In this episode we will be looking at how we can approach training without the pressure of “HAVING” to train. Which leads to us feeling bad about not doing a session.
And it’s so easy to do.
I know I’ve done it… a lot.
And I’ve heard from so many of my clients about how it’s a real struggle for them too.
Why do we feel bad about not training?
This often happens because we feel like we HAVE to train every day.
That if we aren’t training every day then we’re failing at our training.
And this feels really really shit.
We can put so much pressure on ourselves and set such a high expectation that it can feel impossible to achieve it.
Then when we don’t achieve it, we often feel really crappy about it and ourselves.
This then makes us feel even less motivated to train because we don’t want to feel crappy about ourselves and not being able to do it.
Not sure if this sounds familiar but I know for myself, over the years I’ve definitely experienced it.
And the thing is, so much of it comes from the images we see of “fitness influencers” on the socials or the marketing we see pushed by fitness clothing brands.
And sure there are some people out there that can achieve these really high demand routines.
But just because someone else can, doesn’t mean that you have to as well.
There are so many ways to be active and move your body.
And it doesn’t require you to follow strict training schedules where if you miss a day everything is ruined and all those GAINZZZZ will disappear….
Remember these 3 things:
- Taking time off training doesn’t ruin any progress.Rest is just as important as the training/movement session you do.
- It’s ok to move or train as frequently or infrequently as you like.If that helps you feel good about it and like it’s an achievable option for you.
- The least helpful thing to do is try to force yourself to do a thing then shame yourself when the forcing didn’t feel really motivating or nice.I mean let’s face it, it doesn’t feel nice when someone else puts a tough expectation on us and tries to force us to fulfill it, so why willingly do it to ourselves?
How to feel better about training and moving our body
So instead let’s look at training/moving our bodies from a different perspective.
Because really, the only person we are doing this for is ourselves and it’s important to remember that.
REFLECTION EXERCISE #1
Where are these expectations coming from anyway?
Take a moment and really reflect on why it is that you’re expecting yourself to train every day, or else.
Is it really coming from you? Or is it something we’ve been taught or exposed to through family, friends or society in general.
I mean really, capitalism has pushed the narrative that if we’re not “productive” then we’re of no worth, we’re failing and we’re unsuccessful.
But the truth is that’s just not true.
You are more than the tasks you can achieve on a given day.
And you don’t have to fulfill the expectations of the capitalist patriarchy that governs our daily lives.
REFLECTION EXERCISE #2
Why is it that you may want to move your body?
What ways would you like to move?
How often do you want to move or how often does your current situation allow you to move?
And feel good about these answers because really, there’s no wrong answer.
There is only what will work for you, that will also help you feel good about doing it.
THINK: Consistency over Intensity
Now when we think about moving our bodies, we often think of big structured sessions that involve a lot of sweat and discomfort followed by soreness for days.
When really, you can move at whatever intensity you like for as long as you like.
The biggest successes I’ve seen our crew have, has come from sessions that are a moderate intensity, practiced consistently over time.
Because it’s not about session intensity, it’s all about consistency.
So if you feel that you could do an activity at a pretty comfortable intensity 2 times a week and just did that every week, you’d pretty quickly find that:
- the sessions would begin to feel more comfortable.
- you would begin to have more energy, move easier and with more confidence
- your sleep would likely improve as would your moods and
- you’d probably notice some physical changes happening too.
And we’re generally not told this.
Training or moving your body doesn’t ever need to be a huge thing.
It doesn’t have to go for an hour or longer.
It doesn’t require you set personal bests and lift all the heavy things.
The best thing that you can do if you find yourself in the situation where you’re shaming yourself for not training the way you expect is to…
Take a step back and check in with yourself.
Ask yourself those questions I mentioned:
- Why are you wanting to move/train?
- What ways would you like to move?
- How often do you want to move and how often does your current circumstance allow you to move? (Because these may have two different answers)
Once you have these answers then you could begin to take the steps to make moving work for you.
THINK: It’s not about being perfect
And don’t expect to be perfect. Even this plan is probably not going to always be achievable.
And that’s ok.
Even if you miss the times you said you’d move one week doesn’t mean you’re failing.
It means you’re living and sometimes shit comes up and plans have to change.
That is totally ok.
Just get back into things when you can.
And don’t worry about past things. It can’t be changed and beating yourself up about something you missed last week is just punishing yourself for no reason, because it’s not possible to change.
Instead of beating yourself up about missing a time you said you’d move, accept that it’s happened and make a plan for next time you want to move.
I think that sometimes we get into such a habit of shaming ourselves for the things we think we should have done, that it stops us from moving forward and we just end up just in a cycle that perpetuates actions that allow us to just shame ourselves further.
Now I’m not an expert on mind things by any means, this is just a conclusion I’ve come to from spending the past 8+ years working with folks to help them move.
If this is something that you really struggle with, that’s ok. Because it’s not about being perfect.
Ironically that’s kind of the point I’m trying to make here.
You don’t have to be perfect at training every time you say you’re gonna, but also you don’t have to be perfect without overthinking it.
It’s likely gonna happen.
And when it does, just remind yourself that it’s all ok.
Allow the feelings you’re having to happen. Don’t try to resist what’s coming up for you.
Just know that it’ll pass and in the meantime, you’re learning about yourself. But understanding that things can and will come up and you don’t have to get it right all the time.
Just roll with it friend.
Some things are simply out of your control and trying to control them just causes a bunch of stress and discomfort.
We’ve touched on a lot today.
- We’ve look at the fast that you don’t have to train every day. Regardless of what someone else says.
- Understanding that it’s totally ok to move when it feels good for you, however frequent that may be.
- And rolling with it when you don’t necessarily get all the movement in that you said you would or thought you could.
If you’re enjoying the show and know other folks that may find some benefit in having a listen, I’d be so grateful if you shared it with them or anywhere else where you think that it could help someone.
Until next week friends remember, setting high expectations for ourselves can be motivating and inspiring but if they start to cause us to feel unhappy, unmotivated or down on ourselves they stop benefiting us. So don’t try to force yourself or push through if this happens. Re-assess, find a better option that works for you and try again.