Last week was free of structured workouts, meaning no running or HIIT circuits. I did take advantage of a free pass to a local fitness studio and lucked out with an awesome yoga instructor who took us through a vinyasa flow. She also taught me how to do a headstand with proper form. (Apparently kicking up into a headstand can be dangerous, which I didn’t know. It’s sooo much harder to get into a headstand without that extra momentum.)
Apart from that, I embraced movement but nothing intense. I had anticipated a challenging week, feeling low and grumpy without the extra burst of endorphins, and a few days spent feeling a little more fluffy than usual, but it was okay.
It was more than okay.
I didn’t balloon up.
This is an irrational fear. I realize that, but it’s still a fear I need to work through. A week without workouts, even several months without workouts won’t derail your health. If you gain weight, especially if you’re still healing your metabolism from an eating disorder, it might actually be a good thing. Your body could be trying to find its natural set point.
I’m just speaking from personal experience. If you want to read more on this from a professional, check out The Real Life RD.
More time was spent with important people in new places.
My mornings felt open. I had extra time to meet a friend for tea at a new coffee shop in the area. That was special. I also…
…drove a little farther than usual to visit a used clothing store.
…walked around my town and into shops just to look.
…took extra time to journal about my devotions.
…met a friend for a morning walk.
And less time was spent “stalling.”
This might just be me, but in the morning, I tend to push back my workout farther and farther into the day. I’m tired or unmotivated or really just want those cool morning hours to be spent with a book and a bowl oats. Anyway, I end up wasting time feeling guilty about not getting my workout done and justifying why I should wait another twenty minutes to start. Without the obligation to exercise, time was more meaningful and less hurried.
Food choices were actually more intuitive.
This surprised me. Restricting amounts of food isn’t usually an issue for me anymore, but from time to time I catch myself restricting certain types of foods, which lends itself to the diet cycle. Instead of thinking about what I thought I should be eating, I ate what I wanted to eat. And when I did, I started trusting myself with food.
I felt energized and rested.
Our bodies really love to be well rested. For the past few months, my muscles have felt fatigued most days and not the comfortable ache from a good workout, but just a lingering soreness. That went away, and instead of being replaced with a jiggly, jelly feeling, my body felt neutral.
Movement was a choice not a chore.
If I wanted to go for a walk or bust out a few sun salutations, I did. But the intention of the movement was never to burn calories or even break a sweat. It was a choice, made after assessing how my body was feeling at the moment.
I spent less time thinking about my body and calories.
My thoughts are up to me. Some thought patterns are difficult to change because they’ve become habitual, but my thoughts are still my thoughts. That doesn’t mean I beat myself up when my mind starts counting calories or imagines a narrower waist, but I can take those thoughts, recognize them, and let them go, instead of nursing them.
I unfollowed accounts that were primarily focused on running.
They weren’t doing much for me. I felt more guilt than inspiration when daily mileage shots popped up in my feed. For some reason this felt revelatory, but it’s pretty simple.
Follow people who encourage you. It wasn’t the most incredible week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either. There were really great, fulfilling moments and a few that I could have done without. My point in sharing is to encourage you to take rest when you need it and maybe even when you don’t need it, nothing crazy will happen.
Linking up with Running with Spoons for TOL.
Just thoughts today.