To celebrate the release of the new book, Hot Sweaty Mamas, I’m delighted to share a guest post from one of the authors, Kara Thom. Find out more about the book here, and follow Kara on twitter. You’ll notice it’s similar in nature to this recent post regarding the place for excuses.
Missed Your Workout? Was it an Excuse or a Reason?
by Kara Douglass Thom
There are no good excuses to skip a workout. That’s right. None. However, there are plenty of good reasons that might interfere with exercise. Excuses take on many forms, but 99.8 percent of them are a variation of “I don’t have time,” or “I’m too tired.” We’ve all been there.
If you’ve ever missed a workout but knew deep down you could have made it happen, an excuse was in play. It’s like telling yourself a little white lie. Another sign: when explaining your decision, you sound like you’re trying to convince yourself—not just other people—that you did the right thing by skipping. As if repeating the story might make it true.
As for good reasons to miss a workout, those are always clear and definitive; they are often out of your control and don’t require any convincing on your part. You have a fever; your child vomited in the back seat on the way to the gym; your boss asked you to stay late to finish a project. You might have access to a Plan B workout option, but if you don’t, no need to feel guilt. This is especially important for those who tend to err on the side of exercising at all costs; who don’t always recognize a good reason to skip a workout when they should.
And just as you would if you missed a workout because of an excuse, a reason not to exercise one day shouldn’t be the end of all future workouts. Tomorrow’s a new day. Will you choose to work out, or not?
Sometimes we need to make trade-offs in life. In the book, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel 2011), we share what we call a “Sweaty Decision Tree” that can guide readers to answer that question, “Should I work out or not?” Variables include whether or not the workout will leave you more or less stressed, what your workout plans were the day before, and if you think a workout is possible the following day.
What may be a good reason one day might be an excuse on another. An excuse for some people might be a good reason for someone else. In order to know the difference on this case-by-case basis you have to be in tune with your body and mind so you can be true to your needs and goals. And if you do miss a workout—whether because of an excuse or a reason—know that it doesn’t have to end your commitment to fitness.
This guest post comes from Kara Douglass Thom, a triathlete, freelance writer and mother of four. She and Laurie Kocanda are the co-authors of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom.