I think it's become pretty clear to most people in my life that my difficulties with healthy living have nothing to do with not pushing myself in my workouts. I have struggled with listening to my body, not bowing to peer pressure (bust through that pain! you can do it!) and above all, food.
I know some amazingly competitive and awesome women who have overcome some pretty challenging setbacks in their health. It's inspiring. It's awesome. I'm freaking jealous!
That being said, it's become more apparent to me that I do have a need to not push myself to a ridiculous level. I look around me and see these amazing athletes (because even if you are doing this as a means to be healthy, you ARE athletes! Even if you don't compete in a sport!) who can do more than I can. The reality is though, my body has its limits. It also has its challenges. I've had to learn to listen to my body and take these challenges and find out ways to overcome them instead of just brute force. Flexibility is something I constantly work on, and now I have a new workout series that I'm using to work on that challenge (it's PiYo...teambeachbody.com) Pilates/Yoga fusion gives me the flexibility training and strength training I'm falling behind on. This year I'm biking to work...that's 17.4 km each way. I'm only banging that sucker out 3x a week because it does a number on my legs....because I book it and push racing against time....and my time during my commute keeps getting shorter. ESPECIALLY when I take the time to take a day off between biking. That rest and recovery time for my legs? Invaluable.
The other thing I've come to realize about myself is that my slowtwitch muscles are by far the most developed. I've got the endurance, especially in my legs. So I've decided to start doing more HIIT training and fast twitch muscle training. Why? Well, my sport is snowboarding and while its great to have that muscle endurance going on, the fast twitch muscles are going to be where my power goes when I eventually tackle jumps (and I will!). So I've started using RushFit and ZGym (Zuzkalight for those of you who know her...if you don't...google her). The Zgym workouts fit in fantastically with my schedule. Long, ridiculously long days and a long commute make for little time. Luckily HIIT/Metabolic Training gives me the strength training I need and the fast twitch muscle work I desire in as little as 15 minutes in the morning (+warmup/cooldown)
Awesome! Fitness....taken care of.
Then there's food.
That, unfortunately, seems to be my downfall. It sucks and there's more to it than "oh she doesn't have the willpower". It's emotional, its difficult and its tied in many ways with feelings of self worth and all that fun psychobabble stuff. It's getting dealt with, but I'm getting better at it and I'm on the road to self-love and recovery. Being ones own harshest critic is a blessing and a curse. It forces us to challenge ourselves, but it can also go to an extreme where it becomes unhealthy and counterintuitive. After having a convo with a coworker where he insisted I was wrong giving my legs a day off between biking to and from work (remember, its 17.4 km EACH WAY), I was livid. Then started thinking "hey, maybe he's right. I SHOULD bike every day." Then I remembered how my legs felt after biking three days in a row. How tight my hips, IT band & calves got. How I almost had a really bad muscle spasm in one calf but caught it and stretched it out in time. For me? 3x a week is more than enough. I'm still saving transit $$ and I'm getting good cardio. But honestly? Some days I'd rather bang out an intense short workout out at home then sit on a bus and read or listen to podcasts. Its not just getting my fitness up there, its getting all around balance. I don't want to JUST be a good cyclist. I want to be a good all around athlete.
So there, suck it Debbie Downer!
My takeaway? Variety ....it truly is the spice of life, but there is the consistency factor too. I'm trying to get into a routine using a few different styles of working out. In the end I'm being active so that's all that truly matters. And being kind yet realistic with yourself. Be truthful to yourself, but above all remember: You showed up. You are taking care of yourself. It's YOUR journey.
Be Happy Be Healthy Be Fit.