NEVER MISS A MONDAY
You may have heard the saying “never miss a Monday” tossed around the blogosphere and social media in some sort of an attempt to motivate you to drag yourself off the couch Monday morning and start the week off with a bang. Normally this is used in the context of fitting in a workout, although it could also be applied to the cyclical nature of restrictive eating that many of us put ourselves through in a losing battle of willpower.
Let me let you in on a secret: our hormones don’t know it’s Monday. Nor do they care what day of the week it is.
They just know that (for most people) you’re getting up a lot earlier than you did all weekend. You’re likely a little stressed about the day or week ahead and going through a mental checklist of everything you need to accomplish. Perhaps you didn’t sleep well due to the stress, and maybe you’re feeling sluggish and fatigued.
Additionally, if you’re anything like me, it feels as though Sunday nights are often spent trying to get your entire life together in a single night and getting to bed a little later than planned ;).
Let’s take a different approach to pushing yourself to workout on Mondays, no matter how you’re feeling.
REASONS NOT TO WORK OUT ON MONDAYS
Listen, if you have loads of energy and don’t feel like napping after a workout, your week somehow feels a bit off if you don’t fit in the first training session of the week and you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed on Monday mornings, go for it! By all means, go ahead and push out a workout.
On the other hand, if you’re forcing your body into doing workouts that are stressing more than they are stress-relieving, I would argue you’re not being honest with yourself.
ASKING YOURSELF TOUGH QUESTIONS
I say this from experience. I used to weight train 4 – 5 days per week, minimum. No problem. However, my body was sending me signals that I was ignoring. I was constantly fighting cravings and failing miserably, which left me in a never-ending state of guilt and self-hatred towards my perceived lack of willpower and feeling as thought my body was failing me.
It wasn’t until I started seeing a naturopath specializing in female fertility and acupuncture regarding my issues with amenorrhea that I started seeing what I’d really been putting my body through. Given my hormonal issues, she showed some concern about how often I was weight training. One of the questions she asked was if training energized me, or if I wanted to take a nap afterwards. My immediate answer was that of course, it energized me.
I had a nagging gut feeling after I left her office, however, that made me question myself. Was that really true? Did I have more energy after I trained, other than the obvious muscle fatigue that comes with a great workout?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I’d been choosing to look past clear signals my body was sending. As I continued to go about my usual workout routine, I started to notice that workouts were draining me. I was exhausted afterwards and simply wanted to crawl back into bed. Sometimes when I would do an early-morning workout, by lunchtime I was struggling to keep my eyes open in comparison to the days when I would go for a walk or do some light yoga instead.
My love of weight-training and lifting heavy shit runs deep, and limiting myself currently in that area is something I have struggled with.
However, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean a) you stop lifting weights completely, or b) that you can never lift heavy weights regularly again.
Real talk: your hormones didn’t get thrown out of whack overnight. For many of us, these issues developed over years of long term issues such as over-exercising, under-resting, not enough sleep, poor nutrition and/or digestion, hormonal birth control use, under-eating, or other forms of stress.
What this means is that they are not going to fix themselves overnight. If you’re willing to put in the work and truly make lifestyle changes, you may be only months away from being #HormoneHappy.
In the meantime, stop bowing to societal pressure to #NeverMissAMonday in order to feel validated and good about yourself.
It will also give your hormones a break, especially depending on what types of health issues you may currently be experiencing.
Instead, I would encourage you to start getting clinical about how you’re feeling. Remove the emotion from it, and start to get very honest with yourself about how you’re feeling.
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