What happened when I stopped going to the gym for 6 months
By Sara Boychuk
I was the girl who worked out 2–3 times a day. Gym, running, yoga, then more gym. Sometimes dance. How much exercise could I fit into a day? I would often think.
Here is a shortened version of some backstory context:
2 years ago I was at the height of my extremes of working out too much and not eating enough. I was seeing results though and I enjoyed that. When I took on the challenge of my second degree, I wasnt able to go to the extremes I was accustomed to. The condensed degree was very demanding and long story short I ended up gaining weight, even with attempts to workout and eat healthy-ish. My cortisol was through the roof and even when I was able to add the gym back in 5 days a week, I was not seeing results. My body was trying to tell me something. I was so burned out and could not get results no matter how I dropped food or increased exercise.
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In January, I couldnt take it anymore. I realized I needed to just let my poor body rest. With my move to a new city I decided to try and walk whenever I could and only do home workouts and mostly focus on nutrition. This may sound easy, but coming from so many extremes it was hard. I needed to teach my body that its okay, im not trying to kill it, starve it, etc. I did not track my foods or my workouts. My weight fluctuated over these 6 months because I tried to teach my body it was okay to eat more (specifically carbohydrates). I know it was worth it because I am already feeling more baseline energy throughout the day. I cannot potentially save a life in my dayjob if I am lethargic because I am obsessively counting food. This season/chapter taught me to be more present and caring for health in the hollistic sence for everything I do. It taught me to fill my life with what I want to do.
My body needed the time to heal. My mind needed the time to heal.
Although I plan to see a naturopath in June, I am feeling ready to begin more extensive exercise. I actually miss exercise and I can feel my body wishing to move more intensely, which is how I know Im feeling ready to go back. I am craving it.. I am enjoying my movement. I am enjoying my nurturing foods. Although strict weight-lifting style movement did not really work with my body, taking this time out reminded me the importance and efficacy of incorporating whole-body weight movement and trying new things — and to listen to your body and what works for you.
Health is a day to day feat.
It took me 6 months to re-teach my mind about fitness not as an extreme but as something I desire for better health. I left the fitness industry as a career because I felt like I was constantly pushing extremes, but this season of healing has reset my focus, my attitude, and my mindset.
I learned to listen, I learned to be present, I learned to do what I love for life is way too short.
If you need to take time to heal, take it.
If you need to take time for anything, do it.
If this provided any sort of value for you, please let me know, x.
Reprinted from Medium.com