Exercising and healthy eating is a big part of who I am. It makes me feel confident and satisfied. My motivation to workout and eat healthy is always high, but a couple of times a year I have what I would call a slump. My drive hits a low and I’m suddenly an expert at coming up with excuses to kick my feet up and skip that power walk, gym visit or run I was planning. And it seems to often go hand in hand with eating a few too many sweets as well.
Living in a country that is veiled in cold and darkness for many months out of the year doesn’t exactly help either. I often find that my bouts of low enthusiasm come in the winter, and particularly around Christmas. The cold weather and darkness puts me in a general state of laziness and feeling unmotivated to go out, even if it’s just around the corner to the gym. I just want to stay inside wrapped up in my comfy clothes enjoying all the good food and sweets that come with the holidays, which quickly leads to me feeling less than great about myself.
Despite this happening to me every once in a while, I try to be okay with it in the moment. I know that I’ll eventually get my exercise-and-healthy-eating-drive back, and that eating a couple of sweets over the holidays isn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Within a couple of weeks I’ll feel back to myself. But truth be told, as I’m experiencing a period of couch-potato-ness, I struggle to not feel utterly awful about it. And about myself.
“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.”
This year I got sick with a cold right after Christmas, the timing couldn’t have been worse (though it never is great). I’d been exercising a lot over the holidays, but was now tied to the sofa for a couple of days, barely able to move without getting winded. Soon enough I found myself in that familiar state of feeling downright terrible about myself, and was wrestling to get back in the saddle with my exercise and healthy eating.
It feels like this state of complete lack of motivation is going to last forever and sometimes I panic that I have lost “it”. “It” being my passion for exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But just as it always does, my motivation returned. With a vengeance. When I finally felt better, I ended up making up for all my missed workouts by having a bit of a training spree of triple sessions (long power walks, HIIT and strength training) three days in a row.
In the end I realised I hadn’t actually done any less exercising than I do on a regular week, in fact, I’d done more than my average. And the total amount of days I’d spent resting completely amounted to a mere three days (spanned over a week).
I guess this post is a reminder to you – and especially to myself – that these times I experience as me being lazy and unhealthy are in fact not as bad as I make them out to be. I will get my motivation back. And in the end, it doesn’t have a huge impact on my overall health.