Diary of a “Self-Sabotager”

Dear Diary,

Today I worked out! I lifted weights, did a bit of cardio and even did a few rounds of kick boxing! Please don’t applaud me for this, as sometimes, applause and encouragement can be a reason to self sabotage my efforts. In fact, somedays, I feel that “encouragement and praise” are the reasons that I give up on all sorts of accomplishments!

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Let me explain….

3 weeks ago, I was on the daily workout train! I was up early, completed weight training and cardio by 5:30–6 am every morning, and my day felt “complete” when I came home from work. I work with a personal trainer through an app on my phone, and not only is she one of my favorite people, but she is also very encouraging and goal orientated. She sends me reminders to complete my workouts, she checks in on me to see if I have questions or need advice and she sends me words of praise such as “great job” and “well done”. I love how interactive she is, and even from across the world she can be right there with me, sweating in my mini home gym. Together we reached over 100 weight training sessions and over 50 cardio sessions. I felt great and had a ton of energy!

THEN VACATION HAPPENED!! My daughter and I had planned a trip to Vegas, and I know she attends her gym in her city, a few times a week, so I sent her a reminder to pack gym clothes so we can work out. There is a gym in the hotel we were staying in, and I looked forward to getting up bright and early with her and hitting the weights and the machines for cardio. Well guess what! It didn’t happen. Not once. Why? Because VEGAS is CARDIO! All you do is walk there, and you never go to sleep early enough to get up “early”. You stumble back to your room after midnight, or in some cases, 3 am, and you force yourself to get up by 9 or 10 am to explore again! And you find so many delicious restaurants, all of which put about 5000 calories in your body at a time! And lets not forget the alcohol drinks that are so readily available and inviting in the heat of the afternoon. It was a very pleasurable and very busy vacation. So, my hope was to land on Sunday morning, and get back into my workout routine by Monday morning. NOPE!

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This is where the “SELF SABOTAGE” kicked in! I found so many reasons to NOT get out of bed and work out; I am still tired from holidays, I don’t feel like I have energy to work out, I am still sore from all the walking in Vegas, I don’t have time, I don’t feel well, It’s too early, I have a busy day ahead and need to rest up, and the list went on and on…..And as the days crept by, and no workouts were done, I just kept thinking of new reasons to not lift, to not jump on my rebounder and to not go downstairs to my gym. Before I knew it, my partner’s mom was coming to stay with us for almost a week, and THAT became my excuse for not working out! She was staying in the guest room in the basement, and I didn’t want to disturb her. She needed my attention. She felt lonely when she was by herself upstairs.

All said and done, NONE of the above were valid “EXCUSES”.

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While I was packing for vacation, my partner, Dave asked why I was packing gym clothes. I told him that my daughter and I had plans to work out at the gym in the hotel. He scoffed and said ,” Pfft you aren’t going to work out”, and rolled his eyes at me. I told him, “Of course we will! I work out every day!”, and casually went about packing my items. When I returned home, and was doing my laundry, he asked me if I got to the gym at all? I quietly told him, “Nope, we walked so much I didn’t feel it was necessary”, and went about my task. I actually felt guilty, admitting that I never did a single workout. His reply was, “See? I told you you wouldn’t”, and he laughed slightly too loudly at his “accuracy”.

This bothered me for a few days. I mean REALLY bothered me! I am not sure why, but it actually made me rage inside that he got such “humor” from my not working out. It wasn’t really about me not doing what I said, it was more about his being “right” about what I said. Further to this, I needed words of ENCOURAGEMENT to keep me on track, not words of sarcasm and failure. And while his mother was visiting, I found my self esteem plummeting from the day she arrived, until the day she left, and I still have no idea why I felt this way. She is not known for her compassion or her nurturing abilities, and I am usually okay with that. I am a very caring, nurturing person, somedays to a fault, and she is a very nice lady, but if I was looking for encouraging words during her visit, I was out of luck.

So, this brings me to this article. I have been trying to figure out why I cannot seem to find motivation to get back on my work out track, and I believe I have found a root issue. The words of encouragement have STOPPED. My trainer hasn’t been messaging me as she understands that my life has been hectic. Dave has been busy with his own “stuff” lately, and the words of encouragement from him aren’t readily given out either. So, my thought now, is STOP LETTING OTHER PEOPLE DETERMINE WHAT YOU DO AND THINK!

I felt fantastic after my workout today! I felt sweaty, accomplished, strong and full of energy! That should be enough! I sent my trainer a message that I am BACK and back into it again, and then waited for her “you go girl” praise. BIG MISTAKE! I need to stop it. Its not about my trainer, its not about Dave or his mother, or even my daughter. ITS ABOUT ME and my progress. Its about me and not making self sabotaging excuses and its about ME to get my ass downstairs and work bitch! There are so many reasons and benefits to exercise. Lying in bed and making excuses is NOT beneficial to your body, your brain or your self esteem. It is definitely easier than getting dressed and lifting weights, but there are no benefits to talking yourself out of making yourself a better you.

Waiting for “way to go’s” and “atta girl’s” and sitting back hoping someone else will motivate you, is dangerous, toxic and self sabataging. YOU need to motivate your ass. YOU need to stop making excuses and YOU need to validate yourself. If you rely on the words of others, you may be worse off and excuses will come easier for you. Remember how good you feel after a workout, and how it feels to have your muscles tingle from being exhausted. Remember how YOU feel when you look in the mirror and see muscles forming and fat falling off. Remember YOU are responsible for your own health and well being.

Even though encouraging words are great to read and hear, there will also be the nay-sayers who will laugh at your failures, make you feel guilty for not working out, or make you fall victim to your own excuses and your own self sabatage.

Crank that music! Do your squats and don’t listen to anyone else! Listen to yourself and your body and KNOW that YOU OWN THIS! Nobody else is the boss of your body or your mind. YOU got this! In your own way, your own pace and your own progression.

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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