We get a lot of questions that come in, and the last time we posted on instagram asking for what you’d like us to cover, a really great question came in that we thought would make a really good, and important episode. This question came in from @darlingdriscoll “How do you find balance of using fitness to de-stress without becoming obsessed?” Well, well, well. We can speak to that, so here we go.
- You feel guilty on rest days
- When you have a planned rest day and you’re fighting with yourself to take it seriously.
- I totally, 100% understand this. At the beginning of my journey, I thought it was a requirement to workout, HARD, 6 days a week. No back to back days off, push as hard as you can all of the time. Sure, I saw gains, but not as many as I’ve seen after starting to listen to my body and back off weight when it’s telling me no, this doesn’t feel good today. Sure. It’s frustrating, but it’s worth it. And once you put it into practice, you start to see and feel why. I can put up more weight, consistently with good form just by listening to my body. Remember that every single day isn’t going to be fucking amazing, either.
- Let’s talk about the psychology behind guilt for half a second, again we are not doctors but we’ve been to lots of therapy and personally guilt is something I’ve wrestled with for as long as I can remember, so let’s try to de-fuse that bomb.
- Acknowledge your guilt. You can’t fix something if you don’t know what nails to hammer and screws to turn.
- Ask yourself why you feel this way. You’re allowed to feel it, but don’t get stuck.
- Make amends. This part can be hard, especially if another party is involved because swallowing your pride sucks. This part is so important though because this is where you commit to do or be better.
- Learn from previous experience. Time is a great teacher, don’t forget to step back and look at the big picture every now and then.
- Practice gratitude. This is why we say to celebrate your body and what it can do… because when you think about it, your body is pretty fuckin’ amazing.
- Replace negative self-talk. Oof this one is probably the most difficult part. Changing how you talk to yourself is some WORK but it’s worth ittttt.
- Forgive yourself. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Reminder: If you do it once, it’s a mistake. Two times and it’s a pattern.
- You feel like you’re going to undo everything by taking off more than one (or more) days
- Rest is important. We covered this on the last episode (Episode 60, The Seven Training Laws)
- Rest is where you see your goals come to life. It’s your body repairing the wreckage you’ve imparted on it. Don’t forget that piece of the puzzle.
- Taking one day off, or two, or even three, isn’t going to undo all the hard work you’ve done. If it becomes a habit of not training at all, or making excuses to not do the things you layed out to do, then yeah, maybe address that. But don’t become obsessed with the thought of the undoing. Just like it takes work to do the damn thing, it does take work to undo the damn thing
HOW TO KEEP THE BALANCE
- Make a list of other things that you enjoy to destress.
- Go for a walk on your active recovery days. You don’t have to murder yourself 24/7, 365. Walks clear your head. Hikes clear your head. It’s still self care
- Do you have a hobby? That’s the kind of list we’re talking about here. Things that you can do that keep you busy, that also don’t require much thought to do them. That’s the destress part of this.
- Have a PLAN
- Get out your bingo card. Not having a plan is planning to fail. Have a PLAN for those times when you start to feel guilty. Have a PLAN that makes sense to you to carry on doing what you’re doing, but while still having balance. that balance, I hate to say it, has to come from you. It has to be practiced by you. I suppose you could count it as bitch work
- Planning sucks when you are used to flying by the seat of your pants but if you want fitness to work for you, you HAVE to be able to plan.
- Grocery lists, training schedule, training plan, meal times, caloric intake, and then some are all things you’re going to have to keep track of if you wanna do this for the long haul. Don’t half ass it, you get out 100% of what you put in to this.
- Get a planner. Having a dedicated space to hold all of that shit makes it much easier to keep up with.
- Break it into chunks. If you wanna start eating better, working out, and sleeping more… don’t try to do it all at once. Start with sleeping better, then eating better, then you can start working training into the fold. You probably aren’t gonna master this on day one, and you shouldn’t try.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself because that will make you want to quit. Small progress is still progress and that’s always a win.
REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE PROCESS
- Don’t overcomplicate it
- When all else fails, always revert back to “move body, eat real food”. It’s so easy to grab a questionable snack, we’ve all done it but it can be a slippery slope.
- If you’re home a lot the good part is easier… but you always need to plan to have meals and snacks in the fridge and pantry so you don’t fall into the trap of “well I’ll just order delivery…” that gets expensive and can derail progress very quickly.
- THANKFULLY there are a lot of quick healthful options at your local super or convenience store… meat and cheese plates, salad kits, fruit bowls, wraps, and sandwiches are just a few I can name off the top of my head.
- It’s become very easy to find healthier options basically anywhere you go, so remember that. And if you really want the French fries, just order the damn fries.
- If you’re bored, switch it up.
- Just because you’re dedicating yourself to an Olympic lifting plan doesn’t mean you can’t be a bodybuilder for a day or two a month when shit gets stale.
- Find some new recipes to work into your rotation. Check out a new cookbook, magazine, or food blog for inspiration — Thug Kitchen is one of my favorites, Eating Well magazine, my favorite food writer is Alicia Kennedy.
- This is a journey, not a sprint
- Part of the fun of this whole thing is that you’ll get to look back after x months and be like “damn look at this, it WAS working.”
- You’ve heard the saying “good things come to those who wait,” well the things are gainz and those who wait is you.
We’ve talked about balance before, but we’ll keep talking about it because it’s important. Everything in life requires balance. But you have to be willing to do some of the work to figure out what balance looks like to you. You’re not selfish for doing work on yourself.