Would you ever guess that I hadn’t actually planned to write this particular post today? It actually came to me at about 3am last night as I lay in bed listening to my sick boyfriend snoring and the foxes outside screaming. Normally I stick to a monthly content planner – it gives me a clear focus on what I’m going to write and post each Sunday. But, considering the last few weeks, I thought going off piste wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I’ve been posting a lot on here and over on Instagram recently about the fact I’m having a bit of a hard time. I’m a big believer in being open and honest about the ups and downs of life, so I haven’t exactly held back. And with all the stress, and up and down mood, I have gone well and truly off plan. I haven’t been tracking my food and I haven’t been going to the gym either. It’s all very unlike me.
But sometimes, you need to go off plan. Obviously, I’m not advocating for going on an all out binge and sacking off training just because you don’t feel like it. I am however saying, sometimes looking after your mental health comes first. And if that means getting some extra sleep, taking a training and/or diet break and just treating yourself to some self-care and pampering then you should do that. We put so much pressure on ourselves to always keep going, keep grinding, keep pushing, and sometimes, for the sakes of our bodies and minds, we need a break.
I’ve taken just over two weeks off plan. At first I was really frustrated with myself, because, well I’m me. If it’s not perfect it’s not good enough in my eyes. I cannot thank my coach enough though, for calling to give me a pep talk. “You’re normally so on it, so when you’re quiet I know something is wrong”, she told me. And she was right. While I might tell myself I don’t work hard enough, the reality is that I actually do, and with all the other things going on in life right now I just burned out. So, on her advice, I upped the carbs, stopped beating myself up over making it the gym or not, and started tracking my calories again.
Were calories on plan the last week? No. They weren’t. But, I didn’t feel out of control anymore at least. I also treated myself to an ultra-relaxing massage at my local salon. A much-needed bit of me time for sure! And today I finally made it back to the gym. It wasn’t an ‘on-plan’ session, but after weeks of putting it off and just wanting to stay curled up in bed, lifting some heavy weights made me feel awesome. I was actually thrilled I hadn’t lost too much strength, and my arms and shoulders are looking particularly lean suddenly. How did that happen?!
The main thing is, I looked after myself and now I’m ready mentally and physically to get back on plan. I just needed some time to be kind to myself. Add to that, watching all the incredible ladies I follow on social at the UKBFF Nationals yesterday (my coach included) was just so inspiring, and really reminded me why I’m doing this. And if I want to hit my goal of competing next year then I’ve got to get back on plan. Going off plan was important for me for a while, and now I’m ready to go. I’ve planned meals for the week and a big shop has arrived ready for this evening’s meal prepping. I’m going to run myself a bath, have a little pamper session, and then get myself into bed for an early night, ready to get up and hit the gym in the morning. I got this. And so have you.
Photo Credit: Kim Nicole Photography