You’re probably going to die when you hear this, but there used to be a time in my life when I would work out 6 days a week for almost 2 hours a day.
Sure, I was in the ‘best’ shape of my life, or at least I thought I was because I “looked” the part.
But working out was my life. I trained like it was my job. And I didn’t have much left in the tank for other things or people. I’m not sure what I was thinking back then. I was a full time student, with two kids under the age of 4, and my husband was in the military.
I guess I’m someone who tends to operate on extremes.
I thought I had to workout like that in order to get the results I wanted.
I was afraid that if I let off the gas, I’d lose my results.
I was afraid I’d gain weight.
Most importantly, I was afraid I would go back to feeling bad about myself-because I thought looking a certain way gave me my confidence.
There’s a better way though..and it doesn’t involve the all or nothing approach that seems so popular in today’s culture.
I couldn’t keep going the way I was.
My body might have looked like it was doing great, but I was nursing injuries from over training.
Mentally I was always thinking about calories, food, exercise, my body. Between raising a family, being a full time student, and all the thinking about those things..
I was exhausted.
While my mindset around exercise, my body, food, and all of that has been changing slowly over the past year or two.
This minimum dosage concept has been something that has come on more recently.
Between balancing family and building my business, I just knew I couldn’t make time for hours of exercise like I had in the past. And truthfully, I didn’t want to.
After I figured out in my schedule when I could work out and for how long, I figured out what I could do in the time I had.
Since keeping muscle mass is important to me (for strength and aging reasons) I knew I wanted to keep a couple of days for lifting.
But I also wanted to be sure I was incorporating some sort of cardio or conditioning as well for heart health, and because I like it.
Instead of doing several longer workouts throughout the week, I started doing full body workouts 3 days a week. Then on the off days, I will either walk or go for a short jog.
Well, as you know life doesn’t happen inside a vacuum. We can’t always predict what life will throw at us. But that doesn’t mean we have to throw our hands up and ditch out on our movement sessions.
For example, there are days when I don’t feel like doing my scheduled workout.
Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, so working out first thing in the am doesn’t sound all that appealing. I want to give myself (and you too) some grace for those days. It’ not all or nothing, and the ‘no excuses’ mentality around exercise is actually doing more harm than good.
Sure, you have to show up consistently if you want to see changes and improvements. But sometimes showing up for yourself looks different than what you originally planned.
The first few weeks of figuring out my new groove was a little rocky. Just like all new things tend to be..so give yourself some time to play around and practice.
The point is, be patient as you figure out what your minimum dosage looks like. Chances are it will look different from mine, and that is totally cool. In fact, it should. We live different lives. Have different abilities, and different goals.
On any given day, especially when you’re not feeling it, take inspired action. For example, on the days I don’t sleep well, I may be more likely to opt for a walk and some yoga instead of something more intense.
Learn how to read and listen to your body. I promise, it will make this whole experience so much more enjoyable.
Taking the minimum dosage approach to my training (and really every other area of life) has saved so much time and energy because I’m not forcing it.
I’m able to do the very minimum of what needs to be done to get the results I want. And you will too when you implement these strategies.
This frees up time to do other things that maybe you wouldn’t get done or would be rushed doing. Again helping you feel less stretched, and more energized.
On those days when life feels super crazy or time is crunched, instead of just not working out or eating in a way that honors your body, do what little you can with the time and energy you have. Again, it’s not an all or nothing thing.
Using this Minimum Dosage Approach has given me so much time and energy back. And I know it will for you too.
Instead of being stressed out by trying to do too much in any one area, I’m able to get more of the right things done and have energy left over. How nice would that be?
Rather than just not working out because I don’t have time, I take what little time I do have and get it done. Whatever ‘it’ happens to look like that day. Pretty sweet, eh?
Most importantly, I’ve found my middle ground, which feels so much better than living in the extremes of all or nothing thinking. Imagine how much more peace you’ll experience in the middle ground 😉
Do you always feel like you’re struggling to find your groove? Like there’s never enough time? I want to help.
If you’re having a hard time finding more time, I want to help you get your time back..
Seriously, what would you do with an extra 3 hours a week? Sign up below to get some of my best time getting strategies sent right to your inbox, plus be among the first to learn more about The Mindful Eating Project…doors opening soon!