Give yourself a break!

Hi Everyone – and welcome to another week,

I want to start with a real quick ‘thanks’ to all of the trainers at the gym.  Whilst on occasion they can get a ‘bit carried away’ (not mentioning anyone in particular Eden!) overall I have been super impressed by the positive way they have been running classes AND chasing their own health and fitness goals lately.  The guys are involved in all sorts of different things in and out of the gym and the way they have been managing their time AND still managing to get their training done is a real credit to them…I just think they are setting an excellent example to everyone that ‘busy’ is a good reason but should never be an excuse!

Right.  Last week my planned 200 words on bikes turned into an entire blog article…so this week I am going to try and write about what was in the plan for last week.  Which was “colds, flu’s and resilience”.  So here we go!

First off, I have written about the colds/flus/sick stuff before – and you can read all about THAT here:  That post talked really specifically about managing your training when you are not feeling 100%, how to know when to train vs when to rest etc.  I guess reading it back the most important portion of the post is this bit:

 “… if ALL of your symptoms are ABOVE the neck (sore throat, runny nose etc) you should be FINE to train (albeit in a modified way).  But if you have issues below the neck – flemmy chest, upset stomach, temperature, aching body etc…well, you are NOT right to train.  Stay home and get better!  There is just no point in pushing things if you have symptoms like those – you will only do yourself more harm and probably take a few innocent bystanders out on the way through!…”

So that’s that bit.  But it isn’t really what I wanted to cover in this post.  What I wanted to talk about was the resilience piece – and specifically the hard time that so many people seem to give themselves over missed training sessions and ‘interesting’ food choices.

If you miss a training session – and the reason ‘WHY’ isn’t too important here – there is absolutely zero point in criticising yourself, telling yourself you are ‘lazy’, ‘no good’ and any number of things that I feel like I am hearing around the gym lately.  If you miss a session, well, it’s going to be OK.  I agree that once the session is ‘gone’ it is gone and you can’t really ‘get it back’…but so what?  Your energy would be WAY better spent on two things:

1/.  A little bit of positive reinforcement about the things you HAVE done lately.

2/.  A 5-second plan to get your next session done and a little internal ‘handshake agreement’ that you are going to get there.

You guys out there making an effort to get to the gym and do some exercise – you are already doing tremendously well.  If you have a week (or two, or three) where you miss some sessions, well, being negative about the whole thing is not going to help.  Your intentions were good…you WILL turn it around.  The fact that you are even TRYING to get it done is what you could call a ‘Good Sign’!

The same is true for your food/food choices.  Just because you have slipped for a day/a week/longer it doesn’t mean you criticise yourself and ‘give up’.  That doesn’t help.  Just give yourself a ‘pass’ for past sins and commit to jumping back onto the ‘right path’ (whatever that looks like for you) and getting going again.  Giving yourself a hard time, telling yourself that you “aren’t committed” or that you are “undisciplined”…what do you think that is doing other that convincing yourself for the long term that you lack commitment and are undisciplined?  Give yourself a BREAK.  Being well intentioned is a large part of the battle – and if you have the ability to recognise that you have slipped/are slipping then that is GOOD…you at least know what you are doing wrong so when your positive mindset returns, you will be 100% back on track.

I feel that more and more people who are doing WELL end up being so critical of themselves for the smallest things.  There are enough people out there who will be dragging you down as it is – telling you that you are ‘crazy’ to train so much, ‘not living life’ because you don’t want to have a beer with dinner every night of the week…don’t add to the external voices with one of your own every time you miss a workout or ‘slip’ on your food.

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to

See you in the gym,