Resting: I Don’t Think I’m Doing It Right

Hello!

Thank you all for your warm congratulations on my acceptance into UVA yesterday! I’m definitely very excited that it is an option now. I also loved chatting with you over breakfast through the comments 😉

Today I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for the past month or so now. Some of you may remember my post about how I intended to slow down my workouts and let my body try to sort itself out (aka get my period). I said I would still be exercising, but the intensity would be cranked down significantly.

Like I’ve said before, honesty is my best policy, and I’m going to be downright honest with you today. I have not been resting quite like I said I would. 

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I know, I know. I’m disappointed in myself too, but let me explain things a little bit more.

I have decreased the intensity of my workouts significantly. I have done only a handful of burpees, I have not picked up a weight heavier than 30 lbs., and the only tabatas I’ve done have been ab-focused. I also don’t push myself as much as I used to— if I’m tired, I slow down or stop. When I first wrote this postI started off fairly well by only doing bodyweight workouts and light cardio that didn’t push my heart rate very much. Incline walking, yoga, and Blogilates were my best friends (and I still love them!). 

More recently though, I’ve been doing circuits and pacer tests in phys ed, more intense elliptical workouts, lots of dancing, and some more weighted exercises at the gym (with light weights). I’ve noticed that I’m still working up a decent sweat and heart rate during my workouts, and I’ve slowly, unintentionally amped up my workouts in the past few weeks. Like yesterday— I did a 20 minute elliptical workout followed by some lower body sets that made me drip sweat before I knew it. That would signal a good amount of intensity… I also wasn’t expecting to do well for the pacer test at school since I didn’t think my cardio abilities would be up to par, but I was surprised when I was able to keep up with some of the better runners in the class. This is when I realized: Maybe I’m not really doing this whole “rest” thing correctly…

My emotions keep wavering in regards to this situation. On one hand, I’m disappointed that I haven’t been sticking to truly low-intensity exercise. On the other hand, I actually feel great. Keeping up some strength training helps a ton in dance, and I enjoy exercising more than ever before. In fact, I think I feel stronger now more than ever. I think this is because I’m taking more rest days and I’m not pushing myself to the limit during every single workout like I used to. I leave the gym feeling refreshed, not depleted. I’m also becoming even less uptight about what I eat. If I want a whole plate of pasta, a bowl of ice cream, or some chips, I’ll have it. If I want a salad, eggs, or fruit, I’ll have it.

Then it dawned upon me: I’ve only taken a small step in this mission to get my body functioning properly, but I still need to take bigger steps.

What I’ve been doing: Resting more, eating more.

What I should probably be doing: Resting EVEN MORE, eating EVEN MORE.

*Sigh* Why is this so much easier said than done?!

As of right now, I’m going to try my best to keep things low and slow, and I want you all to make sure that I am! But I know that with dance and everything, I’ll still be exercising quite a bit, so here are some changes that I’ll be making that might help make a difference:

  • no more than a 5 minute warm up on cardio machines
  • ONLY bodyweight exercises (don’t pick up those weights, Alison, don’t do it!)
  • eat more energy dense foods such as nuts, avocados…and ice cream 😉 (since eating more in volume can be difficult)

To be honest, part of me is wondering if any of this will even work. What if there’s no way to fix this but to completely cut out all exercise? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens with this for now. Once dance is over, if no progress is made, I will take more severe action. 

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So yes, you could say that I’m sort of “postponing” my efforts. However, I think I just haven’t been trying hard enough, and now I’m checking in with myself and realizing that I need to do just that. With God’s help and with my family’s/friends’/your support, I’ll make this work.

I hope this all makes sense. Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far 🙂

No questions today, but any thoughts?