I’ve been working very hard to reform my exercise habits. I finally got myself into the rhythm of doing two short workouts a day: a harder one in the morning and then a kinder one after after work. Doing this five days a week, that’s ten workouts. I’d been able to keep this up for a good six weeks before I hit a real wall.
I’d been feeling run down for several days. Maybe it was the last gasp summer weather change (we went from the 70’s to the 90’s down to the 60’s in a span of a week); maybe it was the PMS fatigue that has been known to whip my ass on occasion; maybe it was the fact that I’d been busting my ass on multiple projects and it finally caught up with me. Whatever the cause, my ass was dragging and if you know me at all, you know the size of my ass is considerable, which means the drag was, too.
I got up on that Wednesday morning feeling like I hadn’t slept even though my sleep had been decent. In that moment of meh weakness, I decided that I was going to take at the very least the morning workout off. My body was aching for rest and I decided to listen to it for once.
Cue the guilt and self-loathing.
I grew up with parents who despised laziness. The only thing on par with being lazy was being selfish or possibly murder (but I think laziness and selfishness would have beat murder out simply because I had DONE something instead of watch TV and not share with my sister). So I grew up to believe that any kind of rest I gave myself was laziness and that simply isn’t allowed. Please understand that this does not apply to anyone else –only me. Other people are allowed to listen to their bodies and give themselves the rest they require. I’ll even give them that very advice.
But I loathe to take it for myself.
I have a whole day during the week which I have designated for “self-care” and that is Sunday. I do as little as possible on Sundays. I schedule no work, put no expectations on myself, don’t even get dressed. Sundays (unless absolutely unavoidable) I’m just allowed to exist.
It took me years to get to that point. I spent years convincing myself it was okay to take one day a week off. And I admit that it’s done wonders for my existence.
But the work on deprogramming myself continues.
Is it lazy for me to take a day off of physical activity when my body demands it? Even with my Sunday off? Will one day off to honor myself totally ruin my exercise habit that I’ve worked so hard to re-establish? Will I immediately gain 100 pounds by not exercising on one day that I’m supposed to?
The answer to all of these things is obviously no. And logically I know that.
Illogically, I’m trying to tell myself that I can salvage it if I do two workouts after work (I’ve done that before), no matter how tired I am.
Imagine my surprise when I don’t. When I come home from work and choose to rest. Which is what I did on that particular occasion.
Imagine my even bigger surprise when I didn’t try to make up the workouts later in the week. I just…missed those workouts. And nothing of consequence happened. I let my body rest and ended up feeling better as a result and didn’t punish myself.
Maybe I should take my own advice a little more often.
One thought on “I Should Take My Own Advice–But I’ll Do No Such Thing”
Preach! My grandfather also abhorred laziness, and he harasses me inside my head all the time, even though he died in ’77. I could easily tell you everything you already know – that you deserve to take a break, that it’s actually important to listen to your body, but I don’t listen to reason either. For every post in my Facebook of me going to the workout, there’s far more days I just hide from the exercise and then berate myself for it. Even the days I exercise, I really don’t want to go, and I say so, out loud, in the car, in the Planet Fitness parking lot. For what it’s worth, though, your climate does suck for exercise. It’s way too humid up there. And once winter starts, you not only have to battle the cold, but the body’s VERY REAL tendency to fatten up for protection and hibernate.