I needed some time to really think about this post.
To think about what my future goals are.
To think about who I might hurt if I wrote it the way I wanted to.
To think about why I am the way I am.
As you know, I took 5 days off of exercise last week.
It was hard.
But TRULY worth it.
And worth repeating in the future!
Here’s what I observed over my sabbatical:
1. Exercise is my stress relief.
I was a grumpy bear for most of the week. On edge and ready to fight with the kids or Travis or with whoever posted their sweaty workout pictures. (Katy actually started telling me about an awesome Crossfit workout that she’d done and I nearly spat in her face. I spit a lot when I talk.)
As we all know, the body releases endorphins when we exercise. It actually has an effect similar to morphine, meaning you can literally get high off of running/lifting/swimming! (<-that is just cool to me!)
I missed that feeling of euphoria. I need that feeling for my mental health.
2. My body didn’t change one bit.
I didn’t get fat or grow cankles. All of my clothes fit the same as before (I don’t weigh myself so I have no idea as far as numbers go). Also, over the 5 days, I didn’t lose ANY strength. In fact, I was actually able to do 15 pounds MORE on a Lat. Pulldown than I had done the week prior.
Oh and I can now do 30 consecutive pushups! So if anything, the rest time made me stronger.
3. It’s GOOD to be uncomfortable!
Was I uncomfortable most days? YES. Did I want to bust out some pushups or go for a long walk? YES, so badly. But I think that we MUST step into some form of uncomfortableness to grow as people. It’s part of the reason why having children is so great – you’re forced to do something that is kind of insane, while in the process, you become a MUCH better person.
I can guarantee you this: If you remain comfortable (with your finances, your relationships, your workouts, whatever), you might never have the chance to realize how truly POWERFUL and STRONG you are.
Step out of your comfort zone!
4. Exercise does not define me.
I am first a daughter of Christ, then a wife, then a mother, then a daughter/sister/friend.
Exercise is simply something I do. Not who I am. Not even close!
Reality check time.
5. If you can’t give it up, IT OWNS YOU!
I was asked WHY I wanted to take that many days off. I actually got SEVERAL emails from ladies who wanted to do the same thing, but didn’t think they could even take 2 days off, let alone 5.
I’m here to tell you – I PURPOSELY took these days off. I rested because I wanted to prove that exercise does not control me. I control it.
We were made to move, yes.
But we were NOT made to spend our lives inside of a gym. Or run back to back to back marathons. Or leave our kids in kidcare for multiple hours a day so that we can sneak some extra time in on the elliptical.
That’s not living. That’s not what life is about.
I’m adopting a new mantra and I hope that you’ll join me.
Exercise to live. Do not LIVE to exercise.
Exercise should compliment our active lifestyle and make it easier to do normal, everyday life. That’s called functional fitness.
That’s where the focus should be.
QUESTION: Exercise and orthorexia (extreme focus on food) – would you consider these to be “idols” in your life? If so, what are you going to do about it?
I’m kind of in love with this guy. And his words fit perfectly with this post!