Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pausing the Goal

I didn't post yesterday. I didn't do my Day 10 of the 10-Pound Shred yesterday either. Well, food-wise was good, but the exercise part didn't get done.

Why not?

I have a tendency to wake up between 4-5 am to then go sleep downstairs on the couch. Sounds like a strange habit, doesn't it? But, you see, my husband's alarm goes off at 5:45 am (even if he doesn't actually get up until 6:30-6:45) and I like to sleep later than that. (Until starting the 10-Pound Shred, I was sleeping until 6:30-7am.) Once the alarm goes off, the chances of me sleeping after that are slim to none. Add to that the earlier and earlier sunrise right now and there is a lot of light in our bedroom after 5am. If I wake up even a bit, that's it, I'm done. Downstairs in the family room, the thick blinds are shut, creating a nice dark space, there aren't any windows open, so I don't hear the traffic (although I do sometimes hear the hermit crabs moving around and making noise). And I usually fall back asleep, waking up with my alarm or shortly before.

Yesterday, I woke up as usual around 4:30 and I could just feel that I was exhausted. Not just tired and would like to sleep more, but that I needed to sleep more and would probably sleep past 6:15--the time my cell phone alarm was set for to try to fit in the workout. So, I turned my alarm off, went downstairs and fell asleep. And slept until nearly 7am.

I woke up thinking, "Well, I can always do the workout this evening since I'm home this evening." Followed by the thought, "It's not the end of the world if it gets done tomorrow."

Went through the day and felt a little off the whole day, but still fairly good. Started really getting tired late afternoon. After supper, my son and I took a 20-30-minute walk, we got home, I was feeling so tired I decided to have a short nap, even though it was nearly 7pm. I woke up around 7:30, rather out of it, and just knew I would not do the cardio workout scheduled. I was fine with that. And feeling even better about it as I fully woke up from my nap and could just feel my body's need for rest. I went to bed later on guilt-free (although with some difficulty falling asleep!).

What am I getting at? Sometimes it's okay to pause the goal. Sometimes we need to take a break. It's not failure, it's not a lack of sticking to something. Had it been a case of yesterday morning me feeling lazy and unmotivated and saying, "Ugh, I don't want to workout this morning!", that'd be one thing. But my body was telling me I needed to pause. I had feared that if I paused, I wouldn't get back with it today, but that fear was groundless: I had only about 5.5-6 hours of sleep last night, got myself up and did that cardio workout without any internal complaints.

There are a lot of people out there saying, "Stick with it! If you're going to do this, you have to go all out! Etc.!" regardless of the goal. Self-recrimination and guilt can build up when we don't do as we think we ought. But I really do believe we all need to listen to our authentic inner nudgings. That voice, that wisdom is so much more important than an external goal we have chosen. Sometimes the voice will tell us to work harder. Sometimes it will tell us to pause. And that's okay.

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