Health/Fitness

What Happened When I Stopped Working Out For 3 Months…

Hi there! Long time no talk! It dawned on me today that I haven’t shared anything with you guys since June… Yeesh. I’m sorry for that… I say I’m sorry because when I look forward to someone’s Youtube videos every Wednesday and they just DON’T POST ONE… I need to scramble to find something else to watch while I eat my breakfast. I hope my blog posts entertain you and help pass the time when you’re at work or waiting for your boyfriend to get ready for dinner or something. 🙂

Any who… I’m back for now and I am here to share the last few months of my life with you. Where do I even start?

Well, I got a new job! (More on that in another post!) And I also hurt my knee…

A few months ago, I was in between jobs because I decided to take some extra time off in between. I met my friend at the gym for a workout one morning before we laid out by the pool. We decided on a leg day because that’s our favorite workout to do together (we are MUCH more motivated together than apart). We did some pulsing lunges and pulsing squats on the squat rack instead of the smith machine (assisted squat rack) like I would normally do them (they go a bit more smoothly and feel more natural on the smith machine for some reason… for regular squats on the other hand, I will stay far away from the smith machine). I noticed during the pulsing squats that my knees were feeling a little creaky and funny… but I pushed through anyway like an idiot.

If you learn anything from this post it should be that you should ALWAYS listen to your body. If something does not feel right, STOP doing it immediately. It is not a false alarm… you’re not just being a wuss.

We finished our workout and I mostly felt fine.. nothing crazy. We got to the pool and I laid down on a pool chair and noticed that my right knee looked WAY higher than the left one… Hmm… what’s going on here? I felt my knee and instant wooziness took over. I felt like I was going to pass out. It looked bigger and higher because it was bigger. It was SO swollen and full of fluid… touching it made me quesy because I’ve never had knee issues or so much swelling before. Suddenly I realized it felt a bit sore and was hard to bend. Why I didn’t feel this way before I saw it, I’m not sure… unless it truly was just blowing up more and more. So what do I do? This can’t be right… something must be wrong… is it broken??? WHAT DO I DO???

Hello?

Mum… my knee is swollen… there is like fluid or something… it is super red and squishy… I might pass out… it’s hard to bend… it feels warm… what do I do????

Do you have ice? Put ice on it. Call your PCP and see if you can get in to be seen. I’m leaving work now, I’ll come over soon to look at it. Want anything from Dunks?

No thanks, I have coffee already… okay… there’s no ice out here by the pool and we walked from the condo… I’ll just lay here for now… ugh, what am I gonna do? See you soon… love you, bye.

OF COURSE I call my mom. She knows everything. She will DEFINITELY know what is going on with my knee. Who needs a doctor anyway?

I stopped working out completely for the last few months. I started a new job with new hours (7am-3pm) so I just wanted to focus on resting my knee so it didn’t become worse, and adjusting to my new early schedule. And for a month, I didn’t see the inside of a gym… for two months.. for three months… (Okay, I did like 4 upper body workouts super sporadically but that barely counts because that is like 1 workout a month if you average it out). My motivation has been OUT the window. I love leg days and the stair master… I can’t do that. I can’t possibly wake up at, what, 4am, to get my workout in before I get to work at 7… I’m exhausted by the time I get home after work and just want to some chores, eat a snack and get dinner ready. I don’t want to go to the gym to just do upper body and no cardio and barely sweat. The sauna sucks and I could only last 10 minutes before feeling like I was suffocating in there.

So what’s happened since I stopped working out? Let’s see…

I feel more tired. You know what they say… “A body at rest stays at rest”… and boy, they were not lying. Slacking on my physical and mental health for a prolonged period of time, when I could definitely be getting some upper body lifts in, has really affected my energy levels. The motivation just isn’t there right now, and I’ve decided that it’s okay.

I eat more junk food. Not that I have the “all or nothing” mentality that I used to have… but without any physical exercise and just sitting in a cubicle all day… I have more opportunities to reach for snacks and they are not always good choices… oopsies!

I’ve spent more time chilling out and not stressing about my body. Taking a step away from the gym hasn’t been all bad. Besides noticing my energy levels dropping by going from at least a few workouts a week to practically no physical activity… I have appreciated my “free time”. Hanging out with my friends, reading books, watching my favorite shows on Netflix, going to see my mom, running errands… the opportunities are endless when you have that spare hour in your evening… but at the same time… would it really kill me to hit the gym for 30 minutes? Probably not…

My knee seems to be making progress… slowly as fuck… but it’s still progress. I haven’t been able to do much in regards to seeing a doctor or getting it drained because I’m waiting for my new health insurance to kick in on September 1st… but honestly, the only thing that’s seemed to help has been time… and it feels like it’s been forever and there is STILL fluid in my knee… but it doesn’t really hurt or bother me… I mean, I ran away from a bee the other day and it definitely did not feel good so it is safe to say cardio/leg days are still a no-go at this time…

I lost weight. So, I eat whatever I want with the exception of some good choices for #health… I stop working out almost completely (basically completely) and I LOSE WEIGHT? You are probably thinking, “MUST BE NICE, BITCH”… but not so fast… Muscle weighs more than fat… so although I broke through those 6 pounds that would not budge even when I was working out consistently and making better food choices more often (HELLLOOOO PCOS), the weight I lost was most likely muscle… and as such, is not a victory for me.

My back hurts. Between adjusting to a new desk and chair at work, probably having beyond shitty posture and just sitting all. day. long. and not working out and stretching for a few months, I have definitely noticed my back ain’t what it used to be. I’ve been trying stretches and really focusing on my posture at work so hopefully it improves soon. This just proves that physical fitness and stretching are so important!

I realized I needed this break. Sometimes we all need a break, even from something that is good for us. My history of obsession/addiction to the gym and “eating clean” for several years has honestly exhausted me and it is no surprise that now that I’ve broken free of that and from diet culture, I just don’t have the motivation right now. Even when I am motivated, my idea of a healthy gym schedule is 3x a week. My idea of eating healthy is just kind of listening to my own body but not restricting any food groups or labeling any foods as “bad”. I definitely have redeveloped a healthy relationship with food now where I no longer obsess over what I am eating (I don’t even really think about it, honestly) and just kind of go with the flow.

Do I need to consume more veggies? Definitely. Do I need to maybe say no to a couple of ice creams a week? Ehhh, it’s debatable, but probably. Once I am done with my hiatus will it be difficult getting back into the rhythm of thing? Absolutely. I feel like I “forgot” how to workout and how to be fit. The handful of times I did show my face in the gym, I felt overwhelmed and even a little self conscious… like it was no longer my territory or something… so I totally can feel you guys who have a fear of the gym, which I never thought I would say. Listening to my body and letting myself just chill out for a couple of months has felt good and bad… physical exercise is important for our overall wellbeing and mental health, our energy levels, our focus, our stress, our dexterity…

I got off social media. During my hiatus, I realized even more so how toxic social media is… and when I got back on this week, I realized how ever prevalent the normalization of eating disorders and body dysmorphia is on there…. One of the first posts I saw and read was about how you’re probably not losing weight because you’re not tracking your macros or you’re forgetting to enter that bite of a snack you had during work, or that you’re not tracking them to a T….

Get a fucking grip. That is NOT a way of life. Constantly thinking about every calorie and macro you consume and your next meal/snack and how it will fit into MyFitnessPal (DOES IT EVEN FIT???!!!!) is not a fucking way to live. It probably triggers me more than it should because that was me. I know now, being on the outside (thankfully and hopefully forever) that people who think like this are unwell. It saddens me that we’ve turned into a culture that is obsessed with becoming smaller and losing weight and looking a certain way. Don’t get me wrong, if you have goals, I am here for it and you should go crush them, whatever it takes… but take a step back and ask yourself if it is consuming your thoughts, your identity, your life… because maybe your “healthy routine” is just the way you justify having disordered thoughts about food… that was my case and I know many people are going through it, too.

Without having a platform to constantly prove that I am SUPER FIT and being my BEST AND HEALTHIEST self, it was easier to just sit back and relax. Social media is ever consuming and if you don’t think you’ve succumbed to this addiction, you’re most likely so very wrong. I found myself scrolling for hours and then looking at the clock like, “What the fuck have I been doing for the last hour?!” Oh, scrolling through images of people I can’t stand or don’t even know… That sounds like a great way to spend time, huh?

I am going on vacation this week and I plan to hit the gym at least one time with my boyfriend. When I return from vacation, I am not “going on a diet” or “getting back on track”. This way of thinking is so toxic. Life is not always linear and no journey in life ever will be either. It’s up and down and there are roadblocks and sometimes you need to pull over to a resting station for some shut eye… for three months, okay?

When I get back I am going to practice implementing some healthy goals like balancing my plate with half veggies… making a plan to follow my CCFIT app 3x a week and setting days/times to do this. The weekend comes in clutch for this, especially if you struggle during the week… it isn’t so bad to break it up by going 1-2x during the week and then going 1-2x on the weekend when you really don’t have much else going on (usually).

I feel like I will always be “recovering” from my obsession with the fitness life, and I’ve learned to be okay with it. It won’t always be easy to accept that I was once shredded and so “disciplined” but then I remind myself that I was really just hungry and mentally fucked up.

If you are out there feeling badly about yourself because you can’t hit the gym 6x a week and you skipped lunch because you were so fucking busy and you hate protein powder in your oatmeal so will you even build any muscles at all?! And because you want Chick Fil A for lunch, not a salad… just stop right now. Remember that the people we idolize for being “fitspos” are doing this shit for a fucking living. They’re getting paid to sell you a fitness dream…

If you drink a bottle of water and even got in a 10 minute walk… ate a couple veggies and a fruit today… pat yourself on the damn back. You’re doing great and you’re going to be just fine.

 

xo,

Ari

 

 

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