First confession. If you’ve been wondering what in the world the featured images on some of my recent posts have to do with the topics of said posts, I have two things to say. First, thank you for noticing. I’m thrilled that anyone pays that close attention. Second, you’re right. It’s rare that I can find images that relate directly to topics–there are only so many pictures of weights and exercising people I can stand to post. So, lately I’ve just been picking pictures I like. Similar to how I pick racehorses or bottles of wine. If they have a fun name and/or a pretty label, that’s good enough for me. And lately I’ve been drawn to pretty pictures; aspirational pictures; pictures of places I’d like to be. Because…

It has been unbelievably difficult to write this blog this summer. Probably against the rules of blogging to say that, but it’s true. If I could write about whatever I wanted, maybe it would be different. But this blog is about health, and fitness and being kind to ourselves. And honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve been doing well at any of those things here lately.

I’ve been craving comfort food and familiarity and sleep and funny YouTube videos and articles about soldiers reunited with the service dogs who protected them in Afghanistan.

What I haven’t been craving is 6am workouts and trying new exercises and vegetables and de-bunking frustrating articles about “magical” foods that eliminate body fat.

But, I’ve been figuring out ways to make those healthy things I know I need to do appealing and achievable given my current attitude. For example…

There are three workouts that actually sound appealing to me at the moment–my treadmill time (aka rocking out to iPod time), a stretching/barre workout and a lower body strength training one. So, I alternate between those, depending on how I feel that day. Not a ton of variety in my workouts on this plan, but variety isn’t always necessary.

The advantage to this plan is that I actually am getting exercise into my day, and by repeating the same few workouts and exercises, I can see improvements in strength that I might not notice if I were alternating between a dozen workout options.

Those two things constitute a win in my book.

I know we hear a lot about why we should mix up our workouts, and there’s a lot to be said for variety. But there are ways to add variety that don’t require doing a totally different workout every day of the week. You can up the amount of weight you lift, play around with the tempo of exercises, alternate between the beginner/intermediate/advanced modifications of an exercise. You get the idea.

And when you are doing something different every day, you can miss out on the opportunity to feel mastery over a particular exercise or movement. You simply don’t get enough repetitions of one thing to experience that. And that is an awesome feeling and one you don’t want to miss out on. It’s confidence-boosting and morale-boosting and motivating.

That’s one example, but I’m trying to do that with the other areas of my health and fitness life too–find ways to get as much of the benefit of healthy choices as I can when everything feels so difficult.

What are some ways you all find to make healthy eating or exercise or sleep easier when you’re overwhelmed? Please share below!

Here’s a little gift I wanted to leave you with. It was recommended to me by my best friend and it is one of my favorite YouTube finds of the summer. Enjoy!

I Swimsuit Season So Hard. This is awesome. I’m not even going to summarize it because I don’t want to step all over the funny.

‘Til next time…