It hit me at the gym yesterday that I did nary a workout from Sunday evening to Friday evening last week due to the fine, fine funk that had infiltrated my bod. Friday barely even counted, as I burned 300 calories in 30 minutes doing DDR. I usually burn over 600. Saturday was the ONE real workout of the week, and Sunday, we walked to lunch and back, which was maybe a mile and a half tops round trip. This is the least I have worked out since last January (the last time I was sick). I think it may have been the least working out I’ve done since I started this whole shebang up in August, 2007.
Oddly enough, I did not gain the 110 lbs back I’ve lost. The universe did not implode upon itself. I did not decide that working out was a bad idea and decide to stop doing it just because I didn’t for that week. I didn’t have any thoughts of wanting to give up on the whole healthy-ish living thing. I did not all of a sudden lose all the muscle tone I’ve been working to build up, and become a skinny-fat ball of putty. I had a thought of skipping my workout on Monday and starting again Tuesday because of the holiday, and that worried me, but I’m realizing it was my normal lazy monster that I deal with always. Once I was back in the gym, it felt just like usual, better even!
I’m only doing 5k runs this week so it’s slightly harder to judge than a normal week, but my running didn’t suffer, I think the rest might have actually improved my time. I am either doing the same or more weight and reps for strength stuff even after my muscles have atrophied into oblivion after a week of no strenuous use (or at least, this was my fear).
I even lost weight last week. It was that one week where I’m supposed to lose weight (my body seems to be going with the lose huge 1 week, gain a lil back the next week otherwise known as TOM time, lose the gain the third week, then lose a few ounces the fourth, rinse and repeat), so it wasn’t shocking, but I was terrified that my laid-up-ness on the couch all week was going to throw a wrench in my newly found momentum.
I also found that my appetite automatically just sort of shrank without the extra moving around – so I was doing a lot less nom-noming than this guy. The only weirdness was I had very little appetite except for sugar – like I couldn’t get enough fruit, chocolate, or anything sweet. Which, actually, worked out to help me keep my calories where they should be even though I wasn’t hungry for regular food. My body actually asked me to treat it a certain way, I listened, and it didn’t result in mayhem and chaos.
This is both a terrible and wonderful realization.
Wonderful, because I really should give myself more time off. My workout schedule in and of itself is not a problem – I think 6-7 hours is a perfectly adequate amount of time to dedicate to a hobby or pursuit, ‘specially one that is as beneficial as exercise. I am just that girl that was a little miffed at myself for missing ONE workout day on my vacation in November (although I totally rocked the other four). I need to occasionally let lose and skip workouts and rest and not drive myself crazy over it.
Terrible, because the fear always sets in – what if I get used to being lax about workouts on the weeks that I *should* be good. What if I become the girl who would really *like* to make time to workout but just can’t figure it out anymore? Can 17 months of habit just change in a week like that? I’d like to say no, but I’ve seen how easily my sleep schedule shifts LATER – months of work to get myself into an earlier schedule, one week and I slip comfortably back into my 10am start time on the weekdays and pushing noon on the weekends. Would the same happen with working out?
I hope to never find out. Hey, at least I know the world won’t end if I take a week off once a year.