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Why Getting Off Your Plan Is Ok & How To Stay Flexible

By Sara Baker

I have a typical Type A personality.  I like organization, structure, schedules.  Let me rephrase that, I LOVE schedules.  I would rather lose my wallet than my day planner.  I often eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and then the same thing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I like having a workout schedule where I do workout A on Monday, workout B on Tuesdays etc. and repeat.   Like most fitness professionals I advocate changing your workouts often, but for 6-8 weeks I have to know exactly what I am doing on certain days.  The love of this strict workout schedule might be from years of triathlon training where I did have a very specific workout plan and I felt that I did not have any room to deviate or I would be completely thrown off.     Or from being an over achiever since the day I was born and scheduling and organization makes me feel successful (I know weird, right? :))

However, over the last year as I have backed off my triathlon training, I have learned to become much flexible in many areas of my life and I have been trying to really emphasize this with my clients.

As we all know, life does not always go as we plan it.  Many of my clients come to me and want a specific schedule for their workouts and nutrition plan.  What should I do on Monday? What about Thursdays?   We work out an ideal plan and off they go.  When I check in with them and ask if they completed their intervals on Tuesday and they say no, I ask, “ok, no problem, what did you do instead?” They reply, “well, nothing.”   This seems to play out with many of my clients.  If they cannot get their specific workout in, they throw in the towel and do not do anything.  Then they are confused about the next day….do they do yesterday’s workout or today’s workout?  You can see how it can become very easy to become demotivated and vow to start again next Monday.

As cliché as it sounds, something is always better than nothing.  Didn’t get up for your 30 min of intervals?  Do not stress, go for a nice long walk at lunch or schedule those intervals for after work.  Missed your back/bicep lift on Wednesdays?  It’s okay. You can lift back/biceps on a different day.  Give yourself some credit and cut yourself some slack.  [tweetherder]You do not get a rockin body from one workout. It is all about consistency over the long haul.[/tweetherder]  If you miss one workout while traveling, you will not suddenly gain 10lbs.  What about making an effort to walk around the airport while waiting for your plane?   You can always sneak physical fitness in if you are flexible.

I know this might sound silly to many of you, but missing my workouts or being off my schedule used to seriously stress me out.  It was something in my life that I could control and if I slept in and missed it, I then had to deal with GUIT the rest of the day.  Now, if my alarm goes off and I absolutely cannot get out of bed, I give myself permission to sleep in (as this is probably a signal my body needs it) and I make plans to either get my workout in later or even….gasp, have a rest day!

I am working with a client right now who cannot get on the schedule she wants and becomes so frustrated and ends up not doing any of the workouts.  BE FLEXIBLE!  I am all for planning what you are going to do in the gym so that you are not wandering around wasting time, but I will admit  it is liberating to not be tied to a specific schedule at all times and waking up and doing the workout that you want to do and that your body feels like doing! We are all doing the best we can and the fat loss lifestyle takes time, even all of us at JillFit are still continually learning what works for us. Being flexible will help you reach those goals!

Let me know if anyone else has had ‘flexibility’ issues in the past! :)

Related: 5 Ways to Hone Your Mental Attitude

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