When I was young I loved extreme exercise. I loved mile swims for charity. I loved swim practices that began with groundwork lunges while I carried a friend on my back.
My favorite weekends were spent at dance seminars in the city involving six intense hour-long classes back-to-back. I danced until I felt like puking and then danced some more. I loved it.
In my twenties, I trained for a triathlon. I ran races. I exercised twice a day sometimes.
After having my babies, I re-dedicated myself to extreme exercise. I ran in the mornings before work no matter the weather, and spend weekend mornings on the gym stair master. I’ve always loved going to the gym on a day with unlimited time to spend there.
Mid-recession, I found myself without time for anything. I was going to bed late every night just staying on top of the house and laundry and work. I didn’t have time to spend an hour a day exercising anymore, so I didn’t bother. I felt miserable in my body and totally overwhelmed.
In the midst of my despair, I asked a gorgeous and successful woman I’d once worked with out to lunch to ask her advice. How did she manage everything so well?
This friend gave me advice I still need to remind myself of today. She said she didn’t expect herself to do too much in the hours of a single day. She exercised for a half hour if that was all the time she had, but she took care of herself every day. She did one load of laundry at a time. It was okay not to do the most every day. Meanwhile, she made sure every meal was nourishing and delicious.
I need to remember the advice that enough is enough because I am prone to extremes. I’m either getting up at 4:30 and doing fifty minutes of cardio on top of weights or I’m staying in bed. I’m either giving up all of the carbs or eating all of the candy.
Go big or go home means go home most of the time.
My advice to myself is to remember that enough is enough. The sum of a daily practice of healthy eating and exercise is great.
I want to say more about it, but the truth is here already. Enough is enough.
What limiting beliefs do you have that are keeping you from being healthy or accomplishing daunting tasks? Do you ever think that if you can’t devote hours to something that you might as well not devote any time at all? Do you ever think that if you aren’t going to be hugely successful at something, that you might as well not do it at all? Go deeper into these beliefs, if you have them. How can you fit humbler efforts into your daily life?
Who in your life seems to be managing something that is difficult for you in his or her own way? How is this person different from you? What questions would you ask this person, if you could? What answers would you give a friend if he or she were asking you the same things?
What would you say to a beloved child who did not want to take a walk or go swimming because it made more sense to stay on the couch?
This seems like a good time to revisit all of the daily accomplishments you may be taking for granted. Make a list.