Why I stopped working out and 3 Tips If You Are Considering It. I never thought I would stop working out at any point in my life. Find out why I did, what I learned and 3 tips if you are considering it!
Why I Stopped Working Out & 3 Tips If You Are Considering It
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jen that didn’t know anything about fitness growing up. In junior high, she discovered basketball and spend over an hour practicing free throws on snowy Christmas Eve morning, to show her dedication to the game. It quickly faded. She ran track one year and attempted to learn shot put, but it was clear by high school that this girl was destined to be an art nerd. Half of her classes her senior year of high school were art classes.
In college, she did what any college female would do: she spent time on the elliptical machine. After a required ‘PE type’ class her freshman year, by her senior year, she fluttered around from weight machine to weight machine, attempting to ‘vary up’ her workouts. She knew nothing of real strength training. When she got the crazy idea to organize a 10K race her senior year, she soon labeled herself a runner. Running was her gateway drug into the fitness world.Why I Stopped Working Out & 3 Tips If You Are Considering It#sweatpink #fitfluential Click To Tweet
A few years after college, running soon turned into the Nike Training Club app. After strides to heal her gut, the girl, wanting to go into nutrition, realized her private college loan debt was too much to tackle and instead of going back to school for nutrition, racking up more debt, she opted to become a personal trainer.
To her surprise, she enjoyed it. Quite a bit. To the point that she started sharing her workouts on her very new blog. Much unlike others, she fancied an exercise known as a burpee. In fact, she loved the burpee and created incredibly intense workouts, featuring this move. She even decided to use the exercise in the name of her blog…AND BUSINESS.
As the years went on, the girl increased her fitness knowledge through conference, books, certifications and blogs. She became known as ‘a Fitness Girl’, meaning that anytime anyone had a fitness related questions – how long should I workout? what should I eat post workout? how do I stretch this muscle? – she was the go to girl. She didn’t mind it, because at this point, she was running a fitness business. AND trying to grow it. She lived and breathed all things fitness.
Until one day, when she turned down a great opportunity because she realized that she didn’t want to run a fitness business. She didn’t want to be ‘the Fitness Girl’ anymore. She wasn’t even sure she wanted to continue in the fitness industry at all. She needed a change. So, she took half a step out, leaving one foot in, hoping that one day, the passion would come back and things would go back to the way they were.
But they didn’t. They haven’t yet. And that is where we find ourselves.
Like that story?! Fun, huh? If you didn’t guess, the girl in the story is me. I’ve talked a few times on the blog, since February, about the future of Burpees for Breakfast and what it was like taking a step back from my business. I’ve given some hints as to what’s coming next and I have a couple posts in the works to explain further, so let’s table that discussion for now.
Why I Stopped Working Out
I stopped working out this year.
On at least 2 occasions. The first because of adrenal fatigue. Remember when I was already tired and stressed and decided that the best thing to do was start training for a half marathon? Remember how much that was NOT a good idea? All workouts pretty much stopped after that meeting with my Dietitian. It was either continue working out and killing my body, or stop and heal. Stop and heal won in this instance.
This week marks my first ‘full week’ back at the gym after a solid 2 weeks away. I’d been struggling with working out over the past few months and when Jill Coleman sent out an email about her 20×20 challenge (you may have been following my days!), I knew it would be the perfect way to keep up with workouts.
So, I did the 20 days. And then proceeded to stop after the 20th day. Yes, I went away for the weekend for Labor Day, but the other reason I stopped is because…I wanted too. I enjoyed working out daily, but at the same time, I didn’t. I’ve been working on self-awareness over the past few months and I’ve come to realize that I enjoy the initial part of fitness/workout challenges, but I don’t want to feel like a ‘failure’ if I skip a day or decide that my body isn’t feeling a workout. It’s almost like I don’t enjoy the accountability portion of posting photos to Instagram, if that even makes sense. I want the freedom to workout when I want to workout.
In addition to becoming more self-aware, I’m also working on listening to my body. Practicing ‘intuitive exercise’ if you will. Which to some, might be a cop out and a way to make excuses, but I beg to differ. There is certainly a fine line between listening to your body and making excuses. When you listen to your body, you KNOW when you are making excuses. And if you give into the excuse, you need to own the choice. I’ve owned my choice to not workout, to give into my excuse, many times.
The thing with taking a break from working out, especially this most recent time, is that I realized that I do want to keep fitness and working out in my life. I like it. After 20 days of only 20 minute workouts, that what I’m currently in the mood for. I want to be in and out of the gym, still feeling like I hustled and got in a good workout.
As a personal trainer, the expectation is that you workout. If you are going to be pushing your clients to workout and take control of their fitness goals, you need to practice what you preach. I’m a FIRM believer in being an example to clients. Which is part of the reason why I stepped back from my business. Fitness was my life. It identified me. It overwhelmed me.The expectation of a personal trainer is to workout. Why I Stopped Working Out. #personaltrainer… Click To Tweet
For the first time, in February, I was able to connect to the fact that wellness is more than fitness. That I can create all the programs I want for you, but if your mindset isn’t in the right spot, if you aren’t eating to fuel your body, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, then I’m not doing much to help you. At the time, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate all that I was learning into my business. Thankfully, I was able to get a full-time job, to take a step back and think through things. To rediscover why I enjoy fitness and if I even want it in my life.
3 Tips For YOU
Have you ever considering taking a break from working out, beyond rest days? Here are three tips if you are considering it.
1. Ask yourself why you are working out. Is it for aesthetics? Do you think it’s going to prevent you from gaining weight? Do you feel like you have expectations to work out? To look a certain way? Do you even enjoy your workouts?
In the midst of my break, I asked myself those questions. Currently, I don’t have an aesthetic goal, other than to keep my muscles looking good. My priority right now is not to put in a bunch of time at the gym, in order to maintain my physique. I want to stay strong and feel strong (and confident) in my body. Working out can put me in a good mood and enhances my day. On the flip side, I can also go without workouts, at least a few days a week. I stopped letting my workouts define me and the way I feel. Which means, now, I feel comfortable with at least 3 days of structured workouts each week, with some active rest or extra walk days mixed in.
Explore your reasons. Explore your priorities. Figure out what will work for you.
2. If working out does have a place in your life, what is it’s place? Every few days? Every day? 20 minutes everyday? It’s going to be different for every person, because every BODY is different. Find what works for you, EVEN IF it’s different from someone else.
I like 20 minute workouts these days. I do a combo of body part specific days, cardio intervals, yoga and walking. Yes, walking. My routine works for me.
3. Realize a break might be just the thing to get you out of a fitness rut. We’ve all been there, right? Being in a workout rut is NO FUN. Being burnt out is even worse! Taking a break has helped me appreciate different types of workouts and fitness – like tennis or walking or cardio intervals. Taking a break can give you a fresh perspective and a renewed energy to enjoy your workouts.
The Kind of Woman I Want to Be
I was listening to an episode of The Model Health Show this week. Shout out to Shawn, one my favorite podcasts. He ends the show by asking guest what they want to model with their business/life. As I’m working through a re-brand (more on this to come) and thinking through my workout break, I decided to ask myself the same question.
- I want to be a woman that is not only mentally and emotionally strong, but physically strong.
- I want to be a woman that makes time in her busy life for fitness, even if it’s on 20 minutes a day…or every few days.
- I want to be a woman that is not defined by her workouts or fitness program.
- I want to be a woman that urges other women to lift weights, not only because of the positive health benefits or aesthetics, but because of the confidence and body love that is gained from lifting heavy shit.
- I want to be a woman that encourages other women to love their muscular frame, even though it might be tough to fit into clothes. Clothing companies need to understand the needs of thick bottomed #quadzilla ladies! And if they don’t, well, I’ll start that clothing line I’ve been thinking about.
- I want to be a woman that supports skipping day’s at the gym, whether for rest or just needing a break.
- I want to be a woman that owns her choices and excuses about not wanting to workout.
- I want to be a woman that empowers other women to actually listen to their body.
- I want to be of a woman that asks the question: Why do you workout?
- I want to be a woman that helps other women find movement their body loves – even if it’s not lifting heavy things.
- I want to be a woman that encourages other women to embrace new forms of fitness.
- I want to be a woman that enjoys the freedom to workout when she wants, however she wants and doesn’t care what anyone else things or expects her to do!
WEEKEND is here! I teach a class on Saturday morning and then it’s relaxing all weekend. Kind of…I’m helping my hubby with his social media and helping my mom with her website/social media as well! PLUS, a rebrand is in the works, my friends. It’s going to be good and I think you are going to like it! Can’t wait to share more details!
So, tell me:
Now that you know why I stopped working out, do you think you will ever take a break?
Why do you workout?
What are your weekend plans?