excited to do
- Make a killer workout playlist that keeps you going when you feel like stopping
- Get a gym buddy. Mines my bf 🙂 & we motivate each other
- Be patient, and love your body and mind every step along the way
Now go work on being your best, fit self!