The 5 Stages of Workout Related Grief


It’s nearing the end of February and I already find myself receding back to my old habits.  Maybe it’s these dreary, frigid temps or the fact that my child gets up 4.5 times a night screaming for his ma-ma, ba-ba or any other two syllable “word” he decides to holler down the hall.  Whatever the reasoning, when that 5 a.m. alarm clock goes off I find myself hitting the snooze button and skipping that morning workout I was so gung-ho about the evening before. 

I’ve learned a lot after having my first child and have struggled with constant feelings of self-doubt rather than self-love.  I question how my actions and reactions will affect my son in the future and how the love for myself directly affects the overall way I feel and behave everyday.  Because, if I don’t fully love and care for myself, how am I supposed to love and care for this tiny human who depends solely on me?  It’s a battle.  Which is why I decided to start this fresh-faced year off with a membership to my local Orange Theory.  I’ve been going for several months now, but decided this is the year to stop making excuses and to start taking action to get the old ME back…you know that person I was before I had a baby.

Since I, like most people, are probably in the same workout dreaded boat…I have come up with a list of the 5 stages of workout related grief that I deal with on a weekly basis.

1. Signing up for a class:

OT has an app available to prebook classes which makes it super convenient to work in a workout according to your schedule.  At noon the day before you sign up you feel up and at ‘em, ready to take on the world and what better way than to schedule that morning workout.  Just think…you would be up, active, burning calories and ready to start your day all before your children or husband wake up to start theirs! #SuperMom!

2. Regret:

You know that exact moment when you start trying to make every excuse in the book for not going to your scheduled class.  I’m too busy, I have a headache, it’s that time of the month, my stomach kind of hurts…oh is that the baby crying again, maybe his stomach hurts also.  Too bad, so sad…looks like I can’t go!

3. Bargaining:

The third stage, bargaining.  It goes a little something like this: “if I work out this morning then I don’t have to feel so guilty about that 2,000 calorie fettuccine alfredo dish I had last night” Score!  Or it could sound a little something like this…which happens often in my house…“if I work out tomorrow morning, I can finish that bottle of wine tonight!” WINNER!…And as my glass fills to the brim with that Cab I have in my kitchen I relax a little about that early start time.

4. Acceptance:

This stage of my morning routine usually kicks in about 15 minutes after I have half-heartedly rolled out of bed.  I’ve made it a point to lay out all my workout clothes the night before.  It gives me 1 less excuse to not get out of bed and 1 more excuse to sleep in an extra 10 minutes.  After I’ve washed the sleep out of my eyes and pulled my hair back I revel in my unyielding determination to get back into those low-rise skinny jeans I wore pre-baby muffin top (hey, a girl can dream)!  This is also the stage where regret creeps up again and gives you the stink eye.

5. You Go Glen Coco:

Ahhh, the final stage.  This hits right after the workout, when my face is magenta and the boob sweat is relentless.  It’s that moment as I’m walking out of the gym and into the crisp morning air.  It is a feeling of euphoria, a feeling of strength.  It’s that I can handle anything this day throws at me kind of feeling…and it’s the reason I keep going, keep waking up at 5 a.m. and keep the hamster wheel spinning.