After coming home from Italy, I've found it difficult to get back into the strength training routine. I'm a cardio lover, but sometimes weights can get boring/tedious for me. And so I just kind of ignored all strength training (except for those push ups, of course!).
I've found myself facing a lot of mirrors since arriving home- no more than normal, but it seemed like a lot after never seeing myself in full length mirrors while I was traveling. And one of the things I couldn't help but notice (with the critical eye that only we as individuals reserve for ourselves) was that my posture wasn't as good as it could be, nor was my tummy as flat as it was just a few weeks ago. A few weeks with no strength training after doing it steadily every day or every couple days for months makes a huge difference on the body!
Thus when I saw this in the mirror I frowned- something that certainly is not a healthy habit to take up! But finally I did some abs exercises one day and the next day I paid special attention to my posture, and lo and behold within a day or two I could see my posture was improved dramatically, my tummy suddenly nicely toned! The miracle of some simple exercises.
I think its a lot easier to maintain a workout regime once you've got one going and you're seeing results than when you're just starting up or near the beginning of one. My heart just isn't into exercising when I stop working out and feel un-toned. But I become amazingly more motivated and enthusiastic when the difference is visible (at least, visible to me).
Maintaining is a struggle because you know you've reached the point where you have to do this your whole life to keep it up, and that can be daunting. But even with that in mind, its easier to be at the point of maintaining and carrying out the workout than it is to be at the start or partway through your journey to your fitness goals. So bear that in mind, if you're just starting out: it will get easier! If you are at the point of maintaining and then you stop exercising for a month, you can jump right back onboard and notice results within just a couple of days. And the same stands for nutrition, too.
I know that getting to your goals can become addicting, in one sense. I was so pleased with the muscle I was building and the fat I was losing that for a long time I didn't consider the idea that perhaps I'd reached the point of maintenance. That it wasn't necessary to lose more. We need to really remember that the goal is to reach a healthy maintenance level that our bodies approve of (and its going to be a different level for every body). It's not about losing or gaining, its about maintaining. The stress of life and focus on an endpoint can blind us, so every now and then, we need to reasses and reevaluate our goals- think about where we have been, where we are, where we want to be. We're always growing and changing, always progressing, and so are those goals of ours.
What are some of your goals? Have you already reached them without your noticing it? Have you already stretched past your goals? Discuss!