Exercise! - How do you deal with exercise guilt?




dreabug23
02-08-2012, 07:15 AM
Hello all!

My name is Andrea and I'm a 3FC newbie!
I started my new, healthy lifestyle about a month ago.
It is going very well and I have dropped 13 pounds and 3 inches from my waist!
I have been averaging around 350 minutes of exercise per week with a mixture of cardio and strength training.
I enjoy it very much, but sometimes I'm just not into it and cut a workout short.
I feel incredibly guilty afterward. Logically, I know that I am getting enough exercise, but I can't shake the guilt.
Has anyone else gone through this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!


seagirl
02-08-2012, 07:24 AM
Just schedule shorter exercise times and then you won't have to "cut it short" you be more likely to exercise more and then feel pleased.

I'm not familiar with feeling guilty if I stop before some self appointed time, but I usually just either have a route to do if I'm out in the woods but feel free to turn around early if I'm not feeling it, which is unusual, or set a timer for 20-25 if I'm treadmilling or stairclimbing so that by the time I'm bored I'm done. If I'm in a class I stay for the whole class.

I think it's important to learn how to feel something (bored with exercise) and not necessarily take the actions associated with that feeling (quitting.) So, maybe practice doing one or 5 more minutes after you feel bored.

runningfromfat
02-08-2012, 07:57 AM
I'll discuss feeling getting about exercise in a minute but first I wanted to address something. You say you're doing 350 minutes of exercise a week=50minutes/day. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm a former athlete and would definitely be doing at or more than that when I was training. So if you were doing that much because you enjoyed it, great!

However, it doesn't sound like you enjoy it. It sounds like you feel like you HAVE to do that much, which simply isn't the case. Actually, I'd even argue that at some point you're going to have diminishing returns for exercise, especially if you're doing massive amounts of cardio. When it comes to strength training, I wonder if you're even able to lift remotely heavy because your body has to be completely exhausted? So if you're doing that much exercise to lose fat/build muscle, you don't need to be doing it (and it might be conterproductive).

Look into both HIIT and heavy lifting (New Rules of Lifting for Women is AWESOME). It can give you specific routines to do and discusses this vary issue. If you seriously do want to build muscle, lose fat the best thing you can do is give your body rest. Without rest that you're not going to be able to:

a. lift heavy enough to seriously build muscle
b. give your muscles time to repair themselves after you tear them during a workout
c. are at a higher risk for injury.

That doesn't mean that you can't workout often but plan out your workouts so you're at least getting rest days in between heavy lifting (you could do light cardio like swimming or yoga in between but nothing too strenuous). Also, try doing HIIT after heavy lifting and then giving your body rest the next day. Part of your boredom/frustration with exercise might very well be that your body needs a rest. ;)

As to guilt. I get it. Like I said, I'm a former athlete. I'm used to working out A LOT and I do love it. BUT I have injuries, I'm not a young early 20 year old who can pull that off anymore. Instead I need to listen to my body. I still workout often (swim laps 3x a week, heavy lifting 1x per week on average) but I've learned that I can and DO lose weight, build muscle doing that. I don't need to push myself to any extreme to continue.


dreabug23
02-08-2012, 06:10 PM
Thank you for the advice!
I actually do enjoy working out, but there are days that I'm just not feeling it.
I have been doing a class called Bodypump 3x class per week. It involves using a low weight and doing a high number of reps. I am sure to stagger my weightlifting routine so that I have 1-2 days off in between classes. I will usually do about 20 minutes of high intensity cardio on my lifting days and 45 minutes on my non-lifting days, with Sundays off. I get my cardio from the treadmill, elliptical, Zumba and combat classes.
I will start listening to my body. I guess that is it's way of telling me to stop and take a breather. I do feel like I have to do that much. I'm afraid that if I don't, I'll stop getting stronger and losing the weight.

ValRock
02-08-2012, 06:29 PM
I get like that sometimes. Today I had to skip my workout so I could retake a test (bummersville!! I got a 65% the first time... not ok) anyway... I was feeling like crap and then I reminded myself that I have my WHOLE life to go to the gym. This is not just another short lived romantic fling with the place. Sometimes life will get in the way. Sometimes you will be tired. What counts is that you drag your booty back there and don't make skipping a habit.

Like others have posted, your body needs rest too! Don't burn yourself out and give up. Also, HIIT AMAZING, Heavy lifting AMAZING. Just do it!

Some days I only have like 30 minutes to pop into the gym and run to get my kids. I crank out some weights, run around the track a few times in between, and feel like a million bucks afterwards. Every little bit makes a difference :).

Anagard011
02-08-2012, 06:45 PM
Sometime when I'm feeling unmotivated I remind myself that the extra 20-30 minutes of my workout "pain" is short lived while the guilt I feel for skipping or skimping workouts follows me around for much longer!

Whats an extra 20 minutes to complete a workout compared to 24 hours of guilt? LOL This usually does the trick for me.

runningfromfat
02-09-2012, 08:33 AM
Thank you for the advice!
I actually do enjoy working out, but there are days that I'm just not feeling it.
I have been doing a class called Bodypump 3x class per week. It involves using a low weight and doing a high number of reps. I am sure to stagger my weightlifting routine so that I have 1-2 days off in between classes. I will usually do about 20 minutes of high intensity cardio on my lifting days and 45 minutes on my non-lifting days, with Sundays off. I get my cardio from the treadmill, elliptical, Zumba and combat classes.
I will start listening to my body. I guess that is it's way of telling me to stop and take a breather. I do feel like I have to do that much. I'm afraid that if I don't, I'll stop getting stronger and losing the weight.

Definitely look into heavy lifting/HIIT if you can. You're actually going to get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of building muscle/calories burned during a shorter period of time. Don't get me wrong, cardio is GREAT and if you're happy doing there's nothing wrong with it but if you're looking for a change it's a great place to start (and the results are very, very impressive if I say so myself. ;) ).

But DO rest. Rest is extremely important to building muscles and ensuring that you don't get injured. You can actually be hurting yourself in terms of strength training/building muscle if you do too much because then you can lift as much weights during a lifting session and that's where you're really building muscles.