For those of you who follow my Truth & Fitness Instagram account (truth.and.fitness), you might have seen that I posted this week about the fact that it was Wednesday and I was just then getting in my first workout of the week. I will say that it’s pretty unusual that I go without working out on a Monday OR a Tuesday to get the week kicked off, but in this scenario, I was more than okay with it. Here’s when and why you should be too.
Here’s a little background – my boyfriend recently got a new job (and a really awesome, impressive one, I might add), and he’s been in orientation for almost three weeks. The nature of this job calls for employees to possibly move somewhere domestic for their first location, and we had to rank the available cities in order of desired location. Well, Tuesday was the day we found out where we are going to be living. Thankfully, we got our number-one choice and will be staying in DC for his first stint! This ceremony was followed by an organized happy hour, which went on for a while, and it was a totally necessary part of the process if you ask me. Aside from this happy hour, there have been a handful of other events that have kept a normal week’s schedule from happening during the orientation, and that’s been totally okay, too. As for Monday? It was the day after the Super Bowl. The gym wasn’t happening Monday.
There are certain occasions in your life or a family member’s (or friend’s!) life that totally call for deviations from your normal fitness routine. Just like a vacation, these things – in my eyes – outweigh the important-yet-small daily benefits of exercise or eating right. If you’re so intense that you can’t enjoy a momentous occasion because you can’t eat your prepped food and you refuse to have a glass of champagne, then I, personally, think you’re overdoing it. Living a healthy life isn’t only about being in great shape physically, so enjoying these things also matters.
Changing directions a little bit and touching on something not so happy, I feel like this is a good time to bring up skipping the gym when things in your life really aren’t going well. Stuff happens, and life has lots of unexpected (and even some expected) twists and turns in store for us. Some of them really, really suck to put it mildly.
About a year and a half ago, my father got really sick and was in the hospital for about three months. He ended up passing away, and I was – of course – devastated. For the three months he was sick, I ate much less, I stressed constantly, I went to the gym very occasionally, etc. And when he died, I was a mess. I didn’t really eat at all, and I stopped going to the gym. I felt guilty for not being in the gym, but I had to remind myself that I would be doing myself no favors if I tried to exercise with no fuel in the tank. I’d be hurting myself.
After about two weeks of this, my boyfriend stepped in and reminded me that I get so much out of the gym – that my commitment to it is a part of who I am. So, I went back. It wasn’t easy, and I had a lot of time to make up for, but I remembered something really awesome about working out – you get out exactly what you put in. Even when it seems like you don’t have control of a thing around you, you can work on your physical and mental strength in the gym and take back some control over your life.
You might have heard the saying that “You’re only one workout away from a good mood.” And, the saying is true. Sure, working out didn’t make me forget that my father had passed away, but I felt one step closer to being physically stronger, which was a lot more than I could say compared to how I felt when I went in. There is something truly amazing about having a relationship with anything that’s always literally equal parts what you put in and what you get out. Don’t underestimate your ability to be there for yourself when things get tough. You’re stronger than you think.
No matter what it is you’re going through, whether it be good or bad, remember to take care of the whole you. Listen to your body if you don’t think you can exert yourself physically during a difficult time. Listen to the “devil on your shoulder” if you want to meet your friends for an impromptu happy hour/dinner/night out on the town, because life is short and you can. Listen to yourself, and you’ll know when it’s an excuse and when it’s finding balance in the other avenues of your life. You know you best.