Sunday, October 20, 2013

You need to stop acting lazy: Get back to the Gym

I generally don't get very deep on this blog. Like most people in their late 20's, years of disappointing relationships and bad life choices have left me emotionally stunted, and I prefer to keep things pretty surface. In the words of one of my favourite YouTubers Daily Grace: "Repress....all of it."

Every once in while though, some feelings creep in, and I am compelled to talk about something with a bit more depth than the products I'm currently wasting my money on to feel pretty. At least to pass the time until my recent Sephora order shows up.

September was a bit of a rough month for me. Ok nothing really terrible happened. But as a citizen of the First World I reserve the right to get bummed out sometimes because life is hard. During my brief stint of self pity, I kind of fell off the fitness wagon. I hardly went to the gym at all for almost the entire month. I think this happens to a lot of people when they're not feeling their chipper selves (although no one has ever accused me of being chipper). And it makes sense-you just get down in the shitter and lose your motivation. But then it just becomes a cycle of shit: you feel too bummed to drag your ass to the gym, but not going to the gym makes you more bummed out.
(The excessive amount of alcohol you're drinking to numb the pain probably isn't helping turn things around either, but hey, this isn't AA.)

I never let myself stay down for too long. In the last couple weeks I've forced myself back into my gym routine. I'm amazed at how quickly I feel better-about everything-when I'm working out regularly. It has literally never failed me. Booze as therapy is pretty hit and miss: it's either the best time of your life, or ends up in a shame spiral of lying down in the shower and dry heaving in the middle of the street on your way to work (not that I would know, personally). But going to the gym makes you feel better every single time.

On the other hand, I think it's ok to take a gym break once in while. It's taken me a long time to feel that way. I used to freak out and get really mad at myself if I even missed more than a couple days. But that's not healthy either. Sometimes life comes at you and you need to make something other than tight buns your top priority. Sometimes when everything feels like it's going wrong, it's nice to just take that pressure off yourself. But you need to know when it's time to kick yourself in the ass and get back to the gym.

Does anybody sew?

I think I've told you before that I've been working out for a long time-10 years at the same gym now. So for me it's become part of my identity that I'm not willing to give up just because I'm in a rut. I've created a support system for myself because my friends and family know I care about fitness. They (unintentionally) motivate me when they ask how the gym has been lately and I haven't been all week. Even if you work out alone like I do, it's good to have other people to hold you accountable to your fitness goals.

But still, none of those people can actually make it happen for you. You have to make the move yourself. And that's true whether you've been working out for 10 years or you've never been in your life. You have to be your own drill sergeant sometimes. In some masochistic way it sometimes feels good to just lay in bed and feel bad for yourself. And if it doesn't feel good, it's definitely easy. But things aren't going to get better from there. You have to be the one to put your spandex on and just get your ass to the gym.

Thatta girl

I am kind of thankful that I fell off my game last month. It reminded me how great fitness is for me both physically and mentally. Sometimes I focus so much on that physical aspect of it, that I forget how good it makes me feel. I spent some time in September marathon watching Friday Night Lights, living off rice cakes and coffee and feeling like life sucks. But I did that to myself, and I got myself out of it. One week of my normal fitness routine and I felt completely better-I couldn't even tell you what was so bad in the first place. Life happens and you have to keep trucking through. And if you need something more to motivate you, just think about Jennifer Aniston. That's what I always do in times of trouble.

As an aside: Gym Makeup: Someone recently asked me to talk about makeup at the gym. I wanted to address it, but didn't think it warranted it's own post because I don't think you should wear makeup at the gym. In my last post I mentioned that I never leave the house without makeup, and that is true. But when I go to the gym I wear the absolute minimum I need to be able to make eye contact with the person at the front desk and not feel ashamed. Concealer, a bit of powder to set it and maybe fill in my eyebrows, that's it. I've gone with more makeup on and when I broke a sweat, it looked awful and my foundation ran into my eyes. It's really the time to let go of vanity(while you work on your physique, motivated by more vanity).

If you see someone you know on your way to or from the gym, just tell them where you're going. I feel like if you look like crap, but you tell someone you're going to work out, it plays some sort of mental trick on them and you automatically look a lot better. Same goes for if you're holding a giant water bottle. Try it.

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