Hi guys and happy Tuesday! I don’t like intros, so we’re going to just jump into this post today, even though it may just seem like a bunch of rambling… hehe
REST DAYS! You know, those days where you don’t hit the gym or maybe those days where you just binge watch netflix all day. Basically, those days where you don’t get any “formal” type of exercise in. Those days that give our bodies some rest, which is something that is CRUCIAL for our bodies and our physical and mental wellbeing!
Once upon a time, rest days were the bane of my existence. Heck, I didn’t even take them! I had to workout every single day for x amount of hours and burn x amount of calories, because if I didn’t, I had this belief that I would balloon up and get “fat.” So there I was, killing myself with a workout every single day, putting my body through hell and back just because I thought that if I had a day without exercise I would become large. At the time, I thought this was rational. At the time, I could not believe how one could go a day without exercise… how one could go a day without sweating?? It was all mind-boggling to me.
There was also a time where I was at a healthy weight, yet rest days were still incredibly hard for me. I would feel more guilty for eating those days, I would feel bad about my body, and I would just feel so disgusting and lazy. The days where I worked out, everything seemed to be together… I felt great about my body, I was in the best mood, and I didn’t feel guilt in regards to what I ate. I would still take rest days, but BOY was it a huge mental battle, and boy did it put me in some really bad moods and make me feel lousy.
Finding peace with rest days was not easy in the slightest. It was a struggle, there were days where I felt okay with just relaxing and doing nothing but on some of those days I would feel so lazy and like I should be moving and getting in a workout. Like every other obstacle in life, it was an up and down battle. There were some rest days where I was like, “Yes!! I just love relaxing today and I feel so comfy and great about myself.” Then there were others where I was like, “I feel so lazy and disgusting. I have sat too much today and have just watched TV when I could have been doing something else…” But with time, and with changing my thought process and understanding that I DO need rest, things got a whole heck of a lot easier. I never thought that I would overcome the mental struggles that rest days brought along, because I struggled with this for SO long. Since I was 14, I felt this pressure to work out and push myself to the extreme. I feel as if this came along with the atmosphere of competitive gymnastics, but it stuck with me for a great deal of time. “Push, push, push… until you can’t push anymore! Do one more rep, hold it for another 30 seconds! Keep going!!” I had this mentality for a long time, that I always had to push myself and if I didn’t I was a failure. I am so, so thankful that I got out of this mentality, and I am so, so thankful that I am now able to realize the beauty of rest.
Fast forward to last week: I took 4 rest days in a row because I was sick. There used to be times when I would work out when I was sick… heck, I exercised with the flu once! I took 4 rest days in a row, and absolutely NOTHING happened to my body. If I didn’t rest, my sickness would have just lingered. My body needed that rest! Your body NEEDS rest regardless of the situation- you require rest and recovery time. You require time of just doing nothing, of just relaxing. It is SO important to give yourself that time. Now, I take about 3 rest days a week. I don’t compare how many rest days I take to someone else, because as we all know: comparison is a deathly trap. Some weeks, I take more rest days than others. When I vacation, my workouts are thrown off and that is how it should be! When you go on vacation, you should not prioritize working out over spending time with others. When I am busy with school, I don’t workout as much sometimes. Some weeks I may workout a little more, maybe an extra yoga class, maybe lifting weights for a bit longer during one workout: and that’s okay too, because BALANCE! I am not obsessive with the way I workout, I do not compare one workout to the other and feel guilty if I do a bit less one time compared to another time. I listen to my body. And I know that is such a cliché saying, but it really is true. You have to listen to your body. If working out ever feels like a chore or something that you have to do; something that you dread- do not force yourself into that gym. Working out should be enjoyable, it should be FUN. Getting myself into this mindset was so challenging, because I felt that working out was like a chore and that if I wasn’t dying by the end of the workout, it did absolutely nothing.
“Friendly reminder that it is perfectly okay if the only exercise you get today is flipping the pages of a book or stirring your tea or smiling with friends. Wellbeing means your WHOLE body. Make sure your soul is getting as much exercise as your glutes.”
This quote really hit home for me, and it is SUCH an important reminder. Rest days are just as essential as working out is. If you aren’t resting, your body is going to get sore and worn out. If you are doing something over and over again, it isn’t going to be fun… and if you are working out over and over again day in and day out… I can guarantee you that you aren’t going to have that much fun- and life is too short for that. It is just as important to sit and do nothing, to read a book and to binge watch your favorite netflix show and spend time with friends as it is to hit the gym for an early morning workout. You need rest for your mental and physical health. Rest days are essential to remain whole.
Time really does heal wounds, and I thank god every day to be in the place I am today. Because 3 years ago, I would have been in that gym with a fever and ear infection working out. 2 years ago, I would have had the biggest mental battle with whether I should workout or not, and I would have been engulfed in guilt for not working out; I would have felt so lazy. But this year? I napped. I watched One Tree Hill. I snuggled with my doggies. I was finally at peace, and boy, was it just so amazing.
No questions today, but would love to hear your thoughts on this! Have an amazing day friends! 🙂
Hope you have a great Sunday guys!
Sending my love as always.
Facebook: Blissful Lyss