The last few weeks have been pretty full on and I am still seven days away from having a proper rest day. The combination of a hectic work life, blogging every third day and my training schedule means I have had very little time to actually give my mind and body a proper rest. I knew the start of 2016 was going to be manic but things out of my control have made it far more frenetic than I expected. If this sounds like complaining I promise you that it isn’t, it is just the realisation that I have been pushing myself pretty hard, maybe too hard.
Yesterday saw the culmination of pushing myself so hard, my mood and motivation both went south rapidly and I left work in a pretty negative place. In the past I would have gone home and tried to get rid of the stress by binge eating chocolate, sweets or ice cream. I have been known to use all three when really under it. However doing this always leads to post-binge guilt and a day of suffering a sugar hangover (yes those really exist).
However last night I got rid of my stress in an altogether different way. I headed straight to the gym and threw myself into a 30-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. The only reason I was signed up to do the class was because it is my February First Time Fitness class but it was exactly what I needed! Throwing myself into something completely new, with no time to think about what I was doing meant that by the time I had finished the class my mind was clear. All the things that had been building up and slowly eating away at me had been forgotten.
The mix of battle rope swings, burpees, running on the spot, medicine ball slams, hitting a punch bag with a VIPR bar and squat jumps got my heart racing and lung burning. By the end of the class I soaked in sweat but felt amazing. Forty minutes earlier I had walked into the gym in a pretty crap mood but now I felt that the world wasn’t such a bad place. By the time I got home I knew that I could handle anything that was going to be thrown at me between now and my rest day.
I am not going to lie and say that I will never again resort to binge eating sweets when life gets stressful but I now know that there is another option and it is far more enjoyable. So next time you feel that the stress is getting too much don’t take it out on a bag of Haribo or a tub of Ben & Jerrys, go to the gym and use it as fuel for an amazing workout.