A Piece of Advice. Or Some Encouragement...
I had a few days where I didn’t do my typical workouts last weekend. It was hard to get back into it on Tuesday. On top of that, I decided to add something to my workouts. That would 6 Week 6 Pack that I’ve been blogging about.
I’m going to be honest… It. Was. Pure. Hell. The workouts were SO hard. Honestly on Tuesday I wanted to cry. I felt muscles that I haven’t felt in a while. Wednesday I really didn’t want to do it. But I did…Both running and the DVD. Yesterday, due to a time factor, I only did the DVD. I was actually quite relieved to take a break from my pal the treadmill. Every workout got easier though.
Tuesday was awful.
Wednesday was bad.
Thursday felt a little easier.
And Friday? Today… Well, it wasn’t as hard (probably because I know the moves now; learning new moves is a huge part of what makes it difficult). I still felt my muscles ripping though. My arms shook from doing plank poses. My thighs burned from squats and other leg work. My abs were pretty sore since the workout focuses primarily on the core. Even today I was sweating like crazy.
After the DVD… I got on the treadmill. One day off was enough. It wasn’t as bad. I did a five minute jog, then did some run/walk intervals (run intervals being longer than the walks). I’d walk for about a minute; just enough to recover, then I went right back to running. More sweat. The pain in my legs wasn’t as bad as it was the first two days. I think the day off from running helped. And, eventually the pain lessened. My body adjusted and I felt awesome.
After my workout I felt pretty much like a bad ass. I felt SO strong; both physically and mentally. I knew I did my body nothing but GOOD. I’m pretty sure that even though I was at home I held my head a little higher after that workout.
I think it’s very easy (too easy) for people to give up. This seems to be especially true of people who are just starting. It gets too hard. They tire of it. They haven’t reached the point where they love it; they crave the feeling; they experience “runners’ high.” They’re still in the stage where it’s hard, and some days it just sucks.
Please know that it does get easier. Don’t give up! Push yourself to your limit; even past what you think is your limit if you can. Work hard. Don’t be afraid to sweat. If it hurts, that’s SO good…Unless of course it’s a strange pain or pain from an injury. You need to be smart too!
But…Don’t try to find an injury as an excuse to quit. I’ve seen that a lot too. Colds that really aren’t that bad, headaches, lots of minor ailments. Guess what! I’ve pushed through colds and after I’ve had a good sweat, cleared out my poor nose, and showered, I have had many times when I felt better. I’ve also found working out to cure a headache or two. Maybe it’s just because I’m not focusing on it, or maybe the change in my body during activity gets rid of it. I don’t know, but sometimes it works.
Once you really get into it, you’ll feel the difference on days you don’t work out. If you take more than a couple days off, you might feel horrible when you start again. Just push. Just tell yourself you can do it.
If you start saying things like “I can’t” and “it’s just too hard” you will probably talk yourself right into quitting. It’s okay to quit if you really are not at a place where you’re ready to commit to it. Just keep trying. Eventually something will click and you will do it. You will change your life. It’ll be a “forever thing” instead of just a “diet thing.” You’ll start for the last time… Talk about an amazing feeling!!
There are days you’ll have to talk yourself through it. You have to make your inner positive voice louder than your inner negative voice. You need to change your thinking. Change “I can’t” to “I can.” Change your mentality. It’s a lot easier to push yourself if you do.
If you’re anything like me, you might cry. I’ve cried during more than one workout. Why? Because if felt so ridiculously hard. Because I wanted to give up. Because my negative voice was trying to overpower my positive voice. Honestly, sometimes you have to fight yourself. I didn’t cry because it hurt. I cried because mentally I was struggling to get through. The fight was hard. But I did it. I fought. I won.
You might also have to get angry. I like to use the nasty comments that people have said to me to help me push through. The “fat girl” comments, people looking at me as though I was the elephant in the middle of the room, guys laughing at me, people telling me “you have such a pretty face”…. That one really bothered me. WHY did they have to add the face part? They couldn’t just say that I was pretty? Because I was fat I couldn’t possibly just be pretty; my face had to be specified? Whatever the reasoning, I used that to my own advantage.
These people were not the reason I started this. I hope they’re not your reason either. You have to do this for YOU. No one else. And let’s face it, who can love you more than you can love you? Give yourself a gift, and keep giving it. You deserve it. Although they weren’t the reason, they became good motivation. I’ve found this to be especially true when I do workouts that involve my bunching bag. Sometimes I yell…Sometimes this yelling includes visualizing the person in front of me and telling them what I never did. Yes, this generally involves a curse word - or ten. I’m taking out the anger that has been inside while I work myself physically. It really helped me. I haven’t had to do that in a while. Now I just push because my inner-Jillian is constantly screaming at me.
I did not begin this journey for anyone else. This is MY path; my decision. I’m doing it for me…For my physical and emotional health, my general well-being, and yeah I’ll admit that there are superficial reasons…. So I can look like I want to. So I can shop where I want to (except the “fat girl stores” because I’m too little - finally!). I have many reasons, but in the end they’re all for me.
Whether you take this as advice and try some of what I’ve suggested or you just use it for your own motivation (“if she can do this, I KNOW I can too”), think about it. Think about what you deserve and what you can do for yourself. Think about how you’ll feel; it might be a way you have never felt.
There are moments when it’s hard. There are times I wanted to give up. I didn’t though. I wanted it too bad. When I wanted to give up, I usually tried even harder. This whole journey isn’t “easy” in general. At the same time, though, I don’t think it was as hard as I made it out to be when I tried previously.
The physical stuff. Man oh man; challenging a giant body is hard. Even just doing fitness walking was a difficult. It gets easier though. Then you have to make it harder. It’s a pretty cool feeling when you realize you’re doing something you couldn’t do when you started.
The emotional stuff. We all have our own baggage. We have our own struggles and battles. There’s a genetic component, but I honestly believe that there is an emotional component to being overweight too. It could be a food addiction. It could be boredom. It could be emotional eating. Whatever it is, it’s different for everyone. The elements that surround a person’s emotions are their own. There are people who go through similar situations and experience similar feelings… Rely on them. Whether it’s an online support group or meetings, be involved. You’ll be amazed at how much the support of strangers can help. Sometimes you may feel like no one else “gets it.” Turn to your support system, because chances are at least one of them “gets it.”
Confronting past events that lead to where you are will be hard. Healing emotionally or mentally might be even harder than the physical part of it. Who wants to admit to their weaknesses? We wear masks and much of the time we never expose our raw emotions; never let others see the real us.
You have to be strong — mentally. You have to be ready to make a change and stick to it. You CAN do it. You just have to realize that you can.
There really is something to be said for the power of positive thinking.
If you read this simply because you’re totally awesome and like to read my ramblings, thank you!!