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Why All the Pressure?

Required Rest Day
Today I had every intention of getting up and doing a low-impact step workout to start the day then get my weight workout done at lunch. At about 4:30 am, I decided that wasn't going to happen. I'm still rather sore from weights on Monday, and my legs are actually feeling a tad heavy from yesterday's run. So, as hard as it was for me to do, I took today as my rest day (thought I was planning on taking the rest day tomorrow). I knew my workouts would suffer. My sinuses are also draining and causing me to have a nice little sinus headache. As much has I don't want it to rain, we desperately need the rain to wash away this pollen. People who never have allergy issues are even sick right now.

Lighten Up
For some reason, today's rest day was much harder for me to take, even though I absolutely knew I needed it. I seriously could have put my head down at any given point during the day and been asleep in minutes. Important thing to know about me: I am not a nap taker, I am not a good sleeper period. Anyway, for some reason I was having one of those days of stressing out over not being able to be perfect is pretty much the only way to sum it up. I push myself very hard all the time to be what I think everyone wants me to be, to be how they expect me to be, as well as what I want and expect out of myself. I try my darndest to be the one who can work full time, get in all my workouts, keep my house spotless, keep the dogs brushed and clean, always cook a great meal, be a good wife, sister, daughter, and friend, and the list goes on. I want to be perfect at everything, and end up perfect at nothing. I get so caught up in all of this that I often forget to just live and enjoy the little things in life.

Where does all of this pressure come from? Partly from within of course. I'm a super Type A personality obviously. I'm a perfectionist and I am a pleaser. I want to please everyone; I want to help everyone, and sometimes I forget to please and help myself. As an overachiever, I have set unachievable standards for myself. Where do these standards come from even? I find that I compare myself to others a lot. How well they are able to keep house, cook fantastic meals, how fast and far they run, how much weight they lift, how happy they seem in their jobs, in their marriages, in their lives in general. I want to be the one who just LOVES waking up in the morning. I want to LOVE every run, every weight session. I want to LOVE my job so much that I can't wait to get there. Actually, I just want to be happy happy happy period.

How many of you feel the same pressures? Do you often think the grass is greener...? My sister just happened to send me this great article today that I wanted to share: The Key to a Well-Lived Life: Lighten Up! by By Elizabeth Gilbert

Will it change everything immediately? Of course not. But maybe it'll help me keep things in perspective just a wee bit more. What do you do to keep yourself in check? Or do you feel out of control trying to stay on top of it all?

Sorry for the serious post today. I just feel like it may be something that more and more of us experience and never let on to others that this is how we are all feeling. We're all walking around trying to be perfect rather than leaning on one another for support and reassurance.

Making it Easier on Myself
Now on to dinner. After reading the article and writing this post, I decided to take some pressure off of myself today and not stress out about dinner. So, no new recipes here tonight. Just a good old veggie bean burger (homemade stashed in freezer of course) reheated on the grill, topped with spinach and roasted red bell peppers with grilled sweet potato "fries." And to make it even easier, no pictures tonight (written with a twinge of guilt I must add).

My challenge for you is to do yourself a favor either today or tomorrow and lighten up. Do something to take a little pressure off of yourself. I'd love to hear what you did by the way!

Comments

  1. We are very similar, as you know. I am a crazy type A person as well. But when cancer happpened it really put things into perspective for me. Things I thought were important are now meaningless to me.

    I wake up everyday happy to have another day with my wonderful husband that I love more than anything in this world. Nothing else really matters. I try to do the best I can with all my responsibilities. But what doesn't get done waits until tomorrow.

    Enjoy your veggie burgers and time with Jason. Family is the most important thing!

    hugs,
    Alicia

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  2. im type A as well in many aspects. when it comes to exercise i feel i have to alays do better than the last time.. do more.. push harder etc. a couple years ago i burnt out my adrenal glands.. it was terrible. but i know exactly what caused it - overload of caffiene and over exercise. i ate really healthy.. i just didnt slow down. that piled with stress and work.. yuk! to heal my adrenals i had to take the first week off and do nothing! for anyone who loves exercise.. one week is beyond difficult.. but ive learnt so much from my mistake and i give my body rest when i feel it slowing down and getting that 'sleepy/angry/lazy' feeling.. instead of stressing myself out and pushing through it (with caffeinated help) lol.

    XO (ps. dont feel guilty for not posting the food pics- i can imagine how it looks and i know it was fabulous :D)

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  3. a lot of the happiness i've discovered lately has come from releasing the expectation that life has to be exciting and thrilling at all times, and accepting the reality - the good and the bad. it's a balance between doing what i do and not having to have it be perfect all the time, but still maintaining the motivation to do it.

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  4. I am very type A too and I have learned to just chill by thinking how much things will REALLY matter in the grand scheme of things. It is hard, but we have to have priorities. And being happy and as stress free as possible definitely needs to be a priority. :)

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  5. Thanks for the post, Heather! I hear you. I def have certain issues n don't let people on to them, because I just want to project positivity and heath and x y z...but I do feel like I get uptight about certain things, and it is good to let it out...and lighten up! thanks for the reminder ;)

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  6. I'm going to take your advice and lighten up tomorrow!

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  7. Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean You are so incredibly right. A clean house doesn't have to mean a showroom house right? A bad run can teach us something and we don't always have to WANT to exercise or cook or even put on makeup for that matter! The meal can be frozen veggies re-heated, it's the company that matters most or forgoing indoor chores to be outside in the garden soaking up sunshine and fresh air. Hugs lady!

    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel Exactly - learn from our mistakes, correct them, and come out better on the other side and so much smarter (hopefully). I appreciate your comments!

    Lynn @ The Actors Diet At what point do we all expect life to be so perfect all the time? Funny how that happens huh? You're so right about learning to accept all aspects of (the reality) of life. It's what we do with the bad that really matters right?

    Tina @ Tina Bit of Faith Fitness and Fun I totally agree that being stress free should be a priority. It'll certainly help with the happiness part and likely make everything else feel easier and more enjoyable too.

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  8. Kristina @ Freestyle Fitness Addiction Hey girl - I think we could all use the Lighten Up reminder! It's so easy to get caught up in trying to portray ourselves as happy all the time because of the notion that if we say it enough and act it long enough then it will just be. Everyone has bad days right? And we shouldn't be ashamed of them.

    April @ The Weight I Am I know you've got a ton going on with your move. I'd love to hear what you do to lighten up!

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  9. Great post! I'm sort of the opposite, I wish I had a little more type A in me! I'm perfectly okay with rest days, it's the workout days that are difficult for me.
    Congrats on realizing you need a break, and I hope you get some sleep!

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  10. Wow. I was reading this and my husband caught a bit of it over my shoulder and was like ummm, are you reading this? That's you! So yes, I know JUST how you feel, shocking I know, right? I am always trying to do so much, be so much to everyone and everything in my life and like you said, sometimes all that spreading around leaves your effort watered down in some areas vs. others. It's not fair to set such high standards for myself but its so hard to break out of that habit, you know? Even tonite, my run was feeble, I was struggling from the minute my foot hit the pavement but for the FIRST time, I did not beat myself up for it for an hour after. I had a great conversation with Scott while we ran feebly along (or while I ran feebly along, Scott was fine!) and that was more important to me than trying to push myself today. It's those little things when you let up on your high standards that matter- like you did tonight with dinner. You're still an awesome wife who just so happened to want to make dinner easy on yourself for a change. Nothing wrong with that! Enjoy that rest day today, enjoy the relaxing dinner tonight and realize you are still an amazing and inspiring woman no matter what. Hugs! :)

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  11. Michelle @ The Garlic Chronicles Wouldn't it be great if Type A and Type B people could exchange bits and pieces of both personalities?

    Jessica @ EatDrinkBreatheSweat Thank so much girl! So glad to hear that you didn't beat yourself up on the run and instead found the best part of it - time with Scott. If we could just stop putting so much pressure on ourselves for everything to be perfect, then we'd likely realize how many things were actually pretty darn close!

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  12. ya know - it is so simple-sounding - lighten up - but SO hard to do. Good point. I'll lighten up tomorrow and letcha know how I do ;-)

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  13. Great post. I'm not a type A personality, but I still struggle with expecting things to be a certain way, or getting down on myself for not being able to control every aspect of my life. Sometimes we definitely need to take a step back and re-evaluate things, and appreciate life (and ourselves) for what it is, flaws and all!

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  14. I can totally identify with you - I am constantly trying to balance out my perfectionist personality. I've finally come to the realization that I'm never going to be perfect in every area, and I'm not even sure I want to be. It would make me crazy! Jon tells me all the time that what he wants most is a relaxed, happy, content wife, regardless of whether or not a perfect dinner is on the table every night and the laundry is always done.

    I have to remind myself every day of what's important.

    Way to go for going a little easy on yourself tonight...you deserve it!

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  15. I have most of tomorrow's post written and i am posting about this very thing! Type A, yes, but also with ALOT of wiggle room for life to unfold organically and not stuff it into a neat and tidy box. B/c it's just not.
    Take care of yourself and dont be hard on yourself, Heather :)
    xo

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  16. What a great idea to make veggie burgers and put them in the freezer! I shall do that!!

    I know, sometimes it is hard to have that day off, but it is good we listen to our bods and actually do it!

    XXOO

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  17. Jolene @ To Be Determined It is most definitely easier said than done! I know that it worked for me last night though. I plan on making a conscious effort more often.

    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg It's interesting that this isn't JUST a type A personality issue. It seems to affect all of us, maybe just at different levels.

    Candice @ ChiaSeedMe I know that my husband wants a relaxed, calm wife more than anything too! This is why I am making a more conscious effort to chill out and enjoy life as it comes my way.

    Averie @ Loves Veggies and Yoga Interesting this was on both of our minds huh? Hugs to you!

    Kris @ iheartwellness I have about 4 different types of veggie/bean burgers in my freezer at all times. LOL. It can make for a quick, healthy dinner or lunch. It seems to be the same amount of effort to make 4 patties or 8 patties then I've made it easier on myself at another time. Take care!

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  18. I'm so glad you listened to your body and gave it what it was obviously asking for. Taking time for yourself makes you a better person in general. I'm Type A as well so I know that's much easier said than done.

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  19. thank you for this post today. i have been feeling like a failure workout wise because work has been hectic and i have not been as deligent with my workouts. so true to ease up and go with the flow. i am glad you rested too!

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  20. I can totally relate to this. Rest days are so hard for me to take. I take every Sunday off and in my mind that should be enough. If I feel off during the week I am so bad about listening and taking a day off...ah...one day maybe I will learn.

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  21. I definitely have moments where I feels the same pressures as you've talked about here. I think it's our human nature to want to be the best in everything and love everything we do! It's hard work to cook perfectly all the time, enjoy our workouts or runs every second or love our life each day but tomorrow is always a new day and hopefully we'll wake up loving life more than we did the day before.

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  22. Katie @ Up Fit Creek I totally agree with taking time for yourself in order to better yourself!

    Kalli @ Fit and Forty Something So glad to hear the post was something that could help you out in some way. I think Failure is never trying. Life can get insane for everyone and sometimes something has to suffer and that may be a workout, but it doesn't mean you're failing. You just have to get back on track.

    Kelly @ Healthy Living with Kelly I always schedule in 1 rest day too. Why is it so hard to believe that sometimes we may need more than 1 and that's perfectly OK?

    Lauren @ A Fit Foodie I agree with you. Why should we expect every run, every workout, every meal to be to the nth degree? Life doesn't work that way right?

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  23. Great post, Heather...and I'm struck by how alike the message is to my post today! Great minds think alike...and thanks for being so honest. i'm a Type A personality, too, and I found out that the person who gives me the MOST stress is myself! Definitely, we need to lighten up, and take things in slower stride...or we'll never enjoy our life!

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  24. Thanks Sophia @ Burp and Slurp I agree with you on causing the majority of the stress all on my own. How sad is that huh?

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