Resting, Resting

((Oh yeah, check out my post Emotional Eating: Asking the Scary Questions at A Weight Lifted.  I think it’s a pretty good post and explains a lot of my process for how I got past the last bit of emotional struggle without turning to food.))

I’m resting today.  Just resting.  I feel like this is just another rest day in the middle of a rest week, to be honest.  My body hasn’t totally complied with my desire to PUSH like I would like it too.  So, I’m giving it what it wants and resting.

See, on Monday and Tuesday I was pushing hard.  Even though mentally I was struggling physically I found myself pushing hard and kicking through barriers. I upped my weights use for upper body resistance training.  I moved to the advanced positions in lower body conditioning.  I did every bump up move in low impact aerobics and punched/kicked super hard in kickboxing.  In short, I kicked ass.

And then my body took control and let me know what it needed.  Yesterday my phone died in the middle of the night and my alarm never went off.  This led me to sleep until almost 10 oclock, missing breakfast and the morning exercise classes.  I wouldn’t have let myself do that on my own, but clearly it needed to happen.  Then in upper body class I noticed my body/neck tensing up a lot with the strain of the heavier weights.  I got through it but ended up with a slight pain inbetween my neck and shoulder.  So after that I stuck with taking it easy.  My cardio for the day was stairs, which I climbed a million times just in my daily activities. The rest of the time was spent relaxing.

Today I’m planning on doing much of the same.  I know my next weigh in/assessment is tomorrow but I don’t care.  My shoulder is sore, my tummy hurts, and my body is tired still.  So I’m going to take it easy for this morning and see how it looks this afternoon. I’d rather feel better by tomorrow than stress myself to get a better weigh in.  This is about the long term success, not one weigh in.  So I shall rest!  I think it is what my body needs.

Taking a day off or even a few days off won’t ruin me, even though sometimes it feels like it will.  I struggle with resting completely.  I get worried that I will let myself slip, that after a few days when my body wants to exercise again I will just decide to keep waiting until that feeling passes.  And then I will be in the place where I don’t exercise, I don’t feel good, I don’t do the things I love.  That is a scary place for me and even though I always come out of it, sometimes it takes weeks and the process is sooo hard.  It’s like starting over or at the very least taking several steps backwards.  I don’t want to do that, so I don’t want to rest so I don’t fall back there.  At least that is what goes through my head sometimes when I decide “I want to do nothing today so my body can chill and take care of itself.”

What about you?  Are you cool with rest days or do you struggle with it too? Maybe I’m just alone in that.

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  1. ONE rest day is usually ok for me. Two or three is even alright. But, I really really struggle coming back from vacation. I got back about two and a half weeks ago and I feel like I’m just getting back on track this week. It’s not the eating portion, it’s the making myself get up at 5 am to exercise part. I gues I just really like my routine.

  2. Resting is great for the body, but it throws me off my mental game, too. I have the ‘speeding train’ mentality as well. If I keep it going and stay in a rhythm, I feel unstoppable. But what happens when I stop for a rest? Will I start back up again? As you probably know, I’ve been training for a couple events since April (first a 5K, then a 10K). I took a week off back in May for a trip to Cali, but stayed ‘active’. Took another ten days off in June/July for a trip to Washington, but did manage to get in a few days of jogging, etc. I’m not going to lie, getting back into the saddle took some effort, but I got there. And I guess that’s what matters. Not how long it takes you to get there or how much effort it takes to get up to speed again… but that you finally got there. :) I need to take heed because I recall CRYING over a missed training session not too long ago. Hilarious and ridiculous at the same time. Sometimes, you just need to take a break to recharge and regroup. And that’s OK.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your day! You’ve been kicking some serious ass.

  3. I love rest days, but they also throw me a bit off. Like the commenter above said, rest is great for the body … and I have to remind myself of that when i have a day that i’m not running, biking or swimming.

    Enjoy your day!

  4. I am one that has to push myself to rest. I do take 2 days off a week but my 5 days are very crazed workout days so I do need them. It took me years to learn that lesson! BUT, when I am under the weather or just over tired, well, that is when I have trouble taking time off form a normal workout day. I still struggle with this but usually I figure it out eventually if my body screams! :-)

  5. @Tara
    Ooo, yeah vacations are really hard. I try to stay active and work out once or twice while I’m on a vacation so coming back to my regular routine isn’t so hard. That doesn’t always happen, but I try. I’m glad you are finally getting back on track post-vacation!

    I like that ’speeding train’ mentality, idea though! It feels awesome to be on an unstoppable streak and its scary to get off it because you don’t know when you will get back on. You are so right that it takes effort and time but you will eventually get back if you WANT to.

    And thanks! I think ass-kicker will be my new middle name.

  6. One rest day is totally fine, and I generally take one a week. Two is doable, but a bit harder getting back in. I’ve learned that if I take three in a row, it’s HORRIBLE to get back in the groove of working out.

  7. I know I tend to be the other end of the spectrum but I think a few days off is GREAT for the body and the spirit.

    I shall step up and naggeth you if you have trouble restarting

    I promise :)

  8. “I know my next weigh in/assessment is tomorrow but I don’t care”

    I’m glad you don’t care, Mary. A big problem with basing our actions on what we weigh is that it gets in the way of listening to our bodies. Your body told you to slow down. If you did care that your next weigh in was tomorrow, you wouldn’t listen to your body. And then you’d probably injure yourself or burn out — something that would potentially cause you to give up on your efforts at developing a new healthy lifestyle.

    At Green Mountain, we strongly encourage everyone to give up the focus on weight and pay attention to taking care of ourselves as best we can, and just let our weight end up where it’s right for each of our individual bodies. When we consistently engage in behaviors that help us feel well, it’s highly likely our bodies will respond by being well, and that includes being at a healthy weight.

    The other factor here is the discouragement many of us experience when the scale doesn’t show what we want it to/think it should. That causes many of us to give up on taking care of ourselves, too.

    Btw, the “weigh-in” isn’t something that Green Mountain encourages either. We do it because participants want that assessment, but if we had our way, we wouldn’t go there. For the reasons mentioned above.

  9. @Janet
    Ah, yes, the curse of three. Three days is exactly how long I can’t go without working out or it gets really hard. Two days is good though.

    A few days off is nice, but I just don’t want to get in the habit of taking off so much. I will keep you in mind if I slack and take off too many days. :)

    Yeah I’m trying to listen to my body.. but its tricky because I want to push through mental stuff parading as physical, and sometimes the lines are blurry. I know you guys don’t like weigh ins and wouldn’t do them if you didn’t have to. Personally, I like knowing how much I progress in as many ways as possible. Weight isn’t the end all be all to things, but it is a way to track and I appreciate it. I also accept that it’s a fluctuating thing and realize weigh ins aren’t so accurate considering my weight can fluctuate around 5 pounds in the same day. So yeah, I don’t base my self worth on it or anything, but it’s nice to know. :)

  10. Resting is a huge factor when it comes to weight loss. I know what it’s like having to go back to the gym after a few days of being a sloth though. I just think about how great I’ll feel after a workout and that usually gets me motivated.

  11. I HATE rest days!! I hurt my knee, I think it has been a month ago now, well right before labor day, probably in weights. Since then, I cant do as much. I cant do kickboxing as well, (the kicking), I cant do the lift class too often, I cant go out dancing, I have only been to dance class about once, I cant do the step machine (doctor said), and I cant even do eliptical at as high of a setting. AAAHHH!! Lol. I am going back to lift class again thurs. last time I tried it, it hurt again, but I’m going crazy with my smaller exercising. I still have my stairs and I live on a giant hill and don’t drive so walk a lot, and I know that in the long run resting my knee will prevent a big injury but still. I feel like I am losing all that progress of toning up and being able to lift heavier things, etc. so that’s my thoughts on rest days, they sux. Lol. Still, its good youre doing it. Feel better :)

  12. I’m the same way. I don’t like rest days very much. That’s why I tend to go out walking every day, so I can get in some kind of “active rest”! Hope that your body is fully rested.