Give Your Body A Break!

Eat. Run. Lift. Sleep. Repeat.

Repeat x a billion kajillion times till you pass out from exhaustion.

Sound familiar?

Orrrrrrr if that's not ringing a bell, does this?

That's just a typical quick post rest day selfie from me. ^

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how important giving your body proper rest is when you're constantly on the go and working out. 

Actually yes, yes I can. Starting now. :)

I love training. I love working out. I love lifting. And I REALLY love that post workout pump ;) It's the one part of my day that I actually look forward to. There's no doubt it's my #1 stress reliever. People often confuse my passion for fitness to associate with my eating disorder. Do I agree with this accusation? Sometimes. ED always tries to take over every aspect of my life, so sometimes ED does play a role. I'm not ashamed to admit that. I'm not ashamed of my struggles. I try and listen to my body the best I can.  Working out daily keeps me sane, healthy, and balanced. HOWEVER, I do make sure I take at least 1-2 rest days a week. 

This week has been particularly challenging for me for a number of reasons. On Monday, I woke up feeling like absolute dog crap. This literally came out of nowhere, but I knew I could not go to school, let alone work out that day. Tuesday came along, annnnnd I felt like an even bigger pile of dog crap. Something wasn't right.

After hours of the typical waiting game at the doctor's office, they diagnosed me with pneumonia. My heart sank. WHY DID I HAVE TO GET PNEUMONIA THIS WEEK?! I had been planning on going to a concert I had bought tickets to months ago the next night. I was only hoping and praying that laying around on my patooty, staying hydrated/fueled, and being on the antibiotics from the doctor would give me enough energy to go to this concert. 

Wednesday came, and I was definitely at the peak of my pneumonia. I knew I couldn't go to this concert, and had no choice but to sell the tickets. A little piece of me died inside when I sold those tickets. 

The hardest thing about this whole pneumonia thing for me wasn't the the fact I couldn't go to the concert (although I didn't handle that too well either), but the fact that I couldn't go to the gym.  The guilt has been killing me. A WEEK OF NO WORKING OUT? On top of that, eating my normal amount of calories and laying around alllllllll day long?! That is UNHEARD OF in ED's book. 

I needed to separate my voice from ED's. After an inspiring pep talk from my girl Tyra, I knew that it truly was okay that I am taking this week off. And I wasn't going to change. My body was not going to "gain weight". I wasn't going to lose all my progress. 

Did you know that for every 8-10 weeks of training, you should be taking a complete week off?

I didn't. However, now I do. And I will be using this to its advantage fully when the time comes now. If you don't ever give your body a break, you're going to lose motivation. You're going to become bored. You're going to plateau. I know, because I've been there countless times. 

But Lauryn, how do I know when that time is right?!

  1. You are physically and mentally exhausted. I'm not talking just your average getting out bed exhausted. I'm talking all day every day for an extended period of time.
  2. You're not motivated. It's getting to be workout time, and you are NOT feeling it. In fact, you are DREADING it.
  3. Your entire body is sore.  This is kind of common sense. You'll definitely be able to tell when your entire body is sore. 
  4. You're at a plateau. You've been working your butt off at the gym, eating healthy (and the right amount), but you aren't seeing or feeling any progress. 
  5. You're sick. Exhibit A = Me
  6. You don't feel as hungry. When you don't give your body anything else to think about, your metabolism begins to slow down. Variety is key. 
  7. Your sleep schedule is off. Ever have those nights where no matter what position you're in, you're not comfortable? Or you just plain and simple haven't been sleeping good? If these are occurring frequently, its time to rest up. 
  8. You don't have that "post workout buzz". Working out is supposed to elevate your mood, not decrease it.  

The truth is, your body isn't making any gains in the gym. Your muscles are torn, but the rebuilding is happening when you are RESTING! So yes, when you're sleeping, you're growing dat booty (muscle booty that is!). Take your legs for example. How can you expect them to get stronger and bigger if they're sore all the time from training them hard every single day?

They won't.  

Squatzilla = Quadzilla

If you're experiencing any of these, you need to take a break. You'll know when you've had enough rest when you're feeling motivated and HEALTHY ENOUGH to crush the next workout. 

I mean I'm on day 5, and I have some serious ants in my pants. Not only do I have ants my pants to get back on my lifting grind, but 5 Christmas cookies happily sitting in my stomach.

#christmascookieshavenocalories

ESPECIALLY THOSE PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOM ONES. Those have negative calories. ;)

As mentally challenging this break is for me, I know my body needs it. My body is the home for my soul. It needs to be nourished, rested, and balanced. 

You can best bet I will be eating peanut butter every day of this rest week as well. And mini Oreos. And holiday themed sugar cereal. And quest bars. And...A LOT OF FOOD OKAY. Moderation not deprivation. 

Treat yo' self.