Truth is, I was exercising less, but for good reasons that have nothing to do with being 'too busy' or 'too tired' or even letting Zuz and Freddy's 'brutus' win in my conversations with myself about my workouts. (first mentioned here as that voice in your head: http://www.bodyrock.tv/2010/12/21/exercise-challenge-drowning-in-your-own-sweat/). In fact the reason that I haven't been working out as much has been due to a DIFFERENT type of self- sabotage - making the subject of all kinds of self-sabotage my next topic!
First off there are the 'standard' methods of exercise self-sabotage that everyone falls victim to. Did any of the ones I mentioned earlier sound familiar? If you're a morning exerciser you've probably had lots of those days where you say "I'm too tired to workout, so I'm going to ignore my alarm and sleep for another half-hour." I myself am TOTALLY guilty of this and I'm a morning person! Then there are those of you who try to fit the workout in after work and before you start dinner, but a lot of you have families and other responsibilities that you let take precedence over your fitness and health. Or you get home from work and say "ugh, that was the worst day at work - I just want to veg out in front of the TV and try to forget it." Yep, I'm one of these too. Notice I've said "too". Even those of us who love exercising easily let these opportunities to self-sabotage take over sometimes. Then there's 'Brutus.' You know about him, right? Maybe not by that name - he's that voice in your head saying things like "you've worked out 3 times this week, you deserve a break" or "yeah, I know you should be pushing harder here, but you've had a long day and you're really just goofing off right now." He may be in your head saying "Laundry, dishes, cleaning the bathroom, dusting... you've been doing this all week, there's no reason for you to get off the computer/off the couch and do a workout/go for a walk." Usually Self-Sabotage of any form has a cycle. Here is an (unrelated) example of what one might look like:
imagine all of my 'cycles i write about looking like this.
The next kind of self-sabotage is found in your diet and boy am I ever guilty. Remember that you're only human, so giving in to temptation is only natural - sometimes. If you're only giving in once a day to once a week you are in GOOD shape as far as i'm concerned (I just gave in and ate a cinnamon roll, just as an example that I'm as human as all the rest of you! ;-P ) However, if you're 'giving in' and drinking soda and eating tons of junk, you're really sabotaging not only your fitness and 'aesthetic' goals regarding your body, but you're also compromising your health! So try and monitor how often you give in to those "I'm not hungry, but I want something (insert - sweet, salty, fatty, crispy, crunchy - here)" Giving in frequently is a downward spiral that you want to try and stop. Especially if you're an emotional eater like I am because the spiral starts looking something like this: have a hard day - crave something 'bad' - eating it - feeling guilty - crave something else 'bad' - feeling guilty... you see where this is going! Some of my healthiest behavior to stop this spiral has been to stop and ask what's really going on and then do a little mild yoga or meditate or go on a nice walk - all activities that encourage you to think through your issues and help 'fix' that behavior.
how often have any of these tempted you?
RESIST the temptation of this picture! You don't need any of this food!
The third type of self-sabotage is sneaky. REALLY sneaky. This is one that catches me regularly and is why I am always telling you to really listen to your body and what it's 'saying.' This type of self-sabotage manifests in the moment you've gotten into really good exercise habits and (for most people) you get an injury. For me, it's most common in the form of illness. I'm one of those 'blessed' (note I put this in quotes, because i'm really not sure how much of a blessing this really is) people with a really fast metabolism. The kind that, when over-revved, starts to make my body as a whole stop working quite right. Usually it compromises my immune system so that I get sick ALL THE TIME. I like the feeling of exercise and fitness and will fall into the trap of not listening to what my body is telling me. Like 'you really shouldn't work out today, I'm too busy cleaning up after your last workout.' A couple blog entries again I mentioned noticing this and switching almost exclusively to walking and yoga. You know what happened? I stopped getting sick. I was healthy for an entire 4 months. WHOAH!!! So, after realizing that I was getting back into the cycle that totally compromised my immune system, I'm stepping back to working out no more than every other day. I'm trying to incorporate more walking and slightly less high intensity workout, because you all know what happens when you get sick - you can't workout and after being sick for a while you start losing fitness. In my case it's another cycle I fall into: Workout hard and frequently - get sick - lose fitness - get well and start working out hard to try and get back to previous fitness level - get sick - lose fitness. Can anyone see the cycle (another self-sabotage cycle) that keeps showing up?
should i workout today?
Now, I realize this isn't a problem that many people face. But it IS similar to sabotaging yourself when you workout with an injury. How many of you have injured yourself just badly that you're definitely injured, but not so badly that you 'have' to stop working out? And what happens when you don't stop your fitness routine? The injury never really heals, does it? So just like when you get sick, it's necessary to take a break. Re-evaluate. Let yourself heal and learn from how you injured yourself. Never EVER perpetuate the problem by continuing to use the injured part in the way that you first injured it. Or any way that bothers it in any small way, shape, or form.
Remember my mantra: "Listen to your body and what it's really saying." Pay attention to all the little parts as well as the big and make sure you're looking for any self-sabotaging cycles. It could save you in SO many ways!
In other news, I've been picking up a lot of books lately about fitness and health, etc. Right now I'm reading one by Dr. Lisa Callahan called The Fitness Factor. I'll let you guys know what I learn!
Thanks for reading, all of you! I know this one was a long one. Have a great day and keep healthy!