keeping my hopes unbroken

After cupcakes and conversation with friends Tuesday night, I came home and stretched out on the couch. I placed an ice pack on each knee, alternating between icing the top of my knee and behind my knee, and didn't move for over an hour. It was after 10pm when I finally got off the couch, dressed and slipped into bed.

I do my best to sleep in the clothes I plan to wear while working out. It helps motivate me to get out of bed when the dreaded alarm blasts, and it generally cuts down on the amount of time I spend getting ready. So I did just that last night. Grey shorts and a bright orange tee-shirt from my time in China.

The alarm went off this morning, and I hit the snooze button three times. I knew I wanted to complete a 30-minute circuit training workout. I planned to shower and change at the gym (and hopefully grab breakfast there because I think they serve bagels and coffee in the morning for members!). Once I finally pulled myself out of bed, there were two dogs to let out, a bedroom floor to sweep, and lunch to make.

I moved a little slower than I should have, but I got it all done. And I got my gym bag packed. Then I remembered that my heart rate monitor strap was hanging in the bathroom drying. So I grabbed it along with all the goodies I would need for a shower at the gym. I was late but still determined to make it to the gym.

And it was at that time that I realized I had left the actual heart rate monitor at my office following yesterday's second work out (I accidentally threw my monitor into the laundry basket along with my dirty clothes. It was later recovered my my fearless roommate while I was at work.)

Frustrated. Late. Discouraged. Tired. Angry. Those emotions quickly raced through my mind as I tossed things out of my gym bag and purse in hopes of being surprised by the monitor. There was no surprise, and it was too late to make the 15 minute drive tot he gym, squeeze in a 30 minute work out, shower, and drive the 40 minutes to my office.

So today is a day of changing plans. Of taking a deep breath and moving workouts around. Of not letting a little hiccup throw me off for the whole day.

There was a time (ahem - only a week or two ago) that something like this would have kept me from even making it to the gym. Because I would have been lazy. I would have been too set on having my lunch break be an actual lunch break at least once during the week. I would have grabbed onto any reason not to make it to the gym.

But now, though annoyed, I can look past the early morning and lack of work out and instead focus on what I will do for the rest of the day. And I can also be thankful for my two gym memberships that allow me to work out near home in the morning, evenings, and weekends or during the work day.

Having missed the morning workout makes me wonder about taking some mornings off. Like this morning. I could have gone back to sleep. I wanted to go back to sleep. And judging by the yawns and cuddles on the couch, I think my dogs also wanted me to go back to sleep. But I stayed awake instead. As tired as I was, I knew I needed to remain in the habit of being up and alert. So even if I do decide to take a morning off from exercise (which I think my knees and abs were secretly grateful for), it seems important for me to get out of bed and at least do something like sit on the couch. Because then my body is awake even if it is not moving.

Having missed the morning workout also reminds me that I need to sometimes change my plans on what kind of work outs I will do. Today I was scheduled for a 30-minute circuit workout and then an hour of water aerobics. But instead, there will be 45 minutes of swimming, sans heart rate monitor, and then cardio with lower body weights alongside a friend. I'm excited for working out with a friend - even though I am a bit scared of pushing myself harder to keep up (which will be a good thing in the end).

Not having the heart rate monitor for the swimming portion of my work out saddens me. I'm excited to track every single calorie burned and to see myself inching closer and closer to burning the number of calories I am supposed to this week (3750) and also spending the allotted time in each zone. I'm really not sure how I went about exercising without this thing. But at least I know I will not allow the lack of the heart rate monitor to be an excuse to not work out.

I also had the opportunity to step on the scale. After slowly gaining a few pounds over the past several weeks, I am now back down to the 25 pounds lost mark. And I'm feeling better. I'm also eating better. I needed a break from counting every calorie and watching everything I ate. And while on that break, I made good choices but still ate more of some things than I should have (like french fries and blizzards/milkshakes from DQ [which we don't have in OK so they were eaten while on vacation in TX and were both smalls!]). Now I want healthier things versus unhealthy things. Now I choose no sugar added ice cream and sugar free bread because I want it not because I have to have it. I'm also starting to make a mean turkey sandwich (today's sandwich can be seen to the left) rather than depending on Subway to make the sandwich for me.

It's the little things in life, and it's what you do with the frustrations of life.
Part of abandoning the all-or-nothing mentality is allowing yourself room for setbacks. We are bound to have lapses on the road to health and wellness, but it is critical that we learn how to handle small failures positively so that we can minimize their long-term destructive effects. One setback is one setback—it is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your journey toward a better you. Jillian Michaels

(title from "your love is a song" by switchfoot)

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