... then I hit a wall.
The exercise: 3 sets of 12 reps of T-push ups
What happened: I get to rep number 6 of set 3 & I stop. I'm tired. I sit up and look at myself in the mirror in front of me and say:
"What the fuck is wrong with you? It's just 6 more bloody push-ups. You're not going to break. You're not going to collapse. You know you are strong enough to complete this, so why are you stopping? Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to improve? Just get on with it. There's no time for stupid whining of 6 lousy push-ups. You are not weak. You are not exhausted to the point of injury. Just get on with it."
I completed the remaining push-ups, finished the rest of my workout (which included 60 burpees at the end - I have similar conversations with myself when I start to slow down with my burpees) and then felt great.
A lot of us talk about the mental struggle to push through with different aspects of losing weight/getting healthy.
Whether it has to do with running, lifting weights, doing burpees, avoiding diet soda, or even to just bloody get started ... sometimes there's that gap between what we really want (and we all want to get healthy, right?) and doing the thing(s) that we need to do in order to get there.
We are all so much stronger than we realize. It's a bit of mental fear that I think holds many of us back - can we run for just 30 more seconds? Can we lift just another pound of heavier weight? Can we bang out just one more push-up? The answer, I'm sure, is almost always yes.
Sometimes I do find that I have to dig deep to do that extra bit, but the rewards are so great once you've accomplished something you weren't sure you could do.
In the past year I definitely feel like I've tried to push my limits, and I've done well. I try to draw on those moments to keep me going with that momentum. I want that feeling of success and accomplishment after a workout. I want to feel proud.
I often find the mental talk and preparation is so much more exhausting than the physical workout. (You can read my Just do it post here). I guess that's because so much of my attitude drives my workout. When I'm feeling good and positive, I can perform better. I wonder if there will ever be a day when it comes more naturally? I hope so though at the same time, I wonder if the voices of encouragement and sternness in my head were to stop it would mean that I wasn't challenging myself anymore? Who knows.
All I know is that I haven't reached my goals yet. This means that I have to continue to work hard. There's no other way around it. I feel like I have to push myself. I have to be stern with myself in terms of discipline and pushing harder. I'm glad I've learned the difference between my mental scolding versus negative self-talk, which I felt was a big breakthrough for me.
I was talking to one of my friend's last night and I told him about me feeling anxious and he told me it was because I was at the breakthrough point. This is the point where I really have to be strong and push through because big changes are happening. I've got a ways to go to reach my goal, but at the same time, I'm really close. My exercise is in check, my eating is clean, my attitude is good -- it's all very positive. There's a combination of excitement and fear - excitement about all I've accomplished and being closer to my goal than I have in 4 years and fear -- fear about failure, fear about the unknown, fear about doubting myself, and most of all, fear that even after I reach my goals everything in the rest of my life will not fall into place in the same way. I don't know if that last part makes sense to anyone else, but for me, I know that so much of my life was preoccupied with thoughts of 'I'll be happy once I'm thin.' That type of thinking led me to focus just on one thing rather than dealing with other issues that were keeping me from being happy. I'm not saying that I'm unhappy. What I'm saying is that there are still things that I need to work on in my life, and that stuff will not be resolved by me being at goal weight. They're going to take some additional work. I need to accept that and remember that a bit of fear is ok, as long as it doesn't hold you back.
The bottom line: Take a deep breath and just get on with it.