Mental Fitness Rut

The last few weeks have been rough. My normal routine is off, and I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Knowing what I know about fitness and exercise, I know that I’d feel better if I could at least come out of my workout rut and get my butt in gear like it was before. I could really use all the feel-good endorphins right now.

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Problem is, when you fall this deep into a rut, the motivation and energy to pull yourself out is essentially nonexistent. So how do you work up those endorphins and pull yourself out of a rut? I tried to research this a little bit, and one of the main nuggets of advice was to start slow – you don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to get yourself going.

images (4)This is great advice if you’re a newbie. But I have two gym memberships, good shoes, comfortable workout clothes, workout DVDs for home, hiking and running trails nearby, and a history of strong exercise habits. So now what? Am I supposed to start over?

A big part of the struggle right now is knowing what I should be doing, and actually getting my mind to send those signals out to the rest of my body to get it moving – to stand at my desk, to take my walks, to go to kickboxing, to hit the treadmill, to climb the hills, to go to my softball games – all the things I usually love to do, but lately have been dreading or blowing off entirely.

What it all comes down to is that this the first real mental challenge I’ve had since setting my fitness and personal training certification goals, and it’s been a significant reminder that fitness isn’t just physical, it’s mental as well. All of which brings me back to why my ultimate goal is to be a wellness coach, and not just a personal trainer. Wellness encompasses all of the different aspects – the mental, the physical, and the nourishment.

images (1)What’s Next

  • Take a short break. I’ll give myself a couple of days to rest and regroup – with a little more sleep, I should start feeling a little more normal.
  • Tap into support systems. Between a work buddy who wants to start kickboxing with me, prepping for an upcoming 5K with my sister, and having the My Fitness Pal community of friends, I have several areas to tap into for support and motivation.
  • Quit casual drinking. I’ve gotten into the habit of just having beer around, and have been drinking more regularly because of it. It’s definitely not helping my case.
  • Set – and stick to – a workout schedule. My time is already pretty full, so some of this is going to mean committing to some morning workouts. Nothing extreme (I do want to be able to stick to it, after all).

Life happens, and there are bound to be obstacles, even as I try to get my feet back under me. I guess now that I know I can handle living life the way I want to when everything is chill, now I get to practice keeping my shit together when things aren’t so chill.

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