Expectations vs reality


There are times when we lose motivation and feel like we are off track with our goals. Whether it is because the schedule we set for ourselves is not maintainable long term, we get bored of the program we are doing or life simply throws a situation at us which is out of our control..these things happen. It starts with missing one day of workouts, then another one and before you know it it's been a week or two. Getting back to it begins to feel like a struggle and you start thinking about giving up.

Newsflash, it happens to all of us.

It happened to me this time around, too. I am the type of person who wants to jump into things and do it 100% straight away – so when I started with Sweat 12 week Challenge in January I thought having craved intense exercise I would have no problem sticking with all the workouts.

My expectations:
- Not missing a single workout.
- Eat completely clean for the duration of the challenge.
- Smash my workouts and get stronger each week.

My reality:
- Getting sick in the middle of the challenge which made me miss a week and a half of workouts.
- Exercising + nursing = much stronger appetite and eating whatever was handy more times than I’d like to admit.
- My strength was nowhere near my strength prior to getting pregnant which meant a lot of modifications.

While there were times in the past where these things would totally throw me off my routine and make me feel like a failure, this time around they actually taught me how to be adaptable. 

I soon realized I had not taken the changes to my lifestyle into consideration when starting the challenge. My circumstances this time around drastically changed – my free time was extremely limited due to my baby, my nutrition had to be adapted to incorporate nursing and my strength had to be rebuilt almost from scratch.

Having lived a healthy lifestyle for almost 3 years now, I knew that the only thing that matters is not to give up – a few (or dozen) bumps on the road does not mean that the progress will not happen or that it will be lost, it merely means the progress will be a bit slower.

As I am not training for a competition or anything else but for myself   I know this lifestyle has no expiration date and I am okay with that. Progress > Perfection, always.

My solution:
- Not giving up! Instead modifying my workouts and being ok doing so. On a lot of exercises I modified to an alternate version so I could still complete the exercise without compromising my form. I also took time between sets when needed and made sure that the emphasis was on the form, not the speed at which I completed the reps.

-Being flexible with my workout time. Unlike my pre-baby routine, workouts did not happen first thing in the morning, which is the time I prefer, but mostly when the baby took her first nap or in the evening before going to sleep - and let me tell you, it is so much harder when you cannot dedicate a time slot for your workouts, but have to do it when the baby allows and you are not too tired.

We are about to finish the Sweat 12 Challenge and my progress may not be what I wanted at first, but it’s still there. I am getting stronger.

I hope you've created some good foundations for maintaining your healthy habits in the past 12 weeks. I know I have. This challenge was a great way to get things rolling and a great reminder that relying only on motivation to keep you going is not possible in the long run.

Motivation is a fleeting thing, but making the effort to be disciplined with your intentions is where the magic happens. 

It is okay to miss a workout. Or two. Or three.

Just don't give up in the long run. Get back to it.

Do your best. While that may mean smashing your workout one day and being gentle to yourself by taking a rest day the next, remember that changing your lifestyle does not happen overnight. It takes time and persistence.

And yes, you can do it.