“Let’s talk about why you haven’t been coming to the gym.”
This week I met with my new personal trainer. My first personal trainer was fired (not my fault), and my second trainer was kind of a drill sergeant who I stopped seeing when I got overwhelmed with work.
My new trainer convinced me to come into the gym and get started again…or maybe my too-tight jeans convinced me.
Anyhoo, I was sitting in gym office with her while she typed my stats into the computer. She was a very petite young lady with a super long brown ponytail. Although she was tiny, she looked like she was strong enough to pick me up and break me over her knee.
I explained that I had been a no-show at the gym for a while because I’m incredibly stressed from my day job. And let’s just say I don’t handle stress well.
“What do you do when you feel stressed?” she asked.
Her eyes almost doubled in size, and she stared blankly at me for a minute. Apparently, that wasn’t the answer she was hoping for.
“Oooh…kaaay….” She turned back to the computer and furiously typed something. Next she had me hop onto the scale to get my weight and body fat.
“Did you know you’re at 34% body fat???” I was sure this poor girl was going to faint from shock. A large red poster above the scale helpfully informed me that 34% body fat was squarely in the obese category.
As I put my shoes back on, my trainer grilled me on why my job was stressing me out. I explained how I started working from home last year after moving across the country, my workload doubled, I had 4 business trips so far this year, and I deal with some unpleasant people who make my job harder than it needs to be.
At this point, I was feeling like a complete loser. I wanted to go home and cry into my pillow while devouring a bag of Twizzlers.
But then she said something I didn’t expect.
“Is there any way you could do less?”
I felt something shift inside me.
“Well…I…I have to work…” I stammered.
“What about just working part time?”
This time it was more than a shift. It was like I was being cracked open.
Do you ever get freaked out because someone said exactly what you’ve been thinking, only you haven’t told anyone, and then you get paranoid and wonder if some people can read minds?
I think I mumbled something about responsibility and paying bills.
“But what about your health?” She seemed truly concerned. I wondered how many other women she’d seen give up on themselves.
I also wondered why my other trainers hadn’t asked me about my life outside the gym.
My personal trainer had just become my secret life coach/therapist.
She noticed that I have stress oozing out of my pores.
- I’m tired of looking over my 25-item work to-do list (no joking, I counted) and feeling defeated every day when I can only check off 4 items.
- I’m tired of my annoying coworker who sends off snarky emails to a dozen people about how she thinks I don’t know what I’m doing.
- I’m tired of dealing with people who think their time is more important than mine.
- I’m tired of being told that I have new responsibilities without being included in the discussion about whether I even have time to take on new tasks.
- I’m tired of being so tired at the end of the day that I have no energy for the things that make me truly happy.
Why do I feel like I have to get everything done by the end of the day? Why don’t I complain when people dump stuff on me when I’m already behind schedule? Why did I put my work email on my phone?
I’m freakin’ tired, and I want to do less!
I’ve spent this week mulling over the idea of doing less and what that would mean.
- I could review my tasks with my manager and perhaps get some of them reassigned.
- I could stop checking my emails as they come in and only respond to them at the end of the day (if they haven’t worked themselves out).
- I could choose 3 items from my to-do list every day to focus on and ignore the big list.
- I could ask to work part time. (This is the scariest idea…but also the one that thrills me the most.)
I’m glad my new trainer gave me a wakeup call. I’m not sure where I’m heading yet, but something’s got to change. My health depends on it. Man, my LIFE depends on it!
And I hadn’t considered that doing less could feel like…more.
Ready to do less? Check out these articles:
Get Less Done: Stop Being Productive and Enjoy Yourself
How To Be Productive: Stop Trying, Do Less, And Experiment
Do you get overwhelmed and does it affect your health?
When have you chosen to do less?