This Is The One Thing I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Fitness Journey
No one tells you this.
I have never really been athletic. My mom put me in some dance classes, soccer and swimming lessons as a kid but I was never in love with them. I liked to dance on my own terms, with my friends, and I'm still like that. I only really started to like one sport in high school, and that's when I was on the cheerleading team for a year. Other than that, I couldn't care less about sports. However, now that I'm older, I take my physical health so seriously. I work out 4-5 times a week, eat a healthy diet, and really try my best to get 8 hours of sleep. But no one tells you that along the way, you won't always be motivated.
You see all of these fitness Instagrammers who show their workouts on their stories, or on their actual page. And then you feel guilty for not feeling motivated, even though you just killed the last month. The guilt that comes along with not working out is normal, but I don't think it should be. And I think it needs to be talked about way more than it is.
There is a huge difference between laziness and being unmotivated. If you started out this year saying, "I'm going to go full out, cut every bad thing out of my diet and go to the gym 7 days a week!" and that never happened, then that's not a loss of motivation. That's laziness. If you made a pact to be healthier, which includes working out more and eating better, and you have been but now you feel tired and like you couldn't be bothered, that's a loss of motivation. There is a huge difference, because it takes only a few things to get that spark back in you. When you keep putting it off, that's when you start becoming lazy.
Last January I got a Fitbit from my dad for Christmas and wore it daily, tracking my steps and my hardcore Whitney Simmons talk about how every 3-4 months, she takes a week off so that she craves the gym again. I started doing that, and the week off was nice at first but then I started really wanted to work out again. That bit of information was key, and I actually did research on it and a lot of people do that.' workouts. I felt on top of the world, as I had finally fallen in love with working out and now it's become a passion of mine. Then, I was watching a fitness YouTuber
Last year was 100% my best year when it came to fitness, and I started off this year great as well. I dide-book and fell in love with it, and then after that, I started coming up with my own workouts and loved that even more. However, one day I was eating lunch and I got this throbbing pain in my shoulder/arm and freaked out. It lasted for a week before I went to the chiropractor, and I was also freaked out that I couldn't work out until I got her green light. I could work out my lower body, but nothing using my arm. So I just had the best physical year of my life, and now I have to basically stop everything? That didn't seem fair.
I kind of moped a little bit, not knowing what to do with myself if I couldn't work out. Then I did a bit of research. Your body will not lose any progress unless you go past 2 months of not working out. Yes, you'll realize you probably feel a little more bloated, a little less tight all around, and you aren't getting the benefits from working out. But what I wish I would have known at the beginning of my fitness journey is that along with a lot of things in life, it can't always be perfect. You can't always work out 6 days a week, eat chicken and broccoli for a meal and not get bored. Life throws things at you that you cannot go around. If I didn't let my arm get better, it would have gotten worse, which means I would have not been able to work out for a long time instead of just a couple of weeks.
Losing motivation or being derailed from your current fitness goals is part of the fitness journey. I can begin working out my arm again in 2 weeks, and in the mean time I can do any other form of working out. But that also made me lose motivation, because I want to work out my whole body. You cannot always have a perfect year of fitness, it's just not possible. Life gets in the way, and you can't cancel all of your plans to have a nice body.
I decided to not mope, give myself all of March to not really work out as hard as I do, and just give my body a break after a full year of being constant. I know that doesn't seem like a long time, but 5-6 days a week for a year is asking for a break. Giving yourself a time frame of when you can take a break is so crucial to your overall health, and will help you crave the gym again. If you're unmotivated, try doing that! Even though I am still working out around 2-3 times a week for my own sanity, they're not hard workouts and a lot are just cardio or legs. But as soon as I get cleared for my arm, I will be taking the gym even more seriously because I miss it.
So next time you're unmotivated, do not feel bad for taking a small break. You know what your body needs because your body will tell you. Listen to it! Of course, don't stop working out for 5 months and only consume fast food, still keep your eating on point or indulge a little bit more than normal. It's okay, and you won't notice much a difference. Then once you miss the gym, get back into it! I guarantee after a week, you'll crave it again.