“Just get out of the car Kat. Stop being a sook. You have come this far, you can’t give up now. After everything you have been through, every session you have already done and you choose NOW to give up. Do it, open the door and get out of the fucking car.”
It was 7pm on a Tuesday night and I was sitting in my car in the car park of the gym. I was mentally trying to talk myself into getting out of the car. I was exhausted, I was hungry, and my whole body ached. There wasn’t a muscle in my entire body that wasn’t sore. I wanted to be anywhere else but here – at the gym again. Even worse was that I had to train legs and I had zero motivation to get me through this work out.
I looked down at my phone to scroll through Instagram for the billionth time and realised it was now 7:20pm. I had been sitting in the car for 20 minutes, I realised I could have been part way through my work out by now if I had of gotten out of the car immediately when I had gotten there.
I screamed. I screamed so loud my face and throat hurt. I could feel the veins in the side of my head and neck straining. My ears popped and then I took a couple of deep long breaths. I looked back up and checked myself in the mirror. My face was red and my eyes were bloodshot. But it felt good. It felt good to let out that scream. A scream of sheer frustration, tiredness and mental and physical pain. I wiped my eyes and got out of the car.
Leading up to this moment I had completed well over 40 weeks of consistent training and tracking my food. Up until this moment I had never considered not training – I had a 100% attendance record. I had never missed a work out. It didn’t matter how sick I was, or what I had on. I have completed every single session every week. Now whether that shows my level of sheer dedication or utter stupidity I do not know…. Most likely a combination of both. I prided myself on my level of commitment and enthusiasm, I had goals to achieve and nothing was getting in the way of that.
Every day I would look forward to gym and be itching to finish work so I could go and train. All day I would run through my mind the exercises I was going to do and what muscle groups I would be focusing on. Now all of a sudden I dreaded the thought of training. It wasn’t exciting me anymore and it felt like a chore. Now I loathed that I HAD to go to the gym. Everything was irritating me. This wasn’t fun anymore and I was uncomfortable. I had reached a new level in my journey and it had gotten hard.
And just like that I had lost my Mojo.
Once I realised how I was feeling it made me feel even worse. What the hell is going on? Why do I feel like this NOW? Where did my motivation go? And how on earth do I get it back? Will it ever come back? My mind was in over drive, my body was numb and I was at breaking point. The honeymoon period was over and the shiny rose coloured glasses had come off. The reality of everything was setting in as I got deeper and deeper into levels of being uncomfortable.
The next couple of weeks were a blur. I felt like a zombie, everything I needed to do felt ten times more difficult than usual. I had a permanent ‘dead’ look on my face and the smallest things were annoying me. I remember one night my husband had plans where he was going out and wouldn’t be home all night till the next day. Great I thought – I will have the house to myself, I can watch TV eat my food and go to bed. When I had arrived home after gym he was home and he told me his plans had been cancelled. All of a sudden I was angry and annoyed. “You weren’t meant to be home!” I said to him in a stern voice. He then explained again that his plans had been cancelled and then asked me if it was a problem. I responded with “yes it is! I wasn’t expecting you home and I just want to sit on the couch and watch TV”. I knew as soon as I said it out loud it sounded dumb. I was being an idiot. He pointed out that I could in fact still do that, but I wasn’t being rational at this point. I wanted to sit in silence with no one around and enjoy my shows.
Incidents like this kept happening as I got progressively more miserable. My outburst when we were in the Bunnings car park because we had been out longer than I anticipated and I was hungry. My hissy fit at the gym because someone was on the machine I needed – and they weren’t even using it correctly. The meltdown I had in the kitchen when we had run out of zucchinis. The deathly looks I was giving people when they were just interrupting me or disrupting my routine in the slightest way. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I was withdrawing heavily from the people around me. I wasn’t myself and I felt alone and disconnected from everything and everyone. The fact that other people around me including my husband could freely eat what they want and train when they felt like it was making me angry to the point that if someone complained about something in their life I would get right up on my high horse and have the attitude of “You don’t even know what hard is. You have no right to complain about anything.” I was getting so caught up in everyone else and what they were doing it had in turn messed me up mentally. I had fucked myself and I now needed to somehow un-fuck myself.
When friends started checking on me that’s when I knew I had to do something. “Just dropping a line to see if you are OK? You seem a bit off,” “Is everything OK? You have been a bit quiet,” and my personal favourite “I remember the days when Kat used to smile” my coach announced in front of the team while we were warming up for our team HIIT. He used to refer to me as “Captain Keen Bean” and now I just felt like a mung bean, just there for the sake of being there but no real substance to it, not very tasty and not something anyone is excited to see when it comes out on your plate. I didn’t want to be a mung bean.
You know what’s hard? Being 100% real with yourself. I had to start by acknowledging why I was feeling the way I was feeling. What led me down this destructive path? I had to start looking at the things that were bothering me and do a massive reality check on myself. I was choosing to feel this way. I was blaming other people’s actions and other things going on in my life for my lack of motivation and used them as excuses to justify not training as hard. Not preparing my day properly. Not doing everything I possibly could to get the best results I could. It was easier that way you know? It’s always easier to blame others, to find an excuse to make you feel better as to why you are at the point you are at in your life with anything you are trying to achieve really. Cause god forbid it’s not MY fault is it….
Life is always going to happen around you, people and priorities are always going to be changing and when a number of those collide and you run out of hands and mental capacity to jungle everything it’s only natural to try and take the easy road. Especially when what you are working towards has become incredibly hard. I imagine this happens to a lot of people and it has happened to me before when working towards things I have previously wanted. It’s that feeling of being uncomfortable and the effort you are having to exert to achieve it seems like a mountain – especially when it’s a goal that may take a while to achieve. Like saving for a house, changing careers, studying for a degree, starting your own business, working on a stale relationship or in my case prepping for a bodybuilding competition. You tend to hit a point when it’s so damn hard, you start questioning why the hell you are even doing this. Does it really matter? There are so many other things going on in my life that I am either missing out on or not being able to enjoy – is this really worth it? What if I don’t succeed? Was it all for nothing? Maybe I could just stop now, I am pretty happy with my body and what I have achieved so far, what’s the point of even competing?
It wasn’t easy but I knew I needed to give myself the biggest slap in the face with my own advice. You know how in the back of your mind you generally know what you should do – you have just been choosing to ignore it, and even when someone gives you the advice you need to hear, you still ignore it? Because you want to hang on to your excuses and not actually put the hard work in? That’s what I needed to come to terms with first. Get ready to WORK Kat – I started operation “get myself back on track” and spent a good couple of days addressing a few key issues that were killing my motivation.
I reached out to a few key people, I had a big chat with my husband and discussed some of my expectations and support I really felt I needed, I got my comp prep book out and pre-wrote out a couple of weeks’ worth of training plans so they were ready to go, I looked back at old pictures of myself and reminded myself how far I had come, I re-read my own advice on my own Instagram posts and my previous blog posts and I also sat down and set some goals for my health and fitness to work on straight after I finish competing. Those were key to keeping me focused and to have something to look forward to after comp. One of the biggest issues I addressed though was re-focusing on myself and stopping myself from comparing my body and level of fitness to others. I was getting too caught up on other people’s progress and achievements and letting my insecurities get the better of me.
I went back to gym and completely smashed my work out, there was a fire in my belly and the adrenaline was all coming back to me. I felt good and strong and like nothing else mattered. I had my plan in hand, I had my partner and friends by my side and clear goals I had set out to achieve. I was on a mission.
It was 7:45pm on a Tuesday night, I had just finished my last set on the leg curl. I stood up and could see myself in the reflection of the huge windows of the gym “Who’s my biggest competition I said to myself – you’re staring at her sweetie.”