NOTE: If a continued fear of weight gain or what your body might look like is keeping you trapped in the cycle of overtraining, please know that this is not unusual, and working through it with a trained professional is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself.
Last month I offered some ways to help you recognize and break the spiral of overtraining. If you have stopped overtraining or are in the process of doing so, you may feel a little lost about what to do next. Here are a couple of things I do when I need to reset my purpose to train. First, DO NOTHING. Yep, nothing. This is very active and very powerful. If you have been overtraining, you have been at odds with your body, and now is the time to stop and just listen. Doing nothing allows you to receive the cues your body has been sending you instead of fight them. Notice if this feedback makes you feel defensive or overwhelmed and work on accepting it with compassion and gratitude. What you are receiving in this moment is a gift. Practice doing nothing - a lot. Like any exercise, the more you do it, the more proficient you will become at it, and the more quickly you will use it when needed. This is a mighty skill! After you have had the chance to receive your body's feedback, ACCEPT YOUR POWER TO CHOOSE HOW YOUR HEALTH WILL THRIVE. This is another mighty skill! You create sacred space in your schedule and in your spirit when you stop overtraining, and the restrictions of fear, expectation or obligation no longer belong there. Instead, choose to fill that space with activities that make you feel confident and at peace with your body, and that recognize your strengths and limitations. This is a great time to get curious about yourself! These activities do NOT have to be just physical. Taking an art or music class could be just what you need right now. When you choose from a place of understanding and honoring yourself, you cannot mess this up - even if all you learn is that something you have tried is not for you! Remember, your ultimate goal is to create sustainable exercise habits so you can have the healthiest life now and in the future. The messages we have received about what makes us valuable are deeply-ingrained, so do not feel defeated if you find yourself in the overtraining spiral again. Reset. DO NOTHING. CHOOSE. Regain your power.