Three days before the 2018 New Year, I decided to adopt a new workout plan. I’d been working from home for about 18 months and life was REAL sedentary. A workout program was long past due. A fellow health coach and friend began talking about the “resolutionists” and how they clog up the gym for the first 6 weeks of every new year. Right then and there, I knew that I must begin moving my body so that I could avoid this title. I committed to walking 10k steps a day and to tracking my activity with a FitBit. (If you use a FitBit too, let’s connect! You can find me as Liz Palmieri.)
There are so many amazing things that happen when you adopt a workout routine. You tone your body, increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, and will have more energy. But, that’s not all that you will encounter. There are some inconvenient truths about dipping your toe into the physical activity pond. In sharing these, I’m in no way trying to deter you from moving your beautiful body ‘ody ‘ody. I do want to set the appropriate expectations for you about things that you might encounter so that if/when these things do happen, you continue to workout. Much like adopting a new way of eating, the real benefits are in sticking to these lifestyle changes forever and not just temporarily to make your old flame eat his hat at your high school reunion. That being said, I certainly hope you accomplish that too because in the words of J. Cyrus in this viral YouTube video, “You f***ed up, Chad!”
Your body is different everyday
I’ve found that today I might be able to stomp out 75 minutes at a speed of 3.6 treadmill but the next day comes and 30 minutes at a speed of 3.3 on feels like a stretch. I’ve also experienced this in my yoga practice and I’m certain it applies to any physical activity. The point is that you don’t need to judge yourself for a slower/softer day. Instead, appreciate yourself for observing this shift and still honoring your commitment to being physical. All you have to do is your best for that day.
Workouts make you poop
In the first few weeks, I would have to pause my workouts once and sometimes twice to run to the bathroom. All in all, better out that in is my motto but it can be a little annoying. So, do your “doody” and then carry on with the rest of your workout. Don’t let a little (or big – lol) #2 derail what you have planned.
Chafing is a thing that might happen
If you thought the poop talk was TMI, go ahead and stop reading right now. Even when wearing moisture wicking athletic pants and tops, I experience chafing on the insides of my upper arms, on my thighs and even on my lady parts. I’ve been prone to chafing ever since I was a young girl at a very normal weight. I have vivid memories of placing gigantic band-aids on my body to fight against thigh chafing at the beach. OUCH! My best advice to reduce friction is to protect your skin with some sort of barrier. I apply generous amounts of coconut oil or Body Glide to all affected areas before working out. I tend to stay away from petroleum jelly or talcum powder because even though may prevent chafing and help you stay dry, they just aren’t health coach approved.
Aches and pains are certain to pop up
My calves became so sore and stiff that I couldn’t walk down stairs. They pretty much clumped up into a solid mass and caused intense pain. Foam rolling, massage, arnica, biofreeze and an occasional Aleve kept me going. Turmeric is another excellent resource because of its natural anti inflammatory properties.
It is amazing when you truly resolve yourself to a goal how much you are able to push through. If you are genuinely injured, please take the necessary time away from your workout routine to rest and recuperate. But, also be aware of whether you are allowing body aches, muscle aches, and chronic pain to serve as an excuse that justifies straying from your commitment. Check out this video by Will Smith on the powerful role of self-discipline.
So now I want to hear from you in the comments below. Did my shameless honesty make you laugh, make you cringe or both? More importantly, how are you committed to moving all the parts of your body and how do you overcome those pesky inconveniences that are associated with working out?
With love and gratitude,