Back from the dead: Stress, training and diet.
I've decided this might as well be a blog post rather than an article. I want to talk a little about motivation. Specifically about motivation over the longer term.
For 16 weeks I (more or less) effortlessly stuck to a strict diet and lost over 10kg.
For 4 weeks afterwards I didn't miss so much a rep on a fairly brutal hypertrophy program.
Then I moved house and since then have been struggling to find 'it'. I'm not sure what 'it' actually is but it went away somewhere. Since then I've struggled to keep consistent with training and to make good choices with food. I've just generally felt very foggy and lacking in mojo.
I'll put off excercise for later and then tomorrow and then later and then tomorrow again. I'll plan to get back on healthy eating in the morning... then on Monday. Then just later. It's just felt so hard to get focused. To compile the issue I can clearly feel how a bad days eating drains me the following day and creates cravings. I know that training would boost my energy but it just seems too hard to get started.
Its certainly not surprising to me that moving house often comes out top on surveys of "most stressful" life events... sometimes HIGHER than divorce and deaths in the family. While this does seem a little skewed there is little argument that it isn't a generally stressful event.
I know that all the Facebook memes would just suggest I shut up and squat but that mentality doesn't work for many people. The fitness industry's obsession with 'all or nothing' approaches has unfortunately led to the vast majority of people to go for the nothing option. The battle shouldn't be to perpetually be motivated to do everything at a high level while eating razor sharp weighed and measured food out of regimented plastic containers but to consistently do something. Anything really.
I've been clawing things back the last week by piling up the salad and veggies, eating fruit when I crave sweet things and trying to minimise avoidable stressors. Even switching back to paper books instead of reading off of a glowing tablet screen makes a difference.
The thing is I AM going to keep getting stronger.
Yes, the last few weeks has not been great but I'm certainly not anything close to throwing in the towel. I've done enough not to have lost anything or gained any weight. I had a break and I needed it. This phase will pass and sooner or later the motivation fairy will visit again.
Until then I'll keep on sharpening the basics and eating pretty good and putting energy into health and recovery rather than deprivation and effort.