Unplanned Rest Day: How do I Deal?

Today was a HUGE step in the right direction for me! Here’s the story:

I was house sitting this weekend and didn’t get much sleep, plus I’ve been working out on top of it all. On Monday, I could barely see straight and ended up taking a SIX HOUR NAP in the middle of the afternoon (red flag #1). So, Tuesday rolls around. I woke up feeling slightly refreshed, but knew I had a workout on the books.

Here’s where the change in my mindset comes in:

Old me would’ve said: “Just push through it. You don’t need to rest. You’re going to blow up into a Beluga whale if you don’t go to the gym.” (lol)

Isthisreallife

Balanced Julie said: “You need to realize that you’re probably doing too much. When even the THOUGHT of working out sounds miserable, and you can’t imagine gathering the strength to push through a workout, PLEASE give your body rest!”

I started noticing myself slipping into old habits of overexercising and being addicted to exercise, which I wrote about here.

As you know, overexercising is in my nature. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I’m a 100% kind of person (in everything!) With food, I’m either eating ALL THE THINGS or not eating enough. With exercising, I’m trying to do my own workouts on top of teaching classes, when in real life my classes should suffice (two total body weights classes and a boot camp, currently) with maybe a day or two of cardio or targeted weight training added in.

Sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies and give them rest when we need rest. Am I going to gain 40 lbs. if I don’t workout for one day? No. Two days? No. Three? No. You get the point.

It’s all about balance and quieting that voice in your head that tells you that you absolutely NEED to be working out, when your body is telling you absolutely NOT! More change actually happens when our bodies are resting and repairing themselves, along with many other key points:

  • Our muscles build themselves through rest! We NEED IT in order to see the changes we want. Alternatively, if we’re overexercising, we can actually reach a plateau in terms of progress. No rest = no repair = no results.
  • The body adapts to the stress that training requires. Weight training especially is stress on the body, so just as we need rest from stress mentally, we need rest from physical stress as well.
  • Overtraining can lead to exhaustion; trouble sleeping; lack of motivation to do ANYTHING, especially going to the gym; and in some cases, lack of menstruation in women (amenorrhea).

So, today I will be doing nothing that involves any kind of activity.

restdayAnd I am starting to be OK with that 🙂 

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10 thoughts on “Unplanned Rest Day: How do I Deal?

  1. I am the same way when it comes to unplanned rest days, but I have to say I have gotten better. Since trying to listen to my body more, I realized the negative effects over- exercising had on my body and it started to freak me out! Work in progress!

    • Exactly!! It’s hard to imagine that our bodies are actually doing MORE when we’re resting (as long as we’re active people, which I know you are!). Gotta give them what they deserve so they keep treating us well in return 🙂

  2. I can relate to this SO much. I’m going through a similar period right now because I can’t run. At first I went balls to the walls with other workouts to substitute, but now I’m doing pilates twice a week and november project for 30 minutes once a week and that’s it. Sometimes I take a spin class, other times I don’t. After a few weeks of doing what I want when I can (time is limited right now), I realized my appetite adjusts accordingly and I’m pretty much the same size I was when I was running 50 miles a week. The biggest part I’ve noticed is that the all or nothing attitude is waning and I haven’t binged since I made that connection, which is pretty remarkable. I don’t know why I felt the need to share all of that, but I just wanted you to know that it’s a really awesome step in the right direction to a more moderate approach to food/exercise! You just have to trust it 🙂

    • Ahhh this makes me sooo happy that you’re finding balance. I know we face a lot of similar struggles with everything you just mentioned, so to hear that you’ve found a balance makes me so happy and gives me hope. Honestly, when I made the decision to rest this week it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders! I’m so excited and really hope that my all or nothing mentality fades as well!!

    • Thanks, girl! I’m really trying to listen to my body more and give it what it needs 🙂 and yes, six hour naps are NOT. NORMAL. but it was amazing lol! Hope you’re doing well girlfriend

  3. I have been horrible about rest days, but after realizing last week that my body is really just achey/tired/sore/injured a lot…I have decided to take AT LEAST an entire week off of pretty much all exercise. It was hard at first, but honestly I am kind of enjoying it now 😉

    • Ahhh yay!! That’s my plan this week, besides the classes I have to teach. It was actually SUCH a relief when I made the decision to do it. It’s like my body knew I was needing it and it’s finally able to breathe a sigh of relief 🙂 Good luck on your rest week too my lady!

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