Slow and Steady

The past few days I haven’t been feeling my best. My Sunday morning workout with my trainer really pushed me in ways I haven’t been pushed before and Monday I hobbled around like a decrepit old woman. I forced myself to take a day off from the gym, as I realized I hadn’t in quite a while. My body needed to recover.

I’ve also been struggling with some intense RLS, which has been majorly affecting how much I sleep. When it strikes, I get it bad. My legs, my arms, my entire body it seems. There’s no way to describe what a bout with it feels like to someone who has never experienced that aching, crawling feeling in their muscles. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. If you have, I feel for you. I’ve had it my entire life.

To top it off, I haven’t been drinking enough water so I feel humongous. The scale is showing a number much larger than it should because my body is hanging on to every ounce of H20.

In other words: I’m officially in a mental/fitness rut.

This isn’t new. I’ve been stuck in many of these throughout this journey to becoming healthy and fit. It happens to all of us. It’s important to handle it in a way that doesn’t throw us completely off course.

Feeling uncomfortable and a little irritable, I went through the motions yesterday and completed my training session before work. I powered through my workday and hung out with my friends last night. I kept telling myself that this feeling would pass and focused on making healthy decisions to get me back on track and feeling my best.

It would have been easy for me to go face down in a pile of nachos or something else unhealthy while watching the local hockey team skate their way to a victory. Or skip the gym for another day and wait until I was feeling more like myself. But I didn’t. I kept at it, even though my head wasn’t in it and my body was screaming at me to quit.

This feeling typically strikes as I’m about to turn a corner in my progress, which I hope is the case. I feel like it’s already starting. Last night I slept for seven hours straight. I’m downing tons of water while at work today. I’m psyching myself up for a cardio session at the gym tonight.

And I have AWESOME people in my life who kick me in the butt when I get like this (you know who you are) and that also keeps me going forward.

I think the toughest part of any change you’re trying to make is staying focused when progress seems to hit a slow patch. It’s hard to see how what you’re pushing yourself so hard to do is making any kind of contribution towards your goal. But we have to keep going. Keep believing and pushing towards what it is we want. And before we know it, we’re there.

The following photos show my progress from when I started this amazing journey. It was really important for me to see this today, as it reminded me of everything I’ve gone through. I remember how I felt when each of these photos were taken and I was reminded why I need to continue doing what I’m doing. It’s so easy to get stuck in our heads and focus only on the tough parts. Sometimes we need to back up and take in more of the bigger picture.

beth-progress-april-2013-b

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