Ya’ll know by now, that my workouts have transitioned over the years from obsessive, to… barely at all. Haha. (I average three workouts a week.) But I do laugh because I feel like I am in on a great little secret: I discovered that you really don’t HAVE TO be a slave to your workouts to stay in shape and maintain your weight.
I mean, I’m not competing in any body competitions or anything, but I quit being a slave to my workouts over twelve years ago, and my weight has not changed a bit, I still fit in the same clothes (I know cuz I still wear some, haha,) and I still occasionally sport a bikini.
**2 notes on this ^ pic…1) I only include it after a few people I trust (friends and husband) suggested I ought to include a bikini shot to authenticate what I’m talking about…
and 2. On modesty: There is a very different culture in Hawaii as far as swimwear goes, and bikinis are quite mainstream–the norm. for everyone including moms. I most often wear a one-piece or a cover up over bikini at the beach, but occasionally when I’m w/ my hubby I’ll wear a bikini. He took this picture. 🙂 Thx for understanding! 🙂
Back to the story: For many years I assumed that to keep my weight under control, and stay in even decent shape, I’d have to be a slave to working out for the rest of my life.
So it’s kind of a really exciting thing to me that I not only broke free from my mental food and exercise hangups, but my body hasn’t changed either.
(Of course there are some changes in my body due to basic aging, and I’m trying my best to do that gracefully…even if a bit stubbornly. :))
Now…Some of you have told me that you too want to ease up on the workouts, but it’s scary.
I know! I remember.
But you can do it. I really, really believe you can!
As with everything else that I talk about, I have found the key to all of this in your thought-life.
**If you live with a belief that loosening your grip on workouts will equal everything spinning out of control, then your actions will match that. One day off schedule, and you might overeat, feel bad about yourself, sit around, overeat some more…it’s really a nasty cycle!
**But if you believe (as I think you ought to!) that your workouts are not the boss of you…then you can miss a few days, give yourself some positive self talk, and cruise through it. You’ll eat a little less knowing that you are burning a little less, and you’ll kind of like the extra time you just added to your life.
I know that some people fear that cutting back on workouts will lead you to quitting workouts altogether. You’re better than that! You can find balance.
For those of you ready to step back from an unhealthy relationship to exercise, I want to encourage you to just do it. Be brave! You don’t want to live the rest of your life a head-case because of your relationship to working out. (And for the love of your social/family life–trust me when I say that it’s hard to be a friend or family member to someone who puts their workouts before people and other important things.) (Some of you need to go back and re-read that.)
I’m not suggesting anyone quits exercising. I think every human being capable of exercising should–and should do it consistently. (read this.) Today’s post is written with a specific population in mind–the ones who have workout routines that they feel controlled by. Whether it’s seven days a week or three–it’s the control it has over you that I’m talking about. ( I think you know who you are.)
So…If you’re in a season of life where you just can’t workout as much as you used to, or maybe you have an injury that is preventing you from working out the way you always have…or perhaps you’re just sick of being a slave to your workouts, this is for you:
FIVE GUIDELINES to help you DECREASE your workout routine without INCREASING the number on the scale.
(pst: you can pin that ^^)
1. REMEMBER: It’s widely acknowledged by pretty much every health and fitness expert that your DIET is the biggest factor in determining your body fat and weight. Most agree that your diet makes up about 80-90% of your weight maintenance goals.
2. As you decrease your workouts, you might lose weight/body fat. Truth: Less exercise will lead to less of an appetite. It might take a few days, but I find that when I am not working out, I can get by eating a whole lot less. In fact, so much less that I realize that the amount more that I eat when I am working out is probably more than the calories I burn on those days. Which (if I do the math,) means that I am probably burning more fat on the days I don’t exercise. haha. Funny, but true.
3. When you don’t workout, you will have all the more energy to get things done. Maybe I’m getting old, (no!) but on the days I workout hard, I find that I often want a nap later, and I am simply exhausted at the end of the day. On days that I do not workout, I am powering through my days, often doing more cleaning and projects that require energy. So when it’s all said and done, I probably burned nearly as many calories throughout that day–PLUS I got stuff done. Double bonus!
4. Your workouts will rock! You will enjoy and go strong on your workout days all the more if you have a few days off in a week. After I’ve rested for two or three days, I am so amped to run hard, to workout strong. I love that! It is so much better than dragging myself through boring workouts every single day.
5. You will feel so proud. Something happens when you realize that you are not a slave to your workouts. You feel proud, and (in my boys’ words,) like a boss. 🙂 I know that for me–I feel so happy just knowing that I don’t just look like I do (which again–isn’t perfect, but is acceptable to me,) because I’m a workout diva. I actually live a really fun, balanced life. I love being able to say that. 🙂
‘K friends…Speak up! I have a feeling a few of you have thoughts/experience/fears/stories to go with this post. Let ’em fly. 🙂
PS Since this post went live, I finished my book, THE SECRET OF YOUR NATURALLY SKINNY FRIENDS.