One thing that I have struggled with, especially with regards to staying “fit”, is not looking for perfection. My trainer, and friend, Amy said it best most recently “Consistency is greater then perfection.”
One morning I wrote her the following email:
Happy wednesday, I hope that you are having an amazing week! So I managed to get my workout in on my birthday and do yoga that evening, the plan was to workout this AM. I ran last night (btw I never learn to run at dusk). I did not get up this morning and work out, instead I slept. When I realized what time I snoozed my alarm to I rolled my eyes and immediately thought “Failure”.
THIS is why I started my blog. I know I’m not a failure, I know I can do it and it’s not a big deal if I do it this evening vs this morning. I’m an active individual and my body needed rest.
I just wanted to share, I know listening to my body is the most important thing and there is NO reason for me to dump on myself. I just felt like sharing, I’m happy I’m in a place where I can recognize all of this and I know I am healthy.
I wish I could tell you that I would have had the courage to say that a year ago, even if only to myself. It is so incredibly hard to acknowledge disappointment, vulnerability, guilt. It is also just as hard to acknowledge when we took a step in the right direction for our own health.
In the last four months I have decided to get back into working out more regularly. Up until a year ago I had been going to the gym for two years, three to four times a week. I did varying workouts primarily circuit, HIIT, cardio and weights. I would get up at 4 a.m., be at the gym by 5 a.m., be out of the gym and showered by 7 a.m.. At the office in plenty of time to refocus, eat breakfast, fit in some homework and then begin work. I would then work until 5 p.m. and then maybe fit in time with friends, boyfriend, or just prep for the next day.
Is it any wonder that my body simply stopped letting me go? You think I’m kidding however I truly had no desire to workout. Sure I continued to run now and again but my body was just tired. So, I decided to go on a hiatus and allow my body to be what it was and learn to love it again without looking to perfect it on a weekly basis. I eat intuitively, I always have so my diet was never a thing of question whether I was working out or not. It was an adjustment however, to allow myself to love my body without the workouts. Despite my consistent activity otherwise and my consistent eating habits I didn’t feel like it was “good enough”.
Last summer, I began going more consistently to a local yoga studio. I loved it but it was an added expense and again time taken to get a bag together, get to the studio, get home, and eat. A friend had shared a YouTube channel she uses to do yoga at home. I figured “Why not?” this became a saving grace. It allowed me to be more consistent in my yoga practice. Did I still have the same worries and concerns of “Am I doing enough?” OF COURSE! It wasn’t until I finally put my all into it and practiced every day for a month where I began to feel a difference. Even with yoga however, if I missed a day I would beat myself up saying that it wasn’t “good enough”.
See the theme here? I was striving for a perfection that has been created outside of myself. this “perfect” idea of an individual who is able to have the “perfect” body, live a “perfect” life and eat whatever they choose all the meanwhile. What we should be encouraging and advocating for is consistency!
WE ARE ONLY HUMAN! Our bodies get tired, we get sick, we get depressed, sad, or you know what, life happens! If we at least stay active, if we at least eat well and what our body needs (I believe healthy is different for everyone) and allow ourselves to do more when we want and rest when we need it we would be much better about this perception of “perfect”.
There have been quite a few times sense that email to Amy where I have had to check myself and say “It’s okay you needed the rest, you can do it later or tomorrow.” Now, I also check myself too because there are definitely those days where I’m just being lazy and I have to kick my own butt into gear. I am no less proud of myself, I don’t think any less of my self (on most days), and I am no worse for wear. I am healthy, I am active, and I continue to stay consistent.