Scheduling Burnout

1 Jul

I’m one of those people who gets really motivated and inspired at the start of a project. I love starting things, my mind is fresh, everything is new, I see life in technicolor. This challenge has not been any different.

From planning my meals with care to working out exactly the way I said I was going to I have been enamored with the whole process of achieving a new normal, forming new habits. I’ve been so excited and energized at times that I couldn’t go to sleep at night. I’d lay in my bed thinking about how awesome my run was going to be the next day and how awesome that fresh filet of salmon was going to taste after the workout.

And now day number 12 has come upon me… cooking is getting slightly annoying, my body is not only physically aching from the workouts but I am very aware of old injuries. The people at the gym everyday are the same. And here I thought I was doing so well, maybe this wasn’t meant to be, maybe I am not cut out for this lifestyle.

I don’t actually believe that, I may think it for a moment, but I am not subscribing to that channel. What did happen today is I didn’t account for burnout. According the Mac version of the Oxford American Dictionary burnout is defined as “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”

Mentally or physically collapsing as a result of this challenge would break my heart because this is something that I really want and have finally had the courage to go after.

A common thing one may talk about now is how to prevent burnout, I’m not going to do that, I am going to tell you that burnout is mostly inevitable and scheduling it can do wonders. Having been at the brink of burnout today I took an impromptu time-out. Not a time-out from my challenge, but time-out from pushing my body and mind to uncomfortable limits to assess what’s happening and get proper rest. My scheduled burnout time involves going to sleep a couple hours earlier than normal and consciously uncommitting to what I committed to doing tonight. (That’s why you won’t see the update at the end of this post)

The instant result from schedling this time tonight is I noticed that my diet’s been off. I have not been eating according to plan, I’ve been forgetting to eat carbs. Eating a low-carb diet is somehting I used to do when I first started training with weights a couple of years ago. It’s tiresome and takes a mental strain. I have unconsciously been doing this the past 10 days, it’s no wonder I was experiencing a mental and physical collapse.

I have also scheduled two “cheat” meals for the weekend, one for Friday, one for Sunday. Incorporating cheat meals and burnouts prevents unscheduled cheating and straying from the plan. I will give you an update after the weekend, to let you know how scheduling the burnout made a difference in practice.

With all that said, it’s 11.30pm and I am going to bed!

2 Responses to “Scheduling Burnout”

  1. Armando Vindel July 1, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    I think it’s worth noting that you’ve not actually been “off your diet” in any way, nor have you been “low carbing”, but rather you’ve been NOT eating for what you plan to do – and instead simply eating a meal.

    • 40daykedge July 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      Yes, that’s a good point, I have not been on a ‘diet,’ I am changing my diet to include lean proteins and fresh veggies in every meal. What I did unconsciously was eat too few carbohydrates. By default, I was eating sushi without rice, choosing salads over wraps and sandwiches, not even buying bread, forgetting about the potatoes in my cupboard. Once I took a time out to assess what what happening with my energy levels, this is what I noticed and can now bring back those things to balance out, even more, the way I eat.

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