Lifting / Life: Why It’s Okay to Take a Break from Things You Love

I was editing my profile yesterday and I realized / remembered that the description for this blog includes the word “lifting”. I haven’t talked too much about that yet, and it may be something that doesn’t get talked about for awhile, even though I love to lift (and I love to talk about lifting!). Who among you has NOT had their ear talked off, or, unfortunately, lectured by past-me who felt the need to be a smug, superior jerk about lifting? I love to lift the weights, I really really do.


However, of late I’ve been taking a long stroll down that well-trodden path, Struggle Street. I really have. The last year, hell the last year and a bit, has been pretty crazy for me. Let’s examine, in point form, what has been happening:

  • husband (then fiance) moving to Australia after 12 months of LDR
  • planned a destination wedding
  • awful stressful visa process ugh ugh UGH
  • getting married โค
  • having a fairly active, not super restful (but wonderful) honeymoon
  • another wedding party when we got back
  • Christmas
  • family stresses
  • more visa garbage UGHHH
  • moving to America and staying with Ray’s (delightful) parents
  • apartment hunting
  • moving to Rutland, Vermont and furniture shopping for our first apartment
  • starting aย new job in a totally new health system
  • joining a new and not amazingly friendly (my impression) gym

Phew, right?! That’s a lot of things. Normally, the gym can be relied upon as something that makes me feel centered, something that grounds me and makes me happy. Lately it’s been an absolute chore, I dread every session. That ain’t right, at all.

At first I thought it was because I wasn’t eating enough, or enough of the “right things”. I found every way in the book to blame myself. I resigned myself to just “sucking it up” and going anyway because gaining fat and getting weak is totally unacceptable. I tried lots of things to get myself excited about the gym again. I bought a new program from an online coach I really have a lot of respect for, thinking that’d give me the jumpstart I needed to love the gym again. People here and there gently suggested that my life had been full of upheaval and maybe I just needed to take it easy but NO. That’s not me. I’m organized and motivated and I can do ALL OF THE THINGS!

Actually, no I can’t. I want to stand still for awhile. I’m tired to my bones and to whatever skeletal equivalent my soul has as well. I just want to nest with my husband, pull myself together and do the things that make me happy for awhile.

Crunch time came last week when, after the gym, I found myself in tears in Ponderosa (a Sizzler-style restaurant, don’t judge me, Ray loves that shit) while talking this out with my husband. Not my finest moment ๐Ÿ˜ I had had trouble articulating what the problem was before. I found myself telling him that I knew I had to keep working out because that was the only way I could eat food and not feel bad. It was the moment those words left my mouth that I realized there was a problem bigger than I had previously thought. That’s seriously disordered thinking and I have worked hard to try to get rid of those kinds of thought patterns. Alarm bells, right?

Right. So it’s time to take a break for awhile. I don’t anticipate it being a long break. I like feeling strong and having muscles. But it’s time for a reminder that those things don’t define me, and that I’m allowed to eat food to live, not just to lift. I’m not looking forward to the starting again, but for right now I feel strongly that this is the right thing for me and my body and my little family here in the backwoods of Vermont in the Spring.

And I guess the point of this post (because who the fuck honestly writes a post about taking a break from the gym? Get a real problem Fran) is to say that there is no shame in taking a break from something, even if you really love it. Taking a break isn’t failing. It’s a pretty big win in the game of understanding yourself and listening to yourself, whether it be your body, mind or soul. It doesn’t mean you love that thing any less. It just means you’re taking time to regroup.

Thanks for reading, take care of yourselves. You’re super important! โค

PS. Can we talk about my mug?! It’s no “I Am Very Busy and Important” mug but NEVERTHELESS..



6 thoughts on “Lifting / Life: Why It’s Okay to Take a Break from Things You Love

  1. Erica says:

    I did the same this with roller derby. It was a HUGE part of my life, and life basically went to shit for almost two years. Now that things have started getting better I’m back and even more thrilled than I was when I started. Breaks are good even for the things you love.


  2. Lou says:

    This post really resonated with me – I’ve just taken a short break from lifting myself and I’ve been mentally struggling with the reasons/justification of having that break since I started it. Lots of excuses, lots of bummed-outness because of the subsequent weight gain, lots of sad feels because I couldn’t “get” why I just wasn’t getting stuck in there and lifting. The reality is that sometimes you do need, for whatever reason, to step away for a while and that’s ok. This post is a timely reminder for me that it’s important to give myself a break and not be so hard on myself. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Freedom & Vanity says:

      Awww honey you have had some crazy shit going on in your life too! Crazy good, crazy bad, it’s all crazy huh? Don’t worry so much about reasons and justifications. Just do what feels right no matter what “should” feel right.


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