Yes It’s Okay If you Skip a Workout (Or Two) (Or Three)

The all too familiar sensation of regret weighed heavily on me. I laid in bed letting the sleep sink in. It was 7:10 and it was time to get up. The day ahead called forward, but something in my mind brought me backward.

I had officially missed three workouts. I immediately began justifying it in my head. “Well I needed extra sleep,” (but I got the same amount of sleep) or “My lower back was tight and needed rest,” (but yoga could of helped that), I”ll eat less today,” (but I don’t want to be hungry), or “we’ll compensate for it starting tomorrow.” (but you won’t lose enough weight before the weekend when you get pictures taken).

I pondered these excuses and rebuttals while I brushed my teeth. Yesterday morning I was supposed to go on a jog, last night I was supposed to go to yoga and this morning I missed my jog again. I wanted to spiral… How could I do this to myself? I was doing so well, was this going to be the beginning of the end of my wellness journey?

What’s strange is that for each workout— I had diligently planned and was prepared to attend, but when the time came, my alarms never went off and I mis-read the yoga schedule. As I made a hot cup of coffee before running out the door, I wondered if this was subconscious self-sabotage, or a message from the universe to take a little break.

As I got the idea to write a blog about this— the answer came to me. It is both. I am self-sabotaging but that’s required of me right now to better understand and commit to myself on a deeper level. Let’s dive in:

Over the past few months, I’ve gradually increased my workouts to a morning jog (3 times a week), lunchtime walks (5 days a week), yoga classes (3-4 a week), nighttime walks (2-3 days a week). I know it all may sound like a lot— but it’s a perfect balance to keep an active, happy and healthy lifestyle for me. This took over five months of shifting my routine slowly to get where I am.

For me, workouts are not punishment for what I’ve eaten. Instead, it is a celebration of what I can do, a release of old thought patterns and a mental refresh. My workouts make me happy and I almost always look forward to them.

The workouts I missed were no exception— I was looking forward to all three! In the spirit of not being super hard on myself, I wanted to know why I flaked when everything was going great. Recently I’ve been able to release a little bit of weight, my clothes are fitting great, I’m feeling more confident and rebuilding my self esteem. Going backwards is not an option for me.

Except it was this morning. Every single workout routine is ended by mornings like these, where we beat up on ourselves for not following through. We take on “all or nothing” thinking, assuming that now we’ve skipped a few workouts so all the sudden— what’s the point?

If your WHY is weak, so will your resolve. My WHY has been a commitment to living my best life, healing my body and rebuilding a healthy relationship with myself, food and movement. I know that seems vague— but I realized yet again in the depths of hell when I had regained almost all the weight I lost, that the only life worth living is one where I make peace with my body.

Hard times have a way of showing us our true, core values in ways good times simply cannot. We cannot truly know light with the absence of darkness. This logic is true for your WHY. You cannot know WHY without first knowing WHY NOT.

I used to workout just to lose weight, as a means to an end. I drew an arbitrary line in the sand that said once I hit this weight, I will be happy. The issue is, I reached that weight, and it wasn't enough. I sprinted towards the line, not realizing it was a marathon. The second I got winded, life caught up with me and I lost my WHY, I lost my resolve and stopped my workouts.

This past week I’ve been anxious over a photoshoot I’m doing this weekend. The pictures are for my social media accounts and website. I wanted to take some accurate, recent pictures so I can share with the world what I actually look like. Ever since setting the date, I’ve felt a wobble in my WHY. I’ve wanted to drop weight fast… so I could look good in my photos.

This weakened my resolve. The reality is, I won’t lose 20lbs in one week and whether I follow through on three workouts in the beginning of the week will not have a large impact on what I will look like in the pictures. It’s no surprise that I subconsciously sabotaged— because what’s the point? If I’m going to be triggered by the photos, if I’m going to just look the way I do— then what’s the point in trying?

We have to get brutally honest with ourselves when we don’t follow through. Just because you evolved your reasons why doesn’t mean that the older demons won’t reappear time to time. This morning I’m speaking directly to them. I’m welcoming them, inviting them in for a cup of coffee and reassuring them that their services, while appreciated, are no longer needed.

I decided to become a wellness coach to break the stigma about coaching, about imperfect wellness leaders and to show the world that just because you have fat on your body, does not mean you are “a work in progress.” We don’t have to change their minds about us— they can change theirs. Our job is to take care of ourselves and let the condition of the weight take care of itself.

Here’s my challenge— I’m going to look how I look in my pictures. They will be true, authentic photos. And that’s okay. I’ll survive and I’ll be proud of myself and my body. There is nothing wrong with yours or mine.

I do believe I will follow through on the rest of my workouts this week. Not because I’m trying to drop weight, but because my resolve is strong again. I got honest about why I did what I did; and in this place of vulnerability and authenticity (that I am very publicly sharing), I feel more motivated than ever to do it.

Love,
Zach