As a personal trainer, I sometimes feel pressure to look a certain way because at the end of the day, I am a walking billboard for my business. Although I preach a balanced lifestyle, people seem to expect that I can't go a day without exercise or that I wouldn't be seen dead in the McDonalds drive through and it can be a lot to live up to (especially because I'm quite partial to a McChicken!)
Like anyone, I fall off the wagon at times and when I do it can be pretty epic! I love chocolate and wine as much as the next person and obviously I know these things are better in moderation but that doesn't mean I always take my own advice.
The gym I was training at closed down recently and suddenly I found myself "between gyms" and so I thought... "I'll just take this week off to recover before I get back into it again"... and then the following weekend I was planning to be away (there's no point joining until I get back, right?)... and then I had my eyebrows tattooed and couldn't sweat for a week. The excuses kept on coming and it's amazing how quickly I adapted to my new way of life.
Don't get me wrong, after a few weeks of not training properly I started to feel the affects of it. I was more fatigued day to day, my joints were achy, I wasn't sleeping as well and I definitely wasn't eating as healthy as I should have been. I knew these things would be resolved when I was exercising again but to be honest, I gave myself a really hard time about the whole thing and it made me think...
In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if we fall off the wagon every now and then?
Yes, we can't stay "between gyms" forever and if it's constantly happening then we might need to rethink some things but a few weeks of less squats and more Caramilk once or twice a year won't kill us and we shouldn't torture ourselves over it.
The good news is that my training is finally back on track! I joined a new gym last week and I've eased back into weight training (hello legs!!) without pushing it too hard, too soon. Instead of beating myself up over my time off, I've made a plan to get back on track by sticking to these simple guidelines...
1. Preparation is key so I'm planning my meals each week, especially snacks because that's where I can get caught out.
2. Easing back into the weight training so I don't get injured. I know I'm not going to be lifting the same weights as I was before so I need to be patient.
3. Sticking with the 80/20 rule. Even though I've had a few weeks off, calorie restriction is not the answer so I'm going back to my normal routine without depriving myself of the foods I love.
4. Not dwelling on the past. We are allowed to slip up every now and then and looking back does not achieve anything except for making us feel regretful.
So if you're in the same boat as me, don't beat yourself up. Sit down, make a plan and ease back into it because you're only human after all.