Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend sharing that she had cancelled her current fitness contract. As much as she LOVED the classes and the instructor, the times were just not working with her life anymore. Canceling the classes relieved a big weight off her shoulders, as she was able to release guilt associated with skipped workouts due to sick kids or her husband traveling (things that were completely out of her control).
This exact same thing happened to me a few months ago. I hit a point in my workout (a workout that I loved) when it was no longer working for my life. Part of the purpose of working out is to relieve stress (among other things), but finding time for the class proved more stressful than not. I dreaded the conversation with the gym owner, whom I adored, but I knew I had to do this for ME.
As someone working in the health and wellness field for over 15 years, I know the importance of a regular workout plan. In fact, I greatly value structured workout programs and know what a good trainer can do for your fitness goals and motivation. And I understand the need for consistency. For some people, exercising at the same time every day works. (I envision myself being there in about 20 years or so!)
But one thing I have also learned is that while I can like a program and the trainer/instructor, if the program does not work with my life, then I need to respect that.
All too often we get stuck in a cycle of remembering what “used” to work and think it should still be working for us, even though life has changed. We evolve. Circumstances change. Priorities change. Health and fitness goals change. That is OK. Actually, this is more than OK – it is perfectly wonderful.
Let’s make a pact to be honest with ourselves and others. Let’s do fitness that works for YOU (not ME, not your trainer, not your spouse), but for YOU – your life, your goals, your well-being.
Maybe I am the only person that struggles with this (humor me if so), but I remember what “used” to work before I had children, or what “used” to work when I actually worked in a gym (aka: going to the “office” meant going to the gym…how easy it was to sneak in 20 minutes of cardio or take that noon pilates class!). I remember what “used” to work when I only had one child and she actually slept soundly through the night, or what “used” to work when my husband did not travel, or life before being married to an avid hunter and having kids (now, come duck season, early morning runs are just not going to happen), or what “used” to work when I actually had the energy to workout at 9:00 p.m. (yes, there was a time in my life that 9:00 p.m. workouts actually worked for me!). But, the point is, none of those workouts fit my life today. What “used” to work then just doesn’t work for me anymore.
Earlier this year, I made the decision to let go of the thoughts of what “used” to work and embrace where I am right now. If a particular program fits with my life and the times work – great! I will do the best I can when I am working out and push myself to the next level. But as soon as the stress or guilt of getting to class starts to take over…it’s time for me to re-assess and respect that this may no longer be working..and that is OK.
The beautiful and wonderful thing about health and fitness is that there are so many options out there. Find what works for you, or what challenges you. Find people that motivate and inspire you. More importantly, find what you enjoy and make sure that it is in line with your current fitness goals. Work with it and stay committed until life evolves and begins to call you in another direction.
If canceling your current program is necessary, have a conversation with the trainer and/or gym owner to say that you love what they offer and hope to come back, but for now it is just not working. Figure out how you are going to keep moving.
Remember, the power in change happens when you make the conscious effort to do something everyday. Find a way that you can move your body and participate in regular physical activity everyday. This will ensure that you continue to evolve, in health and fitness, just as your life does!
You got this!