How to Reprogram Yourself When Your Workouts Feel Dreadful

It was a day after my competition. I sat droopy eyed and pensive. I couldn’t help but looking like the human version of the word "bleh". I didn't know why I felt this way but it was then that my mom turned to me and said, "You look how I felt after having a baby. When everyone leaves and the hoopla is gone and you think to yourself what the hell do I do next". My mom, per the usual, beautifully nailed down everything I was feeling.

I worked and worked and worked for months. The day came and went. I had my baby, my competition, and when the crowd and the excitement dissipated, I was just there, sore and tired and wondering how it passed so quickly. I didn't want to touch another barbell again and I for sure was wondering if I ever wanted to compete again.

I thought my love for the training would come back. When it didn't, I was saved by an appropriately timed vacation from everything. I didn’t train, nor did I even write. How could I write about pushing through mental limitations or eating correctly or accepting where I am in my journey when I didn’t feel that way. How could I write when I didn’t feel inspired?

I know this may sound dramatic but post-competition and even life lulls are very much a real thing. My vacation was exactly what I needed. It was a time to reassess what I do on a day-to-day basis. Do I train because I enjoy it or because I feel that it is what I SHOULD be doing? Am I doing things out of habit or because those things genuinely bring me joy? I think that’s the toughest part of a lull. You are forced to question everything you were once so certain of. When you don’t see changes in your body even when you are doing everything consistently and correctly. Or when you have work tirelessly to accomplish a goal and you have no idea what to do next. Are those things no longer working for your life or do you just need to take a timeout and start over again with a fresh mindset?

Your happiness is worth more than a six-pack or working your body tirelessly doing something you hate. If your training feels like the worst part of your day or your eating habits are weighing on you mentally, take the time to question. Then, make a choice to stick with what you are doing or bail. You are the mother of your life but unlike having an actual child, you are allowed give your body and mind a timeout in order to live less out of force or habit and live more deliberately.