Yesterday I did something I haven’t done very often since last January: I skipped a planned workout. The alarm went off at 6:02 a.m., and my whole body practically groaned with disappointment. I just couldn’t get up. So I opted to sleep an hour later and work out later in the day. But later in the day came, and I just couldn’t muster the energy or the motivation. So I skipped the workout, took a nice long, hot shower, and relaxed. And you know what? It felt wonderful.
Most days, I love exercise and look forward to it and relish the sense of accomplishment I feel afterwards. Lately, however, the thought of it all just makes me tired. When I was talking to Stephen about this, he suggested that maybe my body needs a break. I hadn’t considered that, but when I stopped to think about it, it made complete sense. I’ve been consistently exercising and counting calories for almost 15 months, with few respites. I am tired. I am burnt out. And I need a rest. As much I tell myself that I can maintain a schedule of 5-6 hours of exercise a week for the rest of my life, I know that I can’t, especially when children enter the picture. If I want my weight loss to last, I need to be more balanced in my approach to exercise. I can’t let it take over my life. I want it to be part of my life, not all of my life.
So I’m scaling way back on the exercise. I’m going to aim for no more than 180 minutes a week for this week and next. I’m going to focus on eating well but not worry about tracking every calorie that I consume. I desperately need to get better at listening to my body’s hunger cues and decrease the dependency I have on calorie counting. I think counting calories was a great way for me to get started, and I don’t know if I would have been as successful had I not counted calories, but I also know that I don’t want to count calories for the rest of my life. It’s not realistic.
Basically, all the frustration and weariness I’ve felt recently has awakened me to the fact that I still have a lot to learn about this whole weight loss process, and I want to take steps now to ensure that I don’t crash and burn later. Truthfully, my body can’t afford for me to gain all that weight back. Here’s to a new, balanced approach!