To be honest, last week sort of sucked from an exercise perspective. From a food perspective it wasn’t that great either. I had a hole in my belly that I could not fill. It was the perfect 1-2-punch to make someone feel like crap about the whole “thing” of eating right and exercising consistently. It happens to everyone – even me.
The exercise piece was a choice – albeit a bad one – and there was no one else to blame but me. Guess what? There never is anyone else to blame. I chose not to workout on Friday. I had the whole day to do it, but just didn’t feel like it. I was tired and wanted to get caught up on work. I did a speaking event just outside of Philadelphia on Wednesday and got home Thursday morning. I didn’t sleep well at all Wednesday night but managed to slog out a run on Thursday when I got back from the airport. I didn’t have my mojo on Friday. (You might be thinking “Take a day off – you obviously needed some recovery.” Not in the plan – I already used my 2 days off that week.)
Being tired always makes me hungry, which makes sense. My body needs energy and food is energy. And when I’m tired, I’m not hungry for broccoli, brown rice and chicken. There was a #4 with cheese after my run on Thursday. Yep. I don’t remember the last time I had one of those.
A week like this makes it very easy to “fall off the wagon”. To throw one’s hands up in the air and say “Screw it – I messed up and now I’m done.” STOP. RIGHT. THERE. Do you know what the difference is between life-long exercisers and short-term exercisers? If you’re thinking “The life-long exercisers never fall off the wagon”, you’re wrong. They do. Life-longers fall of the wagon many, many times, but they always jump right back on as soon as it happens. They don’t beat themselves up. They don’t abandon their goals. They look forward. Who cares that you didn’t work out yesterday? Big deal if you didn’t eat the way you wanted to yesterday. What does that have to do with today?! Seriously. What does it have to do with today?
The other quality that separates the two is that short-term exercisers are extrinsically motivated where life-longers are intrinsically motivated. A short-term exerciser will say they workout to lose weight, to look better, to fit into a certain pair of pants, to get to a size 4, etc…. Life-long exercisers say they workout because it makes them feel better, they have better energy, it helps them manage stress, they sleep better, because it’s the ‘right thing to do’, or it’s their commitment to themselves.
Remember the line from the Matrix: “There is no spoon”? Guess what? There is no wagon. It does not exist and it is a figment of your imagination. There is nothing to fall off of. Regroup, refocus and re-commit. It’s about today. It’s literally all we have. The past does not exist and we have no guarantees about tomorrow. Every day is a new opportunity – what are you going to do with yours?