Today I received an email from one of my Slim & Strong gals, telling me that the past month was an emotional roller coaster but that she tried using exercise as a stress reliever. Sure enough, there were some mornings when she came in looking deflated, sad, and low on energy. But, she pushed through her workouts with focus and determination, moving aside whatever was on her mind, at least for the duration of her workout. She attended almost every session, even though I knew that on some mornings she sure would have preferred to just turn over in bed and sleep in (don’t we all sometimes…). In the end she realized that showing up for her workout and ultimately, for herself, kept her focused on what matters to her the most: her health, her fitness, her mental health, and to keep moving forward – beyond the issue she was dealing with. She said ” Signing up for boot camp definitely helped to keep me focused when I wasn’t always in the best frame of mind. I feel much stronger than a month ago and happy to have my strength back….” She improved in her strength greatly, dropped inches, body fat and gained muscle and scored some of the best improvements of the class.
Another person who had signed up for the month went missing for a few sessions. When I checked in with her about her whereabouts she replied that she was dealing with a personal issue and needed some time to handle it. She chose to forgo self-care in the face of stress and stopped coming to the workouts.
Who do you think will feel better about herself at the end of the stressful period? I always find it interesting to see how people choose to handle stress. Some use working out as stress reliever (I include myself in that category. Had I not had my classes to teach during certain times, I don’t know what I would have done. Working out gives me the feeling of physical strength when my mental strength is a bit wobbly). Others consider working out an additional burden and chore that is too much to handle and give up taking care of themselves.
Isn’t it funny that during the times we need to take care of ourselves the most, we often choose to go for junk food, skip workouts, skip on sleep and handle the stress with booze, shopping, and other unhealthy behaviors? Isn’t the most important thing we need during crazy times our health and sanity?
Next time, the stress hits the fan, ask yourself how you want to come out of it in the end: physically and emotionally stronger or lagging behind in your health, energy and strength? Crazy times never last long. They do pass and how you handle stress determines how you come out of it. So, what’s it going to be…?
See you in class!