Before I go into detail, I just want to mention that the workout wasn't a punishment for the chocolate. Exercise should never be a punishment. And no remonstrance was needed for the chocolate. It's about time we gave up on that bit of faulty thinking. It takes us nowhere.
Let me fill you in.
First, the workout. It was notable because I experienced clear-cut, super high endorphins. I've felt good after workouts before but this was ridiculous. I was practically on the ceiling!
What was it about this workout that made it feel so good?
On the whole, I think it was that I surprised myself. This was the workout:
- 5 Power Snatch (see what that looks like here)
- 15 Box Jumps
- 15 Push Ups
As many rounds as possible.
For 20 minutes.
That's what I thought as I stood there, looking at those words on the board.
Snatch has always been my nemesis. It's complex and challenging and I always feel like an unco-ordinated orangutan doing it. And then Box Jumps and Push Ups - seriously? Who likes those? Anyone? There are few better ways to completely wipe out your arms and legs and set your lungs on fire to boot.
But I did it and managed to chalk up a few more rounds than I thought! Snatch technique was decent. And that whole experience surprised me because, like most people, sometimes (for "sometimes", read "often") I don't trust my own abilities.
It's completely normal, right? You've stood looking at a challenge before and thought "can I do this? Am I up to it?". Everyone else knows you can, but you don't always have that faith in yourself.
And that's one of the things I love about fitness - it EMPOWERS you, if you let it.
One mental attitude that helps with this is approaching each challenge with this idea:
move towards - even seek out - those things that make you feel that vulnerability, that cause you to question yourself, because these are the times where you get to see how far along the track you are, at the moment. This is where you see what else you need to do to get better.
And where you get to remember that failure is just feedback.
So hit those workouts, behaviours, events, whatever they may be, where you think "hmm. Maybe I'm not up to this". Then flip it: maybe you ARE! And if you're not, no matter. It's feedback. That's all.
Now to the contrast - the Tuesday chocolate fest. It was an Easter egg episode of somewhat epic proportions. Perhaps, as nutrition coach behaviour goes, it was not my finest hour. But first and foremost I'm human - and that makes me vulnerable to all the same forces you are subject to.
At some point, you have to face the fact that some red light triggers (don't know what these are? Click here) are going to be a lifelong battle. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Your job is to be at peace with that, whilst continuing to fight them.
What happened this Tuesday? Simply put, 3 big triggers collided.
- I was at home alone
- I was in and out of the gym between 6:30am-7:30pm with little break
- I was tired!
1 and 3 in that list are two of my fiercest triggers for making poor food choices. If one of them appears alone, I can handle it. Add the two together and shove another into the mix and, odds on, I'll not make it to the other side in one sugar-free, whole foods, nuts 'n seeds 'n lean protein doncha know, piece.
Simply, when triggers collide, it creates a perfect storm.
Ride it out and keep it in perspective.
We always live to fight another day!
Some good choices were made that day too. It's all too easy to ignore those good choices when you're looking back at a moment when you went off the rails, but observe them and you help to build that all-important sense of self efficacy to support the work that's still left to do.
That ongoing work isn't about banning sugar from our lives. It's about knowing our triggers backwards, seeing them coming and learning how to stop them from having the power to call the shots.
That's not quick work. But it is possible. That knowledge is crucial as both patience and trust are needed for this journey.
In all weeks there are wins and losses. Keep trying to get better at playing this health game and you'll win more AND keep your losses in perspective. Become that normal person with ninja health skills who, without so much as a willpower flex, sends the easter eggs packing!