Whatever you’re going through today, make it a “fit” day! I read the caption beneath the picture and hit the “like” button. It was another one of those inspirational Instagram posts. You know the one: A woman flexing in the mirror, sweat dripping down her face, abs popping out of her skin, and training-gloved hands angling her phone camera. “Make it a fit day!”. Sounded like a swell sentiment on the day I liked the picture. The day when the sun was shining, and I was super motivated, and everyone I love loved me back, and I had all of my homework done, and the laundry wasn’t piled up, and I got 9 hours of sleep, and when I had a nutritious meal in my system. Today though, having a “fit day” doesn’t sound so great.
Oh, I had intentions. I was gonna work out Monday-Friday, get enough to eat, sleep, do school, go to work, practice piano… but here I am now where Monday didn’t come around until Thursday. Here I am now when I’ve cried every day this week, and school is still there, and work is still there, and the litter box is still there, and the loneliness is still there. Here I am now when (GASP) I’ve skipped the gym for 3 or 4 days. And guess what?! That is totally OK!
Many people (myself included) make the mistake of giving a workout plan a greater portion of their lives than is really necessary. I’m not talking about body builders and bikini body competitors here. I’m talking about the average, every day you and me who are passionate about health and fitness or who are simply interested in staying in decent shape. We easily get down on ourselves if we skip a session or skip an entire week. I went three days without running one time and I went frantically calling up all of my friends and saying things like “I’ve probably gained so much weight!” More recently, I’ve worried about my muscles shrinking overnight because I skipped some of my weightlifting sessions that week. These anxieties are not based in scientific fact, but rather in our desire to be perfect, put together, and motivated 24/7. And girl, you just can’t expect that of yourself. People tell me that all of the time, and I’m learning every day to really understand that although it is hard to accept.
The reality is that not every day can be a “fit day”. That doesn’t mean that you won’t reach your goals. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t motivated enough or dedicated enough. It just means that there are other things in life that you need to deal with that day. Sometimes you need to make it a “friends and family day”, “ movies in bed day”, “catch up on school day”, or (my personal favorite) a “cry your heart out for four days straight day”. Whatever you’re going through, you do not have to make it a “fit day”. So much life happens outside of the gym, don’t miss out on it because your workout regimen is too strict. I know what it’s like to feel obligated to work out, and it will only lead to obsession. Fitness is not obsession. Fitness is and always will be mind, body, and spirit. And you can’t always nourish all three in the gym. Finally, here’s a little told secret for you: That girl in the Instagram pic? Not all of her days are “fit days” either! She’s a person and a life just like you and that’s beautiful!