For so many years I struggled to stick to regular exercise because I would be sitting at my desk at work ready to leave for the gym and think things like...'there is no way I can exercise now I am so tired', 'I have had such a big day I need to just go home tonight, I will go tomorrow instead'. I would visualise how hard the class would be, all the sweating and exhaustion and it would always put me off going to my workout. However I would somehow end up going home feeling good that I have decided to go workout in the morning instead after a good night's sleep, but sure enough I would wake up tired and decide to not exercise, stay in bed and opt to workout after work instead.... and the cycle would continue!
I wasn't lying to myself, I was tired, mentally tired. What I didn't understand then was how being mentally tired doesn't mean that you are physically tired in any way. That I was giving in to my mental exhaustion instead of focusing on rectifying it.
I have learnt that burning energy, creates more energy. When I started to workout regularly I began to notice 3 major changes that effected my energy levels:
1. My sleep was of a much higher quality because by body was using up more energy during the day. (So by getting a better rest through the night allowed me to wake up with more energy.)
2. I was releasing a tone of stress through exercise. (It would feel like a emotional weight was getting lifted off me after a every session - which in turn made me feel so much more energised.)
3. lastly I noticed it was reeving up my metabolism and I began craving healthier foods. This made me make better meal choices and stopped me skipping meals - something I would do when I was busy. (Regular eating is a no brainer for keeping your energy levels up and stable. More importantly wholesome quality foods are key for feeling more alert and energised.)
I believe that the flip side to all of this is also true - not burning energy, creates less energy. I have come to believe that you manifest what you believe. If you are thinking negatively of yourself, constantly thinking you are tired, then the result is this is exactly what will be.
Most of us have experienced the scenario where you were feeling tired but managed to have the will power to get to your workout and once you had finished you felt good and glad that you went. So we know result is always positive the problem is changing your thought process to have these thoughts before your workout and sticking to it.
Changing your mind set and habits isn't easy! I am the first to admit that it took me a lot of attempts and a lot of discipline but for the first time in a long time I was able to keep at it, and with time it slowly becomes apart of your routine and less and less will power is required to get yourself to your workout.
One thing that worked for me was making some small easy decisions that would lead me to keeping my promise with myself rather than focusing on the pending decision to go workout or not. An example of this is that when I left work i'd make sure I would just turn left out of my street no matter what - a very simple thing to do without thinking about it, but this would mean I was driving the gym route home rather than the shorter route just home. Once I was already on the route to the gym it was easier to commit to just going. My morning routine was similar I decided to commit to just getting up out of bed and turning on the light as soon as my alarm went off (literally straight away!) - not to think about my workout or decide how tired I am. Once I was standing up and the lights were on it was easier for me to just go to my training as I was now awake and out of my warm comfy bed.
Before long these small decisions that would help me keep up my exercise became auto pilot decisions, like when you decide which shoe to put on first, you don't think about it and weigh up your options you just pick one and do it!
The result is that I get to feel great more often than I ever used to, not only am I getting all the usual physical benefits of exercise, but I am also increasing my energy, no longer coming home drained, sleeping better, releasing mental strain and stress, making better food choices and most importantly I am not letting myself down all the time - which is a honestly the best feeling of all!