What To Do When You Run Out Of Energy

You know the feeling. You had a crappy morning and now you feel drained. So drained it takes everything you have to just move at all. You want to lay in bed for the rest of the day. Let’s not.

It’s not an uncommon feeling, especially attached to mental health conditions. But I’m not a doctor or a counselor so instead of focusing on the why, I want to explain how I snap out of those days. (Side note: if you believe you are showing symptoms of mental health problems, please seek the help of a trusted professional).

Before we get started, this list seems dumb. If you’ve never felt the way I described (first of all, that’s great), you may not understand why this list is so basic. The truth is, there are days when some people need a list of the bare minimum. Bad days happen and it’s all we can do to get by. So if you do find the list a bit basic, please try not to judge those who need it.

The first thing you need to know is that you’re going to have to force yourself, at least a little. You have to make yourself do each task on the list and it may not be easy. It helps to only think of the task at hand, instead of focusing on the whole list or what you’re trying to accomplish after. The second thing you need to know is that sometimes, this won’t help. Sometimes you might not be able to do the list. And that’s okay. Berating yourself will not help and may make it much worse.

1. Don’t focus on what you’re doing wrong.

I kind of just said this one, but it’s important. You can’t move forward unless you stop beating yourself up.

2. Change your clothes

Usually when this feeling comes on for me, I’m in my most uncomfortable work clothes or I’m still in my PJs. Even if you’re going from PJs to PJs, change your clothes. Something fresh will make you feel much, much better.

3. Comb your hair

I can’t speak for people with super short hair, but for me, this helps make things feel a bit more in place.

4. Wash your face

Would a full shower be better? Sure, but you’re going for the bare minimum right now. In fact, on the off chance this step is even a bit much, face wipes go a long way.

5. Brush your teeth

Again, if this is too much, at least swish with mouth wash. Anything you can do to get your mouth feeling fresh.

6. Drink water

90% of the time that I feel like this, I haven’t been drinking water. Force yourself through one 8oz glass, then refill it and sip it.

7. Move

It helps to feel like you’ve moved around today, so I suggest trying an exercise that’s easier but doesn’t require a lot of preparation or effort. The key isn’t too workout, rather to get your heart beating slightly. Some great examples include:

  • YTWs
  • Jumping jacks
  • High knee march
  • Summo squats with side punches
  • Jog in place
  • Standing side crunch

Day 26 Update

It’s been a while since I gave a personal update. I’ve been keeping up with working out, either going to the gym or doing at home workouts. I’ve also gotten much better at restricting my calories and keeping count. All that said, I still haven’t lost more than my initial few pounds. The optimistic side of me hopes that’s because I’ve been building some muscle, which I believe a bit because I actually have gone down a dress size and there’s a bit less around my stomach to grab onto.

I know I still have a way to go but I do feel better and I’m excited to keep working out and blogging.

What I’ve Learned So Far and Day 9 Update

It’s been a bit over a week now that I’ve been consistently working out and honestly, I have a lot of thoughts.

The difference isn’t immediate

For one thing, it’s almost hard to say if I feel better or not. I always kind of figured that if I was working out consistently and eating better, I’d notice the difference right away. I will say that I think I have a bit more energy overall.

That goes for your weight too

I also thought that I’d see a bigger drop in my weight-loss right off the bat. A lot of people and blogs have said that there’s a big drop at the beginning and then it kind of plateaus. It’s possible that I just haven’t hit that point yet, but for right now, it just seems to be at a steady, healthy level of weight-loss. I’ve dropped about two pounds and am optimistic that I can lose a bit more soon.

Finding a good middle-ground

In the past I’ve gone into getting in shape really hard and with little to no build up. This time I think I’ve found a really good pace that is definitely pushing me, but it’s not pushing so hard that I can’t keep going. It’s one of the biggest problems I’ve had. Everyone’s middle-ground is going to be different too. Mine feels so low but I’ve worked up to running a mile and I’m starting to feel better about my basic routine.

Counting calories is so hard!

The most important thing starting off is to just LOG EVERYTHING. You really have to get into a good habit of recording everything you eat (and drink if it’s not water). It’s super tempting right off the bat to lie to your calorie counter. “I only ate 15 chocolate covered raisins, plus 10 you don’t need to know about” only hurts you in the long run. Your calorie counter couldn’t care less if you lie to it. It’s YOU who should care. Now that I’m starting to get into that good habit, the next step is actually cutting back on calories. That’s super hard too. The best advice I’ve seen for it is to change your mindset. Don’t focus on how much it sucks you can’t have ice cream or how it will make you skinny to skip that dessert. Instead focus on whether or not you’re hungry to begin with or if that food option is the one that’s going to make you feel best long term.

Find a rewards system

We are reward oriented. It’s so helpful to have a reward system set up for yourself so you can get through the day-to-day. Focusing long term can be super hard. Yes, long term your reward is feeling better and maybe something else you’ve promised yourself down the road. But it can make it easier if you also promise yourself small things like “If I stay below my calorie count this week, Friday I can have frozen yogurt!”

My Day 9 Mini Update

I want to see rewards so bad. Today was a rest day so I just did a mile at the gym. I’ve got a lot going on and I’m not sure when I’ll have time for everything. Just have to focus on moving one step in front of the other, I suppose.

My Second Week Workout and Day 8 Update

It’s the first day of Week 2 in my health journey and I’m so excited to keep going. I had a super early run this morning and I still need to get in my HIIT workout for the day (if you guys are interested in seeing what I’m doing, you can find that workout here). My biggest issue hasn’t actually been with keeping up my workouts, but more with counting my calories. It’s just so ingrained in me that I want to snack, it’s hard to resist in the name of weightloss.

As for what I’ve included in my second week workout and why, my bare minimum is to do cardio every day. Most days that means at least a mile on the treadmill, but I’ve included the stair climber and elliptical on one day to help me train for going on more hikes this summer. The end goal there is to not be panting on a 1 mile trail. Since the stairs are a bit higher impact I thought I’d split that day with a low impact elliptical run to finish it off.

The HIIT workouts are intense but a fun challenge and really push you to your limit. I’m still modifying the planks and burpees a bit, but we’re getting better. Later this week, I’ll post exactly what my arm, leg, and core day workouts look like so you can train with me if you’d like.

On a final note, I’m so happy to be a part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, especially because I get to share with you guys a special offer for Audible. I love listening to audio books when I workout, especially Harry Potter. And right now, if you guys sign up for a free trial through my link here, you get TWO free audio books. It’s such a great tool for your day, and you can help support this blog!

Day 6 Quick Update: I lost weight!

I’m not sure what amount of weightloss is really reasonable to celebrate but I’ve officially lost two pounds as of this morning. I did a pretty light workout today because the last few days have been so hard. Tomorrow is the last day to meet my updated weekly goal of running one full mile in one go. Maybe the rest will help and I can do it all in one go. Either way, progress is progress.

I feel like I’ve kind of been skimping on blog content and I don’t have anything ready for today. Lots of ideas and partially completed projects, but none worthy to put up quite yet. Among my plans include: more healthy recipes, healthy meal plans, workout schedules, and motivational pieces. If you guys want to see anything specific, please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, I promise to have some new content for you soon.

Day 5 Update: Wins and Losses

It’s post workout and I’m EXHAUSTED. The good news is, I was able to run a whole mile today, even thought it was broken up a bit. I did .75 miles in one push and then the last .25 broken up with walking in between. It doesn’t seem like much but for me, it’s HUGE. Once I get a mile to be my norm, I can start working on improving my mile time and increase the distance a bit more for a higher intensity day. The ideal I’d like to build up to is running a mile 6 days a week, building heavy and light workouts around it.

Once I got home from the gym, I moved onto my HIIT workout that I posted this morning. I’m curious if any of you tried it and if so, how it went? I won’t lie, even though I made that workout to be lower intensity, I still had to modify the burpees. For one, jumping like that is just super hard on my knees. Additionally, I still am a little weak on my pushups so I still do the modified ones. Even so, I did all three reps and I feel super tired but awesome.

I think in the next few days I may make a post on how to modify some exercises for beginners. I see a lot of them for stretches but it’s less so for at-home exercises.

I’m super happy with this blog. It’s motivated me a lot to keep pushing myself and I enjoy being able to talk about what’s working for me. I hope that it’s helping someone else, even just to see that they’re not alone in struggling.

I do think I’m pushing myself a bit hard so tomorrow I’m going to have a really light day. I’m not sure what I’ve decided for that yet.

I also intend to put together a more formal plan so that A. I have a solid outline to follow and B. anyone else can follow along with me.

My legs and arms feel like jell-o and I still have a lot to do today! Wish me luck.

Day 4: I Feel Like I’m Doing This Wrong

I have a tendency to go into things really headstrong and end up kind of sizzling out really soon after I start. I actually don’t know that I’m really doing that this time, but I definitely am expecting more than is realistic. For one thing, running. I haven’t run in literal years. I get out of breath going up stairs. I don’t know why I expected to just be able to bust out an easy mile (especially because a mile has never been easy for me).

I’ve been trying to slowly increase my distance up to a mile this week and while it was going well, today I was the captain of the Struggle Bus. I decided today that I’d be increasing my total running distance to a mile and just break it up with walking in between. For some reason, I also decided to increase my speed as well. Honestly, I don’t think that was the nail in the coffin. I feel like I wouldn’t have hit a mile anyway. In fact, I barely did three-quarters.

The lesson to learn from me is to set reasonable goals. My dad has been telling me that this whole time, but I’m so anxious to already be healthy and active and lose weight that it’s hard to be patient. Really, it’s about finding a balance between pushing yourself and knowing your limits. I still think that by the end of the week I can do a whole mile, but I need to approach it a little slower.

I think this goes for dieting too. I’ve been eating whatever I want for the past year and I can’t expect myself to immediately adjust well to only having 1300 calories. It’s a fine line, folks. But we’ll just keep on walking it (and maybe run).

Day 3 Update: What I’m Struggling With and What I’m Not

In the past I’ve used a calorie tracker to just get a general idea of what I’m eating. When using it casually, a lot of the time I wouldn’t actually go far above their suggested 1300 calories (their recommendation was based on my height, weight, age, and activity level). Now that I’m A. consistently working out and B. trying not to go above it at all, I’m actually struggling to stay within my limits.

April 1st was my boyfriend’s birthday and he requested homemade pizza rolls. By the end of the day, I had over 2000 calories. I think it’s having so many days like that has increased my appetite so much. Even today, it’s only just past breakfast but I’m already almost to 500 calories. I remember sitting with my parents at IHOP the other day looking at meals that would have maxed me out for the whole day.

I think part of this has to do with how we as a country eat as a whole. For one thing, food is a really big part of our culture (as it is with most). In a lot of countries you don’t eat quite the same portion sizes as we do, particularly in European countries. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people coming to visit and being just astounded at our portion sizes. And with so much of our food being heavily processed, it really packs a lot of calories into everything we eat. As well as a bunch of stuff we should probably be limiting. I’m not trying to blame the country for my weight and eating habits, but I do thing it normalizes it, making it easier to fall into bad habits.

On a different note, the things that I’m doing well with are:
1. Remembering to track my food
2. Running!
3. Meeting my step goals

With running, I’ve been starting off very small. I’m not really supposed to run because I have some problems with my knee. But most of the stuff I do anyway is pretty high impact so if I stick to some of my PT exercises, I don’t think running is going to be much of a problem. That said, I haven’t really gone running in years.

When I was younger, every few months I’d get this idea that I was going to join the military (which I really just don’t think is a good fit for me at this point but that’s not to disrespect those who do choose to serve). Every time I would get into this mindset, my dad and I would go running together. I never really could consistently keep up with it but it was always my place to start.

Having not run in a few years, I can’t even run a mile. That’s why one of my goals for this week is to just run half a mile each day and build up to three-quarters. I’m surprising myself though. Day one I ran half a mile and broke it up in half with walking in between. Yesterday I ran half a mile in one go and after cooling off with a walk for a few minutes, tacked on an extra tenth. Today I did three quarters of a mile broken up by .6 and .15. I think I’m going to change this weeks goal to doing a full mile in one spurt. Next week I can focus more on my mile time but for now, baby steps.