What happened when I stopped going to the gym for 6 months

I was the girl who worked out 2–3 times a day. Gym, running, yoga, then more gym. Sometimes dance. How much exercise could I fit into a day? I would often think.

Here is a shortened version of some backstory context:

2 years ago I was at the height of my extremes of working out too much and not eating enough. I was seeing results though and I enjoyed that. When I took on the challenge of my second degree, I wasnt able to go to the extremes I was accustomed to. The condensed degree was very demanding and long story short I ended up gaining weight, even with attempts to workout and eat healthy-ish. My cortisol was through the roof and even when I was able to add the gym back in 5 days a week, I was not seeing results. My body was trying to tell me something. I was so burned out and could not get results no matter how I dropped food or increased exercise.

In January, I couldnt take it anymore. I realized I needed to just let my poor body rest. With my move to a new city I decided to try and walk whenever I could and only do home workouts and mostly focus on nutrition. This may sound easy, but coming from so many extremes it was hard. I needed to teach my body that its okay, im not trying to kill it, starve it, etc. I did not track my foods or my workouts. My weight fluctuated over these 6 months because I tried to teach my body it was okay to eat more (specifically carbohydrates). I know it was worth it because I am already feeling more baseline energy throughout the day. I cannot potentially save a life in my dayjob if I am lethargic because I am obsessively counting food. This season/chapter taught me to be more present and caring for health in the hollistic sence for everything I do. It taught me to fill my life with what I want to do.

My body needed the time to heal. My mind needed the time to heal.

Although I plan to see a naturopath in June, I am feeling ready to begin more extensive exercise. I actually miss exercise and I can feel my body wishing to move more intensely, which is how I know Im feeling ready to go back. I am craving it.. I am enjoying my movement. I am enjoying my nurturing foods. Although strict weight-lifting style movement did not really work with my body, taking this time out reminded me the importance and efficacy of incorporating whole-body weight movement and trying new things — and to listen to your body and what works for you.

Health is a day to day feat.

It took me 6 months to re-teach my mind about fitness not as an extreme but as something I desire for better health. I left the fitness industry as a career because I felt like I was constantly pushing extremes, but this season of healing has reset my focus, my attitude, and my mindset.

I learned to listen, I learned to be present, I learned to do what I love for life is way too short.


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