The 6 Stages of Grief Over a Missed Workout

Gym Closed

If you’re one of those people who hits the gym maybe once a week, then you might not relate to this. But for those of us who need to sweat daily, skipping a workout can cause some trauma. I’ve found that I tend to go through several stages of grief when I have to miss my grind.

Day 1: Naughty Excitement Stage

You’ve been working so hard lately. You totally deserve a break! Sipping your coffee you actually get goosebumps thinking about how you don’t have to pack a gym bag or wash your hair tonight. And just imagine all the extra free time! You could get your nails done! You could have a drink with a friend! Driving down the freeway with the wind whipping your hair you catch a glance of yourself in the rearview. How wild and free you look! You could zip by Michael’s and pick up a cross stitching kit. You could even get four and make adorbs matching couch pillows! I mean, you don’t know how to sew or own a sewing machine, but you could! And for dinner you can whip up pan seared scallops with béarnaise sauce, or a cassoulet! God, there’s so much time!!!

Day 2: Tiny Niggles of Guilt You Frantically Brush Away Stage

Ok, so you didn’t work out yesterday. Who cares, right? You can totally skip today, too. I mean, didn’t you read somewhere that it’s really important to rest for 2 days in a row to let your muscles repair and rejuvenate? Yeah, that’s completely a real thing. And you still feel good. I mean, let’s just go over to the mirror and check things out. Mmmmhhhhmmm. Yep. Not too shabby. It’s totally fine. You can’t lose all those hard earned gains in two days, right? Hahaha!!! Ridic. And no one’s worried about gaining any weight, right? Right. Who is that self-absorbed? Also, you’ll just watch what you eat today. Maybe no carbs. Totally NBD. It’s good to rest. Good to relax a little. Don’t want to be one of those weird gym rats with veins everywhere, right? I said, amiright? High-five. Double thumbs up. Looking gooooooood. Feeling totally fine. Yep. everything’s cool. Super cool. Coolio. Not worried at all. Yep.

Day 3: Anger and Defensive Excuses Stage

Ok, that’s enough. Now you really want to work out, but because of your lame schedule and stupid stupid life, you can’t. Well. Everyone else’s stuff is soooooo much more important than yours. I mean you’re a serious athlete and people act like working out is just some hobby to you. I mean, if you even tried to cram a quick workout in, you’d have to get up or STAY up till 3 am. HA! What are you supposed to be, some kind of superwoman who does everything? No one cares if you get flabby and weak and hurt your back. Then they’ll all see. When you’re laid up with your horribly broken back, then they’ll see how much you did for them. Then they’ll ALL see…

Day 4: Intense Bargaining Stage

Now you’re so tired from your furious anger you can’t even THINK about going to the gym. But you should. You should just get up off the couch and go. Upsidaisies. Here we go! Ready…and… Hey, is a Flip or Flop marathon starting on HGTV? Well. Here’s just a little thought. Just a tiny idea. How about you just skip today and then tomorrow you’ll really get after it. Oh yeah. Tomorrow’s gonna be a real sweatfest. You’ll gun those glutes, burn those abs, waste those delts, and crush every second of cardio. You’ll be a total BEAST in there. People will get so inspired just watching you work out. People might even vid you working out and post it and you’ll become an overnight Instagram sensation! And, and, you’ll really get strict about your diet…tomorrow. Cause this bag of “natural” Cheetos is almost gone anyway. Yep, tomorrow’s gonna be a whole new ballgame. MAJOR overhaul. A fresh start is allllllllll you need.

Day 5: Full Blown Panic Stage

omg omg omg omg. You HAVE to get to the gym today, but you can’t! There’s no time and you’re exhausted and also, why is everyone staring at you? Didn’t you read somewhere that you lose all your gains after 5 days of sitting around? Oh yeah, you def read that. Sitting in traffic in your car you can actually feel your muscles shrinking. And your fat…fattening. Omg. Just, like, squeeze your muscles really tightly. Yeah! Those are isometrics, right? RIGHT? If you just squeeze the crap out of your glutes all day, it would probably be just like a full body hour long workout. You catch sight of yourself in the mirrored walls of the elevator at work and completely freak the F out. Is that an actual FAT ROLL hanging out of your waist band? You look terrible. Legs, gross stumps. Arms, wobbly spaghetti. Face, heinous troll. Even your feet look chubby and undisciplined! Didn’t you read somewhere that drinking ice water makes you burn extra calories? Yes! And, and, and, chewing gum and jiggling your legs and standing while you work. Yeah, ok, got this totally under control. Someone walks by your cubicle and sees you chugging water while chomping a huge wad of gum and kind of shuffling frantically back and forth and trying to flex every muscle you got while standing and hunched over your key board trying to type up a report. Then you can’t go to the gym after work because you have to stay late and have a “check in” meeting with your boss so you can try your hardest to convince her you’re not about to start wandering the streets wearing a soiled floppy hat and jammies and cradling a baby blanket wrapped around an old hot dog bun you call ‘Sweet Baby Gary.’

Day 6: Surrender and Acceptance

Well, that’s it. Your time as a fit person is over. You might have called in sick to work. And it’s possible you’re wearing sweatpants that were made for a huge man and an old giant t-shirt that says, Fiesta Like There Is No Mañana. Now you’re fully reclined on the couch watching “Friends” reruns with unfocused eyes and your hands quietly clasped over your flabby belly. Might as well just order seven rolls of pre-made cookie dough and a bottle of tequila from the online grocery delivery. It’s all over for you now.

10 Ways To Keep Yourself From Giving Up

Missing your workout is no laughing matter. Here are my 10 favorite ways to keep my butt in the gym (and growing)!

1. Write it down. Make a weekly workout schedule every Sunday night and put it on your fridge. The less you have to think about it, the more you’ll do it.

2. Try something new. Get a 5 day pass to a new gym or fun class and reenergize your routine.

3. New duds. It sounds silly, but having cute new workout clothes to look forward to is fun.

4. Music/podcast/show. Download something you’re really looking forward to and then make a rule that you’re only allowed listen/watch if you’re exercising.

5. Make a bet. Get ten friends to put $10 in the pot. Whoever work outs the most days in one calendar month gets the whole pot. That’s $100 bucks!

6. Make it routine. When motivation fails you, routine will save you. If it’s what you just do, you’ll do it.

7. Get a goal. Schedule a photo shoot 3 or 4 months in the future for you, or you and your family. It’ll get you moving on even the craziest days.

8. Get a reliable buddy. If you promise to meet someone to work out, you won’t wanna let ’em down. Pick someone who will show up every time!

9. Have a backup plan. Have a few DVDs or YouTube routines you can do at home if everything goes bonkers and you can’t make it out.

10. Throw out gross food and eat clean! Don’t keep junky food in your kitchen. If it’s not there you can’t give in when you’re having a weak moment.

Follow Sarah on Facebook: This Fit Mom

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