I’ts been more than six weeks since my last workout. I feel depressed and fat. How many more times am I going to allow myself to feel like this?
Life’s not fair. A fact you must make peace with. The quicker the better. To get fit and into shape takes months, even years of dedication, commitment and hard work. But get distracted for a week or two and it feels like starting from square one. And that seems unfair.
To dwell on the past is a waste of time and an unnecessary distraction. We all know this, yet we allow ourselves to get upset by the things we did not do. As if there is anything we can do now to change that. It’s ok to feel crap about not working out but it is not ok to feel crap about feeling crap. That second self-loathing thought is the one that gets us into trouble and drags us down.
Identify the problem and take that small first step to solve it. My problem is that for six weeks I did not do a single workout and to make matters even worse, I did not care what went down my throat. I gained roughly six kilograms of weight in six weeks. And now I’m beating myself up because I feel lazy and beating myself up because I’m beating myself up. You see, there’s that second negative self-loathing thought again. The problem is I’m unfit and overweight. The solution would be to fix my diet and start working out.
Solving problems makes us happy. It is as simple as that. I got my training shoes on and together with my wife started to warm-up for our first workout in six weeks. She complains about letting it slide for so long. I reply by telling her to not worry about that and concentrate on what’s she’s doing now. Which is solving the problem.
It’s a small first step. We start by going through our “regular” warm-up of three rounds of:
- 30 Double unders
- 20 Sit-ups
- 12 Air Squats
- 12 Push-ups
- 10 Ring Rows
- 8 PvC pass-throughs
After the second round of the warm-up my heart is racing and the “little voice” reminds me of how useless I became in such a short span of time. In my mind I give the “little voice” the middle finger and proceed with round three.
The warm-up is done and I’m still breathing. Good. The ten minutes allocated for stretching gives my heart rate time to recover. It also gives me time to think. I’m busy solving my problem. Inside I’m smiling.
Next up is an “every minute on the minute for ten minutes” (EMOM) of 12 kettle-bell swings and 10 goblet squats. Reluctantly I start the timer. I feel stiff and it takes me four or five swings to find any kind of rhythm. After 12 reps I put the bell down and there’s only 17 seconds remaining before having to start with the 10 goblet squats. That was slow. After the sixth minute (and the third round) my heart is racing and again the “little voice” tries to convince me to quit. I complete the EMOM. Phase 2 of three is in the bank. Only a 7 minute AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) remains. Five over-the-bar burpees followed by 7 box jumps and 9 push-presses.
The timer starts. Leonie and I match each other rep for rep on the burpees. Then onto the 7 box jumps, by rep 5 Leonie pulls ahead. We start the push-presses together. Midway through the second round Leonie is a couple of reps ahead of me. This seldom happens and for a moment I contemplate quitting the workout. After what felt like an age the timer beeps to signal the end of the 7 minutes. I collapse onto the floor and stare at the ceiling. Something I’ve done hundreds of times before. A feeling I’m very familiar with and one I truly love, being dead tired, sweating, on my back in the garage. I’m happy again. I started solving my problem, renewed purpose washes over me. This is my happy place.
Don’t dwell on the past. If you feel bad about something, good. It shows you care. If you feel bad about feeling bad, that’s no good. It is counter productive, a waste of time and stupid. Instead of going around in circles about feeling bad, take a moment, identify the problem and take that small first step. You will be stepping out of that counterproductive chain of thought and simultaneously you’ll be one step closer to where you want to be. And that will make you feel good.