I know I am not alone when I say that this winter has been one of my least favorites ever. I committed myself to fitness and a healthy lifestyle around 5 years ago when I woke up one day, fed up with how I felt at such a young age. I wasn't what you would call "fat", but I was certainly not "fit" either. In my commitment, I learned of my own capabilities and stopped putting limits on myself. I found that I love running and I love exercise. I also found that my love for it was contagious to others, which led me become certified in personal training. But, this winter.....ugh!
Now for my confession that I would prefer not to talk about, but I am going to show some serious vulnerability and share with you just how real I am. I believe that when you are just starting a new health and fitness journey, it is overwhelming. I believe that you can look at someone like me, that has this love for running and for eating healthy foods, and get a little annoyed. I believe that it would be easy for you to feel like I don't understand what it's like to be you. To struggle with will power, crazy schedules, or lack of interest. So, that is why I am choosing to open up today about my winter struggle.
Whenever we get off track and get lazy in our healthy lifestyle, or just let ourselves go, we ALWAYS have a reason. I like to refer to these as "excuses", because that's what they are. Usually they are just plain crap, but we tell ourselves otherwise so that we don't feel like such a failure. Let me say this before I go on, no matter what has gone on in your life to contribute to the current lifestyle choices you are making, you are not a failure. If you are reading this and relating to it, all the while wrestling with guilt over letting yourself go, you are not a failure. If you are breathing air right at this moment, you are not a failure. I may not know who you are, but I can say with 100% confidence that you are not a failure. I know this because healthy living has no finish line. Your body will change as you age, have babies, grow old, get sick, get well, etc. You will never truly arrive when it comes to your fitness goals, and as long as you still have breath you will never truly fail. It is never too late to make yourself better.
So my confession here is that this winter has single handedly tried to suck the life right out of me. It has done a great job of trying to rob me of my fitness, but it has not succeeded at squelching my spirit. When I committed to a new lifestyle 5 years ago, I fell in love with it. It became part of me as I found my strengths and weaknesses and learned about what I like and dislike. I truly dislike winter. I dislike the cold, the short days, the wind, the snow, and all else that come with it. Anything below 70 degrees makes me cranky! It robs me of my joy, because I allow it to. I don't enjoy being cooped up inside a gym. It's not me. I don't enjoy attending classes of sorts, i.e. yoga, zumba, spinning, etc. I don't mind a running buddy, but I don't need one either. I am happy to go it alone. I don't even need music to entertain me on a run. It was trial and error for me to find what I love. When we had to endure a winter like we have, my attitude turned sour and I just quit. Yes, that's right.....I said quit. I say that in a temporary way, of course, but the fact that I have let mother nature rob me of something I love says a lot about the fact that I am human just like you. You can learn from this that EVERYONE goes through a rough patch.
What I am happy to say to you though, is that I am back in control of my attitude. Mother nature did not win..... In fact, the first episode of warm weather we had, I was out there running 6 miles a day until I found myself with an injury. Don't do that.... I know better, but my enthusiasm got the best of me. If you are uneducated about anything fitness, rule #1 is pace yourself! Overuse injuries can happen in any workout regimen so be sure to listen to your body and slowly increase your intensity. Be smart!
The moral to my post today is that even marathon running personal trainers that are obsessed with fitness have times of struggles. These episodes aren't going to be the end of you. They will make you stronger. They will only last as long as you let them. You have the power to take back control of the situation, and you can't blame winter, or busy schedules, or the flu, or anything else, because the truth is, there are no real excuses. There are only situations and challenges. What you choose to do in those situations and challenges is what makes the difference. Sometimes you will get it wrong. You are human. Don't beat yourself up. Get a handle on it and move on. I promise you will be stronger.
p.s....winter 2013/2014 truly sucks..... The end!