Are you giving yourself any room to make mistakes?
Some days, you wake up and work out before work — and others, you sleep ’til noon and order a breakfast burrito despite that carton of fresh eggs in the fridge that you just purchased.
… The latter of which I did yesterday.
Balance, you know?
In reading through comments, e-mails and even a few Snapchats, I got the sense that a lot of you frequently tend to feel guilty about your diet and exercise behaviors after you read this post on the benefits of become a morning workout person.
I’m totally, 100%, right here with you guys.
We’re obsessed with success. We chase it and we feel bad when we don’t get it — or worse, when we think everyone else has a lot more of it than we do. (Social media tends to create that perception, doesn’t it?)
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to wake up every single morning and work out. (But if you do that, hell yeah — you’re better than I am.)
Let me be very clear: I oversleep. I eat carbs. I am lazy. I drink wine on weekdays. I’m often running late and — worst of all — sometimes I’ll beat myself up over the feeling that I’ve “undone” an entire workout by indulging a little too much.
Ask yourself this: CAN I LIVE?
Now let’s switch roles and let me ask you this: Are you giving yourself any room to make mistakes? This is essential. In all honesty — and in a bigger-picture sense — if you haven’t failed, you probably haven’t done much with that awesome life of yours.
The idea of perfection is some subjective shit, anyway. Why not make progress the focus instead?
One thing I neglected to really expand upon in yesterday’s post is how much mental stamina you build when you exercise.
Here are some of the excuses that may have entered your mind while reading yesterday’s blog post:
“Nope, too tired.” (That was me for a minute this morning.)
“I just can’t get motivated.”
“I’m not in shape and I’m scared I’ll embarrass myself.”
“I don’t have time.”
Sound familiar? I know, they’re fleeting thoughts for me too. I have one, simple response to all of those: It’s all mental.
Okay, well, it’s like 98% of it is mental. The other 2% creeps in when your body is telling you “Hey, asshole! Chill for a minute. I need to rest!”
Think about it: It’s an actual physical feat to get up and go for a run or to slink back into a yoga pose, but whether or not you have a good run or a zen class is dependent upon how well you hold yourself together mentally and emotionally.
If you’re distracted, anxious, unconfident in your capabilities or worried about what everyone else is thinking of you (spoiler alert: they’re not), you’ll freak. Your heart rate will go up, your breath will be shorter, and all of your movements will feel harder. Game o-v-e-r, bitches.
So, yeah. Whether it’s AM or PM, this exercise game is (pretty much) all mental, guys.
I know that fitness in some way or another is a goal for many of you this year, so I want you to tell me what I can do, share, post, write about and expand upon in order to help you continue past your mental roadblocks.
Is it sharing positive, reaffirming mantras? Stories and examples of how I hold myself accountable? Anything else?
In the meantime, here’s my best advice on what not to do if you’re trying to amp up your workout routine — be it in the morning or just in general.
- Don’t set a deadline. It takes everyone different lengths of time to create a new habit. Set goals, instead, and work your ass off toward those. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish running a race or reading a book (lol @ such different examples); it just matters that you do.
- Embrace where you are. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. If someone tells me it’s their 100th SoulCycle class, we’re f*cking celebrating. If it’s their second? Same thing — because you came back. It’s all about progress. Stay focused on yours. Get so damn busy watering your own grass to notice whether or not your neighbor’s is greener.
- Be nice to yourself. Guys, those two beers or that entire jar of hummus that you ate will not unravel everything you’ve just worked for. Just don’t do make it a habit — and tomorrow, commit to pushing yourself a little bit harder.
- Develop some perspective: Ultimately, guys, it’s a privilege to move and to exercise. Try to remember that next time you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
- Don’t be afraid to start. This is for my girls who are intimidated by the idea of exercise. We all start somewhere — and I promise you, progress gets easier and more addicting. Baby steps. (Go back and read the second bullet point!)
- Get unstuck. Just because you’re in a funk — with your workout or whatever else — doesn’t mean you have to stay there.
Leave your thoughts, questions and content ideas in the comments below. And if you’ve got success stories to share, please do!
Love you, mean it.
Iron & Honey Photography