Being Committed

in All Posts, Trip to London

The question I get e-mail the most is “How do you stay so committed to your workout schedule?”  It’s true that I’m pretty consistent with my workouts, averaging 4 or 5 days a week.  But a few years ago, I never, ever worked out with any regularity.

 

That “commitment” question was ringing in my ears this morning.  I felt lazy and did NOT want to run.   I think this is a timely topic, considering it’s the New Year! 

 

Whenever I feel like skipping a workout, I ask myself several questions:

 

  • Do I just feel lazy or am I physically (or mentally) exhausted and in need of a break? It is important to me to distinguish between true laziness and actual exhaustion.  I am less likely to skip a workout if I acknowledge that I’m just being lazy.  On the other hand, if I can consciously acknowledge that I am really, really in need of a rest day, I never feel guilty for skipping a run.

 

  • Would a workout make me feel better or worse right now?  Also, I ask myself if there is another workout I could do – like yoga instead of running – that would recharge me instead of make me feel more tired.

 

  • Would I have fun if I exercised right now?  To me, exercise should always be enjoyable on some level.  If you hate your workouts, you will never stick to your routine.

 

I asked myself these questions this morning and decided that I did, in fact, want to go for a run. 

 

And you know what? I felt awesome afterwards!

IMG_5337

I did 3.0 miles in 29:30 and felt awake and revitalized afterwards! Wahoo!

 

Before I left, I had 1/2 a banana.

IMG_5335

And afterwards, I had the other half of the banana, yogurt, and cereal.  Sorry my breakfasts are so repetitive due to traveling.  šŸ™‚

IMG_5336

Today’s plans include:

 

  • Vegetarian lunch at the #1 rated veggie restaurant in London, Food for Thought in Covent Garden.
  • Afternoon tea at The Ritz.
  • Shopping for family members.

 

Happy 1 year wedding anniversary to my Husband.  Kristien, I love you – thank you for making me a better woman and supporting me through all my crazy life endeavors.

We go home to America tomorrow!  šŸ™

 

How do you decide whether to skip a workout or just power through?

{ 85 comments }

 

  • Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar January 3, 2010, 8:17 am

    Congrats, lady! I hope you guys have many more to come =]

  • Megan January 3, 2010, 8:19 am

    yay, congratulations! those photos of you guys turned out so well!

  • Lauren @ Reading and Running January 3, 2010, 8:21 am

    Happy anniversary! And just because of this post I’m getting out of bed and going running like I’m supposed to!

  • Leo @ cupcakes in Paris January 3, 2010, 8:24 am

    Congratulations Caitlin! Your wedding photo is beautiful and you are such an inspiration!
    Thank you very much for your tips! I seriously need to be more comitted to my workouts and my healthy lifestyle in general! It takes efforts but I know I can do it. I’ll definitely be thinking of you when I consider skipping my workouts!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite January 3, 2010, 8:26 am

    What a great post! Happy Anniversary!

    When I need a break from working out, by body tells me… either physical or mental.

    Can’t wait to hear about Tea at the Ritz!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 3, 2010, 8:28 am

    Happy Anniversary!!

    I usually listen to my body, but remind myself that I have another 1 or 2 days off some where to relax.

  • Lo January 3, 2010, 8:29 am

    funny you wrote about this because I debated a run before work at 6AM because I didn’t know if Id have time later. I ran 3.25 in 30 min and feel awesome.

    lo

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) January 3, 2010, 8:29 am

    I think it’s important to differentiate between feeling lazy and feeling exhausted. I usually tell myself that I’ll try running for a mile and if I don’t feel better I’ll stop. 9.5 times out of 10 – I keep going šŸ™‚

    Have fun at the Ritz!

  • Amelia January 3, 2010, 8:31 am

    Congratulations! Happy Anniversary! šŸ™‚

    I try to remind myself how much better I feel after I exercise and how I can check that off my to do list for the day. Otherwise it’s hanging over me all day and stresses me out, which of course makes me feel crummy, instead of getting that exercise high!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers January 3, 2010, 8:35 am

    happy happy anniversary!!! šŸ™‚ you are such a beautiful couple & your anniversary plans sound wonderful. enjoy your lunch & tea!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) January 3, 2010, 8:41 am

    Happy Anniversary! I found an exercise that I genuinely love so it’s not hard for me to “stay on track.” I just make sure to not over-do it.
    Enjoy lunch!

  • Erin January 3, 2010, 8:41 am

    Happy anniversary!

    I try to remember that you never regret a workout but you DO regret not working out. Usually it works, sometimes it doesn’t… šŸ˜‰

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 3, 2010, 8:42 am

    I skip more times than I’d like to admit šŸ™ . . . usually I just remind myself that it will actually give me MORE energy, and I’m always right, it does . . .

    Happy Anniversary

  • Heather January 3, 2010, 8:43 am

    I take 2 days off a week, but if I still feel unwilling to workout, I put on my clothes and tell myself I’ll just go to the gym for 20 minutes and read on the elliptical. Usually after 20 minutes I’m awake enough to do some running or weights, if not I’ll go home. If I’m feeling too lazy for that, I’ll do some yoga in my living room.

    Congrats on your anniversary. You two really set a great example for young couples!

  • Nicole - Geek Turned Athlete January 3, 2010, 8:49 am

    Congrats on your anniversary!!! It sounds like you both support each other!

    I always say this to myself: I never regret working out. I always regret not working out.

    That pretty much gets me out the door. It did this morning for sure especially with a hangover! I also think that making plans to work out with someone lessens the chance of canceling a workout!

    Have fun on your last day in Europe!! It snowed and sleeted in Germany this morning!! At least you will be going home to some nice weather!! šŸ˜‰

  • Marisa (Loser for Life) January 3, 2010, 8:52 am

    When I’m not in the mood to workout, I tell myself that I only have to do 10 minutes and if I’m still not into it, then I can quit! But, I get started and end up just continuing to the end! Dopey mind games, but it works for me!

    Happy Anniversary to a gorgeous couple!

  • Kath January 3, 2010, 8:55 am

    Happy Happy Anniver-sary!!!

  • sarah (ghost world) January 3, 2010, 8:55 am

    i just try to remember that i never regret a workout but almost always regret skipping! the other thing i do is to have ‘floating rest days’ — ie, planning my rest days in for late in the week, but knowing that i can really skip earlier if i end up working late or feeling too tired. this builds in wiggle room while preventing me from getting discouraged due to ‘failing to follow the plan’!

  • Tiffany @ A Dantat's Life January 3, 2010, 8:56 am

    I, too, have always admired your consistency with workouts. When I feel like skipping my workout, 90% of the time it is actually my laziness, and not pure exhaustion. However, I can’t say that I always choose to do the workout, even if it is laziness haha. I try for at least 4 cardio sessions and 2-3 strength sessions a week, but I feel “bad” when I don’t work out for 2 or more days in a row.

  • sarah (ghost world) January 3, 2010, 8:56 am

    and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY šŸ™‚ the picture of you two at the end is great!

  • Kelly January 3, 2010, 8:56 am

    I think I ask myself similar questions- I wrote a post on this similar topic yesterday- about staying permanently committed.

    I am definitely having this same problem right now though- my throat hurts and its been snowing for 2 days- skip the gym or not haha. I’ll decide later, for now I’m going to eat breakfast!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 3, 2010, 8:57 am

    Happy Anniversary! Sounds like y’all have an awesome day planned. Can’t wait to see your pics of the number one veggie restaurant (and your description of the tea– no pics, right?)!

  • Allie January 3, 2010, 8:58 am

    happy anniversary! absolutely gorgeous photo!!

    it took me so long for let my mind take cues from my body to take a rest. now, when i am physically spent i have no troubles letting my body recover. i try to actually plan rest days and easier days into the week- not wait for them to happen, so i don’t get burnt out- and then take those days to rest and recharge. maybe a little type A, but works for me.

  • RhodeyGirl January 3, 2010, 8:59 am

    This is a GORGEOUS photo of you two! I love that 2nd photo shoot you did.

    Happy Anniversary! (or Happy University! as my dad, the foreigner, used to say it hahaha)

  • MelissaNibbles January 3, 2010, 9:11 am

    Happy Anniversary!

  • rungirlrunn January 3, 2010, 9:12 am

    Great tips, and good for you for going on your run! Happy Anniversary!!

  • Alicia January 3, 2010, 9:19 am

    Happy 1st Anniversary! Here’s to many many more!

    When questioning if I want to work out or not, I always ask myself “How am I going to feel after this workout?” Usually, the answer is “amazing”, so that is enough of a kick in the rear end to get me to the gym!

  • Danielle January 3, 2010, 9:20 am

    Happy anniversary!

  • Julie January 3, 2010, 9:21 am

    Happy Anniversary!!! Have a great day šŸ™‚

    I pretty much never miss a planned workout unless I am honestly phsycially tired. I can tell when my body is just rejecting all forms of activity, and my entire body just feels tired.

  • Lee January 3, 2010, 9:22 am

    Happy Anniversary!

    I usually just make myself go for the workout. I do sometimes make deals with myself, like if I was originally going to run 4 miles, I say that I only have to run 2 miles and then I can do the elliptical for the other two if I want.

    I almost always feel good after my workout. I don’t think I’ve ever really regretted working out except for when I’ve been sick.

  • michelle January 3, 2010, 9:27 am

    Happy anniversary! Isn’t marriage beautiful? Blessing to you and your hubs as you continue your journey together.

    I also have the lazy vs need rest conversation with myself. I hate to call myself lazy so if I catch it- I fix it.

  • Matt January 3, 2010, 9:28 am

    Lol I usually only skip a run if I can’t fit it in šŸ˜‰

    I am like on autopilot in the morning: Wake up, run, start my day.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 3, 2010, 9:31 am

    Unless I’m sick or taking a predetermined rest day, I just make myself do it. If I’m feeling somewhat unmotivated, I just make it an easier day at the gym. I’ll read a magazine and do the elliptical or something.

    I ALWAYS feel better after working out. Even if I didn’t want to do it in the first place.

  • Evan Thomas January 3, 2010, 9:35 am

    Happy 1 year anniversary!

  • Jenny January 3, 2010, 9:39 am

    Happy 1 year!

    I definitely ask myself whether it’s laziness or if I’m in need of a break. I think that’s the most important concept to be aware of for me. I can usually tell what I need to do if I get up, stretch a little and if my body will just not “snap into it” then I know it’s time for a break…and maybe a yoga session šŸ˜‰

  • Mel January 3, 2010, 9:41 am

    Happy Anniversary! Great pic, and very fitting that you’re posting about committment. I almost always want to workout. That is,until I have a swim scheduled. But, I’m pretty much a slave to my schedule, so if it’s on there, I’ll do it. I usually have 1 active recovery day per week and that helps keep me sane. If I feel like I’m getting injured I take a rest day. Took me forever to figure that out. lol

  • Christy January 3, 2010, 9:48 am

    I usually just remind myself that I’ll feel great afterwards. And if I truly need some time off, then I’ll usually do something a little less intense to get in some movement! I agree with you on the fact that workouts should be fun… gotta do something you like!

  • Gina G January 3, 2010, 9:49 am

    happy anniversary to you both! =)

  • Lizzy January 3, 2010, 9:51 am

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!! šŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  • Abby (Abby's VeGaN Eats) January 3, 2010, 9:52 am

    Happy 1 year, Caitlin.. you and your husband are beautiful! Enjoy that veg. restaurant.. incredibly jealous! šŸ™‚

  • Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers January 3, 2010, 9:56 am

    Hope you two have a wonderful anniversary!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 3, 2010, 9:57 am

    Happy Anniversary to you both!!!!!!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!

  • Babycakes January 3, 2010, 10:06 am

    Happy Anniversary!!! For some reason, I am super excited about your tea at the Ritz today! šŸ™‚

  • Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 3, 2010, 10:07 am

    Happy Anniversary! I’ve got my 3-year on Wednesday, and I can promise you it gets better every year šŸ™‚ Thanks for the workout tips, too, I definitely need help with the motivation sometimes!

  • Freya @ http://foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com/ January 3, 2010, 10:15 am

    Happy one year anniversary!!

    I always find that if I don’t feel much like a workout, I just tell myself ‘only 10mins’, and by the time I’m out there and running or whatever, I feel so much more refreshed! It always works šŸ™‚
    What do you think of the Alpen? You should try some Dorset cereals museli, that stuff is sooo good!!

    • caitlin January 3, 2010, 3:05 pm

      i liked it! i wish we had it in the states

      • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com January 3, 2010, 3:10 pm

        Haha, I would feel sorry for all you Americans that you don’t have it…but then I’ve read about all the amazing stuff you guys have over there (Mix My Granola for example – why can’t England do stuff like that!?) so I don’t feel too bad šŸ˜›
        I hope my new blog can showcase a few groovy English brands though šŸ˜€

  • Jenna January 3, 2010, 10:16 am

    Happy Anniversary!
    Today’s agenda sounds wonderful- vegetarian lunch, tea, & shopping!
    Couldn’t get any better than that, enjoy!
    Jenna

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) January 3, 2010, 10:30 am

    I always ask myself similar questions. And I usually promise myself that I’ll start the workout and if I’m not feeling it after 20 minutes I can quit. I hardly ever do.

  • Christina January 3, 2010, 10:48 am

    Aww Happy Anniversary!

    I usually try not to give myself the option of not working out. I just get up and do it!

  • Kelli January 3, 2010, 10:48 am

    Happy anniversary! You made it through the first year! I have been married a year and a half and can appreciate what a fantastic mile stone that first anniversary is!

  • Kristina January 3, 2010, 10:49 am

    Happy anniversary!!!

    I due have to battle being lazy (i.e. not wanting to work out), but I always know that I will feel amazing once I am done! It’s just about getting the gumption to do something. In the winter, I have a more difficult time wanting to work out. Even if I am just weight training in my home, I never want to put on my workout clothes because I’m such a freeze-baby!

  • Gracie January 3, 2010, 11:07 am

    It’s really interesting that you just posted about skipping workouts because…that’s exactly what I did this morning. And that is *totally* not like me. I’m a huge creature-of-habit, and if I don’t work out first thing in the morning, I have trouble doing it at all. But I woke up this morning and realized that I just needed a BREAK! At least for the morning. If I decide I feel up to exercising later then I will, but I really need to learn to listen to my body more and *gasp* skip a workout from time to time! I’ve found it to be especially important to my mental wellness as well because I tend to get sort of obsessive with things, including exercise. But like you said – I want my exercise to be FUN – not a burden or a result of obsessive behavior. So in that sense, taking breaks from exercise is really important to me šŸ™‚

  • Lori (Finding Radiance) January 3, 2010, 11:10 am

    The one thing that will always make me get in a workout is knowing the I will never regret doing a workout, but I will regret skipping it.

  • Juliane January 3, 2010, 11:29 am

    The most motivating fact for me is that I always feel good and proud of myself after workouts and I NEVER regretted one single workout.

  • Michelle January 3, 2010, 11:45 am

    Happy anniversary!
    You are a lovely couple šŸ˜€

  • Rachel January 3, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I will definitely be using those questions as my life gets busier and finding time for exercising gets harder. Thanks, and happy anniversary!

  • Jamie January 3, 2010, 12:06 pm

    I loved this post about staying committed and the questions you ask yourself. I will definitely keep this in mind as I begin training for my 12K.. eek. Thanks again for your help on the training program.

    And have a safe trip back! Happy Anniversary šŸ™‚

  • caronae January 3, 2010, 12:12 pm

    Happy anniversary! You look wonderful in the photo.
    If I feel like skipping a workout, I try to do yoga instead, which feels great, but never intimidates me.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) January 3, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Great pic of you and the hubby! Perfect timing for the post, thanks!

  • Morgan January 3, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!! My wedding is coming up this year and I’m so excited to start our lives together. I’m glad you’ve had such a wonderful first year šŸ™‚

  • Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) January 3, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Happy anniversary!! Usually when I feel like skipping a work-out I get up and put my work out clothes on and usually that helps me get in the work-out frame of mind.

  • Kailey January 3, 2010, 12:43 pm

    great questions to ask yourself šŸ˜€
    happy anniversary !

  • Julie @savvyeats January 3, 2010, 12:48 pm

    Happy anniversary, dear!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) January 3, 2010, 12:48 pm

    Happy anniversary you two! šŸ™‚

  • Kalli @ Fit and Forty Something January 3, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Congrats on your 1 year!

  • Karla January 3, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Your lucky to have such a great husband and the opportunity to travel!

  • Lindsey @ EatReadRun January 3, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Enjoy your last day in England! Tea at the Ritz sounds like fun – I love high tea at hotels. It makes me feel so fancy. And congratulations on your 1 year anniversary – you are celebrating it in such a special way. You’ll always remember it.

  • Sammi January 3, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Happy Anniversary!
    I love when I don’t really want to workout but do it anyway and end up feeling amazing!

    I can’t wait to read about your day!

  • Kathleen January 3, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you and the hubby have an amazing day!!! I love reading your recaps of your explorations and adventures in the UK šŸ™‚

  • Lisa January 3, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Happy anniversary – love the photo!
    I read somewhere that you may regret missing a workout, but you never regret working out. I try to remember this when I am feeling a little lazy.

  • Tay January 3, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary Caitlin!! Have a wonderful day šŸ™‚

  • Courtney January 3, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Motivation can leave even the fittest, strongest person behind. It’s nice to remember these tips! Thanks! And welcome home tomorrow. :]

  • Sarah January 3, 2010, 3:45 pm

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!

    I always tell myself that I regret not going to the gym/working out but I almost never regret working out (unless I hurt myself).

  • Britt (Runnerbelle) January 3, 2010, 5:36 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!!

    I take a check of how I feel, but usually I’m fine and just being lazy. So I remind myself that I will regret not working out and to seize the opportunity.

    I have also done the…. just get to the gym or just go outside for a run…. if I’m not digging it within 10 minutes I can leave. I never quit after those 10 minutes.

  • Good Taste. Healthy Me January 3, 2010, 6:34 pm

    my problem always seems to be that I don’t have enough time to work out….which I know seems like a lame excuse (that’s cuz it is!!). I definitely have to find that happy medium for my time. If I schedule it I’ll keep it. I just have to schedule it!

    • caitlin January 3, 2010, 6:40 pm

      when my schedule was really nutty, i would do 10 minutes of strength training in the morning (sit ups and push ups mostly). it made me feel so good to do something small, and i know it made a difference.

  • Susan January 3, 2010, 8:58 pm

    Ohmygosh, it’s as if you just stole those three bullet points right from my head. For me, distinguishing between laziness and genuine exhaustion is the toughest part. Most days though, if I have to debate it in my head, then it’s just laziness. There have been days where I wake up and KNOW my workout isn’t happening. I know when I just can’t drag my body through another workout.

    Totally with you on workouts being FUN too. That’s one thing I struggled with the most with triathlon training. Many days for example I’d be scheduled to swim, but it would be perfect biking weather. In those cases, I just tell myself something is better than nothing šŸ™‚

    Finally… Happy Anniversary!!! šŸ˜€

  • Cat January 3, 2010, 9:02 pm

    I think this is one of the most useful blog posts I’ve ever read!! Honestly, your tips are great and contains concrete things you can ask yourself. I usually just *guilt* myself into stuff which is NEVER a good thing!

  • Heather (The Single Dish) January 4, 2010, 10:09 am

    I have never regretted a workout, I always feel better afterwards! I just do it, and don’t think about it. I try to think about how great I will feel after! Good for you for running.

  • Loretta @ RunRettaRun January 4, 2010, 12:15 pm

    If I am truly not feeling “it”, I go with my gut. Sometimes, I know I’m just making excuses and throw on the workout/running gear. Once you get to that step, just do it lol. I never regret it when it’s over and really, getting started is the hardest part!

  • Kristy January 4, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Love the list! Totally printed it and put it on my frig. šŸ™‚

  • Carolyn January 4, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Unfortunately, I’ve actually felt exhausted a lot lately.
    šŸ™ One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to start getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Hopefully more sleep helps.

  • Lisa October 11, 2010, 1:04 pm

    I love love love love London! One of my favorite cities! It was cool seeing your pictures and remembering my own trip.

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