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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The One About Feeling Guilty

I know I’m not alone when I say that I feel guilty about missing workouts; and I also know I’m not alone when I deal with it and get over it.

But yesterday evening as I headed to Alex’s apartment rather than head to the gym it hit me that maybe I have too much guilt over missing planned workouts. I was actually a bit surprised at myself for skipping last night’s workout because

a)   I was really looking forward to going to BodyPump last night; it’s been 6 weeks since I’ve been and I really wanted to go and

b)   If I was going to take a rest day this week I would have thought it would have been Monday night when I was still so worn out from Sunday’s race, but I actually got my act together and went for a run instead of being lazy like I wanted to.

So I guess my rest day was just pushed one day further, and that’s ok, my body was very tired and I honestly needed, yes needed that day of rest.

However, what I don’t need is the guilt that comes with taking that needed rest day. Why is it that taking a rest day, for the well being of your body and mind can cause so much inner turmoil? Like I said, I know I’m not alone, I’ve read many a blog post from you guys where you said you felt guilty about missing such and such workout, but why do we feel this way when we have clearly earned it?

I did some soul searching last night and I came up with my reasonings for why I probably feel so guilty.

For starters I think we, as fitness enthusiasts and healthy living promoters feel the need to always give 110%; we have to be better, be faster, be stronger and always put forth our best effort. I know for me I always want to improve, and pushing myself harder and harder is just par for the course, I know that’s the only way I will see results. So naturally when you take a day to sit on the couch and drink wine and eat cheese you feel like you aren’t putting your best foot forward, therefore you are lazy (which is not the case but often times our minds tell us that it is). Taking rest days are hard, they just are.

The mental aspect of a rest day is what really gets me; sometimes it’s hard enough to talk yourself into a good hard workout that when you get to a point where you want or need a rest day you find it almost counterproductive to what you work so hard for during the week. For example, Monday I really debated long and hard about not running and finally the thought of getting in a run out won the desire to sit on the couch because I knew I would feel better when I just went. I also at times struggle to get up early on Saturday mornings to get my long runs in, as was the case early on in my marathon training. However, now I feel like I have mastered a pretty decent streak of motivation and determination and I feel like allowing myself a day of rest just squanders all that hard work; hard work including the hard mental work of being motivated.

I also find it hard to take a rest day and/or miss a workout that I’ve posted because let’s face it, I would lose face and not be some awesome, super motivated runner. I know that’s crap but you can’t tell me that you haven’t thought that yourself. Some of us blog for inspiration, some of us blog for our own personal reasons and some of us blog to find motivation and accountability but most of us blog for all of the above reasons combined. So missing a workout, yeah that makes me feel like I’m not motivating to someone else, or it makes me feel like I’ve let myself down or those around me. I know that’s not the case at all, we all deserve to rest and let our bodies recover but for some reason it’s hard for me.

I hope I’m not the only one that truly struggles with this; maybe it’s my type-A personality and the dread of not getting to mark a workout as “done” that causes me so much angst. Or maybe it’s that I struggle much more with the mental aspects of healthy living rather than the actual doing. Either way I feel guilty way too many times when I shouldn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt at all.

So with that being said, I’m going to try harder to let myself enjoy the rest days in their fullest and learn to listen to my body and make adjustments to my schedule as needed. I would much rather take an unplanned rest day instead of having an injury or getting sick because I’ve pushed myself too hard. Rest days are important and I need to remember that they are rewards for working hard on the other days!

Do you struggle with missed workout guilt? And if you do, what do you do that combat those feelings?


Amanda Haws said...

I don't find taking rest days hard as long as they are planned. But when I rest on a day that I had planned to work, I do beat myself up a bit too much. I usually shift my schedule to make up for it on my planned day off. My workout plan is very intentional so if I get off schedule, I don't feel like I can just go back to the plan the next day, I always feel like I have to make up for it.
Great insight! Guilt does not help us get in any better shape! I need to remember this! =)

Rain said...

I think it is partly being that type a personality...I know I struggle with this and feel that guilt too!
Rest days are so important and sometimes I need a reminder of this too.

meghan said...

I definitely struggle with missed workouts. I feel like I've let myself down a little bit, and like you, I hate having to say that I didn't do something that I posted on my blog. It's definitely partle there to hold me accountable. But I think in your case you just kind of switched around a rest and workout day, not so much missed a workout. And if I miss one and feel guilty, I just have to make up my mind that I didn't skip a workout so that I could spend the whole time plus some feeling bad about it. I skipped it for a reason. And in the end, no one is going to be disappointed in me and I'm not letting anyone down. It'll be alright! Just pickup and go again today! What marathon are you training for? And what have you done before? I don't think I realized you'd done one before.

lesley kim said...

i wish i feel a little bit more guilty... lol.. great blog!!

do you want to follow each other?

Meg {henninglove} said...

you gotta remember it is ok to rest, by not resting it does more harm to your body then taking a day of rest. listen to your body and you will go further than if you don't.