Let's start with a little confession: I'm a personal trainer and holistic health coach, and...
I hardly broke a sweat in the gym this past year. You know that old adage, "If you want something badly enough, you'll make it happen?" Well, my life threw me a curveball, and I had to take a hard look at my priorities.
Life Happens: Navigating a Busy Year
It's not that I abandoned my health altogether. Far from it. I did take steps to maintain my overall well-being and mental health, but yes, I traded the hours normally reserved for sculpting biceps and eye-popping quads (though it's debatable whether I've ever had eye-popping quads 😄). Instead, my focus shifted to:
Managing life during a house renovation
Taking care of my aging mother and prioritizing family
Focusing on my clients' needs
Making time for a long overdue summer vacation to Singapore (where, let's be real, I indulged in ALL of the country's culinary delights)
Even my cherished four days a week of jiujitsu had to be shelved. With commuting nightmares and a single shared car, something had to give.
There's a season for everything. During this particular season of my life, pushing myself to the limit in the gym didn't fit the bill. I sat down and literally wrote out what was most important to me at that moment. I knew things would change in the coming months, and I was prepared to revisit those priorities then.
Adopting a More Holistic Approach
Rather than feeling defeated, I shifted my strategy. Instead of focusing on aesthetics, my new goals were more holistic. Stress management became key; for me, that meant some form of movement and prioritizing minimally processed foods.
Getting up a tad earlier for a longer walk with the dog was feasible and mutually beneficial. I found pockets of time to engage in a bit of weightlifting and even slotted jiujitsu back into my schedule when possible. I tried forcing a routine that included lifting, yoga, and pilates, but life kept throwing wrenches into that plan.
Eventually, I learned to adapt, squeezing in short bouts of exercise wherever I could. I focused on creating a repeatable wind-down routine before sleep. I took bike rides, went kayaking, foam rolled on the floor, and found joy in moving my body however I could.
Conclusion: The Art of Adaptability
The takeaway here isn't about excuses or justifications. It's about adaptability. Life won't always permit you a perfect regimen, but there's value in being flexible—both mentally and literally. I kept reminding myself that this phase was temporary. I couldn't do everything I wanted, but I managed to control what was most crucial: my nutrition, stress levels, and sleep habits.
Sometimes the path to wellness isn't a straight line, and that's perfectly okay. What's important is that you keep moving forward, even if it means taking a step back to assess what truly matters. After all, to bring in another adage, the journey to health is a marathon, not a sprint.
Some things I did INSTEAD of go to the gym: