To Workout or Not to Workout?

So today I found myself having a constant battle all day long… not with anyone in particular, only with myself. Ever since suffering with an eating disorder back in my high school/early college days, my exercise voice has always been quite loud. I’ve definitely been able to turn it down a bit, but it’s always there.

Since I was about a junior in high school, I have been pretty ‘hard core’ about exercise. To this day, I like to ensure that I workout at least four days a week – but generally speaking, strive for five or six. It probably has something to do with control, but I also just really love to see how strong I am and how good I feel post-workout.

My friend Eva and I after completing a Half Marathon

As you know, this past Sunday I came down with a pretty bad virus. Achey, hot/cold, coughing, sneezing, etc… obviously Sunday I decided to forgo the outdoor run/walk I was hoping to go on, and after being sent home from work yesterday because I still felt really sick, I also knew that a workout was not in my future that day. Today, however, I packed my gym bag all ready to complete a light workout after leaving work, but kind of had a, ‘wait–why am I doing this?’, moment.

Going into the office today, I felt quite a bit better. Still stuffy, but definitely ready to tackle my day. While I made it through the work day, I started feeling sick again around 2:00. Through all of this, the constant ‘exercise voice’ in my head was saying, ‘you can do it – just get through 40 minutes walking on the treadmill, you’ll be fine’. The other voice in my head was saying, ‘what is going to take place with 40 minutes of walking?? why don’t you just lay on the couch you idiot–you don’t even feel good!’.

Why was I even having this conversation with myself? I’m not feeling good; I’m getting over a virus. Why does a workout have to ensure my happiness or if I’m feeling good about myself? After going through this little experience today, it made me realize that I need to accept myself more for who I am–with or without a workout. Missing a run on the treadmill or skipping a free-weights section isn’t going to be my be-all-end-all defining moment.

It’s another thing I have to work on, but at least for today, I was able to turn my head, say ‘no’, and take care of myself.

Question of the Night: Have you ever found yourself struggling to not define yourself through exercise? How often do you generally workout?

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12 responses to “To Workout or Not to Workout?

  1. I definitely know how you feel! That guilty feeling is the worst, but you really have to listen to your body. You needed the rest!

  2. I get the worst guilt when I don’t work out. With that said, I haven’t been to gym this week because I had an awful stomachache all day Sunday into Monday and I feel it’s been lingering. The only thing on my mind is feeling 100% again.

    • At least I know someone else is in the same boat as I am! It’s tough to kind of relinquish working out for the week but I know it the long run it won’t affect me. I just have to keep reminding myself of this.

  3. I am constantly feeling guilty and I really try to get to the gym as much as possible, but lately it’s been like 1-3 times a week (which I know is not enough).

    • I think one of the issues is that we are so busy feeling guilty about how ‘little’ we go to the gym, that we’re not giving ourselves the credit for actually going. We have to change this!

  4. I was in the same situation as you! I have been fighting a cold/fever symptoms for the past few days and for some reason I have been feeling SO guilty about taking time off of working out. I’m not sure why I feel so guilty, but I realize its something I definitely need to work on!

    • It stinks to feel this way, and obviously you can tell I feel the same! We are our own worst critics – and that absolutely needs to change. Rest up, lady, and just feel better! You will get around to working out, this one week won’t effect you in the long run.

  5. I usually work out about 5 times a week, but I feel that constant guilt as well when I skip a workout, even if I have a legitimate excuse like you did when you weren’t feeling well. But I dwell on it and get so down on myself. I hate that, but I’m not quite sure how to overcome it…except to just go to the gym. But doesn’t that just add to the problem?

    • I think that giving into the feeling of ‘guilt’ is exactly what we shouldn’t do. We aren’t just here to workout and eat right. Were also here to enjoy ourselves and lead a happy life. Balance is the trickiest thing ever – but the ‘exercise voice’ has to be told to be quiet every now and then.

  6. Oh girl I know exactly how you are feeling! I feel guilty about exercising vs. not all of the darn time. However, listening to your body is absolutely essential and your workout is goign to be awesome next time as a result 🙂

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