Fitness / Folly

What Happens When You Fall off the Bandwagon?

You may not be in the mood to read a blog post that’s just words with no pictures, but bear with me here people, you might need the same motivation that I did.

What happens when you fall off the bandwagon?

You start to get tired, irritable, weak and then comes the utterly ridiculous self-diagnoses – thyroid disease, mono, limes disease, narcolepsy. Blood tests prove you wrong and then what? You start to blame the conditions around you – the hour commute to and from work, working out of state, you’re tired, you’re busy, you want to watch that new show (that really doesn’t come on until 9). Well guess what, you can do all those things after you work out.

For those individuals who feel like they’ve lost control of their lives, of time, of their productivity, the truth is there is one thing you can control – taking care of yourself.

So, you may not be able to control your hour commute to work (traffic pending) or that you were obligated to stay late at work four out of five days this week to meet a deadline, but what’s your excuse for not going to the gym or taking a stroll around the block? Really though, what’s your excuse? Because if it’s either of the above – that’s not going to cut it.

It makes sense to say that it’s difficult to get a healthy lunch in when you’re running from meeting to meeting and the only thing the office provided was pizza and a skimpy salad that all the stick shaped women have already picked apart – so, there’s room for argument there (not much though). But when do you realize that you are not taking care of yourself? For me, it was dozing off at the wheel.

For the past month I don’t believe I have worked out more than twice – very unlike me. I made a decision during my final years of college that my health and fitness were important to me (save the eye rolls, yes I did still indulge in the college tradition of drinking so I wasn’t perfect). I used to run every morning – hung over or not – at least two miles and spent my off-time in the gym. That intensity slowed post-college when I was no longer meeting the physical demands of being a Division II athlete, but I still maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle including running, weight training and a primarily healthy diet.

Fast forward a couple years and I land myself a desk job. I’m not entirely sure when the stereotypical side effects began – the aching back, drowsiness, disintegrating eyesight from staring at a computer for nine hours a day five days a week – but when it hit me, it really hit me. I started to feel super run down – before work, after work, during work. I was dozing off, head in hand, if I had a dull moment editing a file or reading a PowerPoint slide. Worse, and scariest, is when I started dozing off at the wheel on the ride home. I don’t always feel tired when this happens, but for some reason my body turns into rest mode and only when I flinch myself awake do I realize that I may have just “fallen asleep” momentarily.

If you didn’t notice, I switched into present tense. That’s because all of this is currently happening to me, currently going on in my body and my brain. So you may wondering how I’m eligible to say that “there’s no excuses – get to the gym”? Because I’m living it, because I’m making those mistakes and because I want to correct them.

My plan is to document my return to a proactive lifestyle and prove that feeling tired, irritable, run down and sometimes depressed are all directly related to your health and how you take care of yourself. If you’re not eating right, whether not eating at all, eating too much or eating foods high in sugar, you feel it – we’ve all felt it. If you were once a fitness enthusiast and you’ve spent the past month sitting on your butt at work, going home and sitting on your butt some more – you feel it. If you’re not a fitness enthusiast, but you’re experiencing some of the previously mentioned side effects, I encourage you, no, I challenge you to workout.

So, while I hop back on the healthy bandwagon, I’ll be sharing my stories, recipes and workouts as well as the physical, mental and spiritual gains I’ll be making along the way. Feel free to join in.

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