I'm kind of a full speed ahead gal. If I have goals, tasks, aspirations, it's usually always one speed, full throttle ahead, usually at light speed. Determined. Focused. Check it off the list! Git r' done!
In my now older, more life experience stage (ahem!), I've had to learn, somewhat the hard way, the damage that can occur from always moving at that pace...
Going H-A-M on that workout (if you don't know HAM, then look it up)! Add another workout day to the week! More cardio. Or even better, throw in a 2-a day!
Ahhhhhhh! Get hurt. Get sick. Get frustrated. Get mentally taxed.
Full speed ahead again. Eat Paleo. Cut calories. Only organic. No artificial anything. But "I make clean/healthy choices!!!"
HALT again. Nothing's working. Don't see any change. More frustration.
Is there a common theme and habit of going hard, brake, going hard again, brake?? A cycle of stop and go always tripping you up??
There are many out there that feel that doing MORE is the answer to their stalls, setbacks, and speed bumps. They throw all their energy, efforts, and time, at their health & nutrition goals. It can be easy to get lost in the determination and work done to reach those goals.
I am hear to tell you that focused effort is great and necessary, but we must find BALANCE in our commitments so that we don't burn out on the effort, hurt ourselves, and negatively affect our health. I've been on the negative side of all of these. It truly took me going to a mentally dark place before I could take some time to reflect, evaluate, and find a balanced plan that works well for me long term.
You NEED proper RECOVERY. Many of us don't allow ourselves adequate recovery from all the stressors we put on ourselves. Under-recovery can be one of the biggest hurdles to reaching and maintaining our goals. We all need adequate recovery in our sleep, nutrition, and exercise. If not, our nervous systems get taxed, cortisol levels remain elevated, and negative metabolic changes occur that can be severely damaging. Your body is extremely efficient and can handle a large workload, but eventually, it WILL break down and work against you if you don't treat it right. Don't let that happen!
Can you relate to any of the above? Here are some tips to make real change and resolve some of these issues.
- Get REAL with yourself with some self assessment and evaluation.
Ask yourself, why are you doing this? What are your goals? Be very clear on why you are making the choices you are. Have clarity in your 'WHY'.
How does it make you feel? Are you always tired, irritable, hungry. Are you constantly in pain or injured? Is your energy dragging regularly? Do you have constant gut problems? Is sleep a regular issue?
How's it working for you? If you're constantly doing MORE, and not moving forward, then maybe it isn't working. If what you're currently doing isn't working, maybe you need a different approach or plan? Maybe you need someone alongside you to give you a different perspective?
- Plan for recovery.
Make a conscious effort to plan in your recovery. It doesn't just naturally happen. You need to make the choice to take care of yourself and get the rest and recovery your body needs. This includes sleep, nutrition choices, and training schedule.
Include active rest. Get out of the gym every once in awhile. Go take a week or weekend vacation that doesn't include training or macro counting. Go on that date night with your significant other without thinking about the nutrition content on the menu. Go to the park and just PLAY with your kids or your dog. Sleep in Sunday and just have a lazy day enjoying LIFE. Allow yourself to have some FUN!
- Learn to listen to and trust your body.
This has always been a hard one for me. It's taken a LONG time to put this into play, but it is so worth it! Some of us get used to going so hard and hammering away on our bodies. No pain, no gain?? Not really. Your body is really good at communicating when enough is enough and you've pushed too hard. Don't overlook the pain & overtraining symptoms and tune out the signals that shouldn't be ignored.
Truly, sometimes LESS is MORE. When you put in consistent, quality effort over a long period of time, it is much more sustainable than perpetual cycles of all-out and brake.