Re-writing your rules of working out

I wrote this entry 2 months ago, but I never did hit publish. However, my upcoming posts will make a lot more sense if you have the back story. The story of the rise is only complete if it begins with the story of the fall.

My Rules:

  • Squats have to be below 90 degrees.
  • When working out, do what you enjoy.
  • Workouts should be structured and programmed.
  • Trainers need to have their shit together - in the gym and in the kitchen.
  • Country music isn't working out music.

All false.

All things I at one time believed, and made myself abide by. Except maybe the country music part, I've been deadlifting to Eric Church for years.

If there's one thing I love(d), it's structure. Routine. Rules. Rules keep things in order, and leave no room for second-guessing.

But what happens when your routine is broken? When there is no structure? When your whole life and what you thought you knew is turned up side down?

The rules then become handcuffs, road blocks, complete show-stoppers.

It has taken me 15 months postpartum to realize this. FIFTEEN MONTHS.

I used to LOVE my (almost) daily workouts. I couldn't wait to go. My whole schedule was set around them. Prep time for pre-workout pancakes. Post-workout socializing. Staying in my workout clothes just a little longer than socially (more like hygienically) acceptable. Getting stronger, fine-tuning skill work. Defining myself based on my physical strength.

When my routine was halted by pregnancy joint pain, followed by the postpartum whirlwind, then adding on ongoing injuries and pain, none of my rules worked anymore.

I can't squat below 90 without pain.

I have zero, and I mean zero, desire to go to the gym. 

When I try to structure myself a program, at the first sign of pain I write the whole thing off, again. Over and over.

I definitely don't have my shit together in the gym or in the kitchen. Unless macaroni and cheese and chocolate have been added to the "top foods trainers recommend list" since I last checked.

Country music is still good:)

I'm taking a new approach to working out as of this week. And I'm not sure I even want to call it working out for now. That brings too much pressure with it.

I'm calling it movement. I'm calling it therapy.

If you've ever been to therapy, you know how much the drive there sucks, because you know you're going to have to get uncomfortable. While therapy is beneficial, the act itself kinda sucks. You know in a few days, a few weeks, a few months, after repeatedly going, the therapy will pay off. But you have to continually do something uncomfortable that you really don't want to do, over and over, to get there.

So, this is how I'm viewing movement now. It's a part of my mental health therapy, and while I don't want to do it, I know over the long term it will pay off. And I am not talking paying off in jean size here. I could actually give less f@cks if I ever fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again. I am much more concerned about clearing the mental fog, reducing the postpartum rage, and bringing more laughter into my life again.

So. I'm changing the rules.

The New Rules:

  • Squats look like whatever feels good for your body.
  • Sometimes working out won't be fun, you might not even *love* or enjoy it. But sometimes you have to buck up and do it anyways, knowing you will be better for it.
  • Just move in various ways, consistently. Stop stressing about the "best program.”
  • Trainers are human, they're going to mess up, and that's okay. More than okay. And hi, same goes for everybody else, because, well, we're all human.
  • Move to whatever music you are feeling. Or silence. It really doesn't matter.

I'm requiring a 30 minute commitment to movement from myself. Tonight I wrote a workout on the board, it was a little optimistic, but I wrote it out anyways. When I got to 30 minutes, I had completed the strength portion but hadn't made it to the met con yet. I didn't feel like it, I wanted to be done. I had given my 30 minutes, so I turned off Eric and called it a night. It was still a success, still a checkmark for the day. And this - THIS is a HUGE checkmark for my mindset. Two years ago what I did tonight would be a warm-up. "Half-assed." "Quitter." Not anymore.

I would encourage you to write down and look at the rules you have created for yourself. Are they helping you, truly? If not, how can you alter them?

If you're feeling the need to add movement to your day, email me or comment below with what is holding you back the most right now.

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