I'm making progress!
I was reading over my last post, 'I hit a wall', and since posting that piece, I feel that I have grown a lot in my attitude to fitness and well-being. I concluded my last post with the note that I would be prioritising my studies and commitments to my career over rigorously keeping to my workout schedule. That is exactly what I have been doing and I feel confident that it was the right move; I believe that I am managing the components of my life more efficiently, preserving my motivation and keeping the fire burning.
I have been taking a break from training these past couple of weeks, save for the occasional workout to keep my muscles active. I have been reading up on some research surrounding muscle memory and how it takes a long time for muscles to deteriorate significantly. The most interesting findings I came across is that it is much easier to maintain muscle than it is to build muscle, and that even if you do lose some muscle mass, your muscles will gain strength more quickly when you start training again. I found this article particularly helpful: https://legionathletics.com/maintain-muscle-and-strength/ . After reading this information, I feel much less anxious about taking time off- the thought of losing what I have worked so hard for makes me pretty anxious. Something about literally changing the composition of your own body, with only hard work and a thought-out strategy, makes me extremely proud of myself. When my body feels strong, I feel strong as a person altogether. I want to do my best to maintain this feeling.
There is a mindset that I believe we all encounter multiple times in our lives. I call it the "I'll start tomorrow" schema, where you have a great idea or a newly found motivation, but you reserve it for the start of the next day, or the next week, or month. I empathise with this mindset; it just feels right to make a fresh start on a fresh day. But why does it have to be that way? What is stopping you from starting right then and there? If you leave your ideas and energy for the next day, you run the risk of losing all enthusiasm by the time that day comes. Let's say that you want to start meditating regularly- you tell yourself that on Monday you will begin meditation practices every single day, but then Monday comes around and you tell yourself "I'm not really feeling it today, so I'll start next Monday" but then when you get to the next Monday the exact same thing happens again. What if you had just given it a go the moment you got the idea to start meditating- or at least started sometime on the same day? That is a change I have been trying to implement in my life recently. I keep reminding myself that I can start right now! The concept of starting something in the moment is why I am not fond of the idea of a New Year's resolution; it may feel that having a clear starting point will sustain your plan, but at the end of the day it all comes down to your own consistent practices. This idea has helped me whenever I get in a rut, for I shouldn't have to leave it up to increments of time to decide when I make changes in my life.
For now, I'm going to try to do at least three training sessions per week, as long as it doesn't impede my pace with studies and education. I am hoping that gyms will be opening soon, as getting my old gym back will certainly improve my commitment and perseverance. If i can stay energised and remember why I train, then I am confident I will do well.