Fitness Traps

Happy Tuesday!!  I’m reading a really great self-help book about how to recognize “lifetraps”, those things that trigger you into a negative thinking pattern and how to change your way and mindset before allowing yourself to fall into those patterns.  Just started reading it, but it’s already got me thinking about the ways I deal with things and it’s been helpful.  I feel like I’m on the right path to looking at situations differently.  So a total win!

What it also did was got me thinking about common “fitness traps”, those things that we use as a crutch.  There are all kinds of excuses we allow to become our realities and it just holds us back from doing great things.  Some “fitness traps” are more prevalent at the beginning of our journeys, but others start creeping in as you go along.  I’ve had all of these thoughts at some point and it’s helpful to know ways to get past them and not to let them define you or stop you.  I am no means an expert; I’m just sharing strategies that worked for me personally.

I’m going to start with beginning “fitness traps”.  Next week, I’ll talk about those “traps” that we show up once you’ve being working out for a while.  fitness traps

Fitness Trap #1  “Mommy Guilt”

As a full time working mom, I get this.  You already are away from your child for the better part of the day, only to come home and head out to for another hour or so to go exercise.  The feelings of guilt creep in.  You start thinking, “I should be home.”  ditchtheguilt

How to help overcome these thoughts:

  • Schedule your workouts ahead of time for the week and share them with your family.  The more they know what your schedule looks like the less likely it will feel like it was sprung on them.
  • Ask for support and share why exercising is important to you.  Everyone needs some “me” time.
  • Include your family, when you can!  We do WOD workouts from time, go on walks, etc.
  • Try to find times to workout when it disrupts family like the least.  During the summer, we are a lot less structured, so I run mornings or in the evenings.  During the school year, some days, I go workout right after school; other days, I head out after prepping dinner.
  • It’s a great chance for your spouse and children to hang out without you being there.  That’s a good thing! Just like I enjoy my time alone with Hayden, I know Nick does too.

Fitness Trap #2 “I don’t have time”

With busier and busier schedules, it can seem like it’s almost impossible to fit in just one more thing.  Between work and kid’s schedules, it seems like adding in workout time is just adding to the stress of scheduling it all.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to get it all done. shattertheclockHow to help overcome these thoughts:

  • Plan ahead.  Look at a weekly schedule and find places where you can fit in a quick workout.  For most of us, there are a few gaps of time somewhere.
  • Prep ahead.  Anytime you can prep up the upcoming day, it leaves more time somewhere else.  Prep school lunches and dinner at the same time.  Lay out school clothes for the week on Sundays.  Pick certain days a week that are cleaning and laundry days.  We actually do a load of laundry a day just so we don’t have to spend a day doing it all.
  • Find gaps.  Your child is working on homework, do a quick set of push ups and crunches.  Your child is at (soccer, softball, baseball, etc.) practice.  Run or walk while practice is going on.  If they have practice at a gym, workout while they are at practice.  Hayden would have swim lessons at our local Y and I’d drop her off and workout.  She was having fun and I was getting in a quick workout.
  • Make working out an appointment.  Just like any appointments we make, keep it written down and in stone on your calendar.  Treat all workouts just as important and necessary.

Fitness Trap #3 “I’m too…(fill in any adjective that fits)”

When I first started running, I’d say I’m too slow.  Heck, I still can say it now too.  When I first started taking Body Pump classes, I’m too weak.  When I first start anything new, the “I’m too…” creeps in.  It’s a crutch that can stop you from every taking that first step. silencethevoiceHow to overcome these thoughts:

  • Realize there is always some faster, stronger, etc. than you.  It’s true.  But what does that other person have to do with you and your journey?  Nothing.  Everyone starts from a different point and it’s your job to only be concerned with your goal and your results.
  • Find workout friends who are around your level of fitness.  There is nothing better than the camaraderie that you find when you meet people who have similar goals and fitness levels.   When I signed up for my first half marathon training, I was soooo much slower than everyone else.  I ran a lot of miles chasing the pack.  Once I became more comfortable within the group, I met Christine and Kay.  I was just always right behind them on most of our runs, so it was finally a relief to talk to them. I wasn’t alone now.  They kept an eye out for me on our runs.  It meant a lot to me to have them do that.
  • Use those feelings as fuel.  When I first started BP, I was using the bar and one small plate (2.2 lbs) on each end for a lot of the tracks.  I felt super silly at the beginning.  I kept at it and eventually went to two small plates (4.4 lbs).  Yes, that extra little bit to jump to a medium plate (5.5 lbs.) was too much.  Now, I’m still working to gain weight on my bar. A few weeks ago, I finally did the chest track with a big plate (11 lbs).  It’s taken me almost two years to get to that point, but it’s the progress that keeps me going back.

What are some of those “fitness traps” you had to overcome when you first started exercising?  What are some “fitness traps” you are dealing with now?

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Go be awesome! 🙂


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33 thoughts on “Fitness Traps

    • Running is just as physical as it is mental. We are constantly talking our bodies out of something.

      I’m reading a great book called Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey Young. It goes through different life traps that we are stuck in due to things that may have happened during childhood. It’s an interesting read and offers good suggestions for all of them.

  1. I used to be a victim of the “I’m Too Busy” trap but I’ve learned to do a lot of what you posted there. During the school year, I spend the weekend prepping for the week. Friday nights after the gym are for food shopping (less people in the store at that time, score!). On Saturdays, I get a bunch of cleaning/laundry done. Sundays are for cooking and meal prepping for the week. Every night, after dinner, I pack everything I need for the next day – food, workout clothes, clothes for work, etc. Sometimes it gets a little tiresome, but mostly it’s effective an keeps me on track!

  2. Whenever I find myself falling into one of those traps, and honestly those ARE THE traps for 99% of us, I try to just break up my workouts so I get it in! I know I will feel worse if I don’t do something so the minute I start making those excuses I just move! Great tips! 🙂

  3. Yup, I was slow when I started & I’m still slow. I have improved a little.

    I don’t let it stop me, but I’ll admit to getting envious of friends who start out with me & then get faster. Why them & not me? What the heck is wrong with me?

    Sorry; I really admire the people who truly don’t care about their pace, but that’s not me.

  4. I love this post so much. You know what a firm believer I am in the power of mindset. THe idea of mental traps and fitness traps is a powerful one. We all have specific patterns of thinking, but stepping back and realizing them, is so powerful. Thanks for the reminder. That book sounds great. There are definitely some traps I fall for often, and hopefully, I can rewire them! : ) Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have struggled with all of these. Now that my girls are older I don’t feel the guilt as much but I still wont sign up for a race if it’s a day that they have something going on, so I guess that never goes away 🙂

  6. I think it is so important for our children and our spouse to see us taking care of ourselves through exercising. I do understand the mommy guilt. I combat that with running while the kids are still asleep. That way I’m not missing out on time with them.

  7. Your fitness traps have me thinking about mental traps that work the same way. A loop we play over and over in our head. Great post Melanie. I bet you’ve given a lot of us something to think about. #fifamlove

  8. Wonderful post with great tips!! As a working mom who runs outside in Florida, I have to block off time in the morning on my work calendar to get my runs in before it gets too hot. If it’s not on my calendar, it gets procrastinated and then just doesn’t happen. Love this post!!

    • Oh yeah. You definitely have to get a run done early for sure! I’m enjoying my early runs too while I’m home for summer break. It will be hard to start running again post work. It’ll mix up our family schedule. We gotta do what we gotta do when we can! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Thinking Out Loud | Runner Girl in a Rocking World

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