Well That’s Never Happened Before…

This morning I woke up and changed into my workout clothes.

Before we walked to the gym, I tried to convince Ryan to take the day off  and instead take Sadie on a long walk with me. He said he knew he wouldn’t workout this weekend (we’re heading to my parents’ house for Father’s Day), so I hung my head and followed him to the gym.

My body felt tired. I decided not to take my usual 5:45 a.m. BodyPump class. Instead, I hopped on a stationary bike for 10 minutes before finding Ryan to tell him I was heading home.

I’ve never left the gym after only 10 minutes. Usually if I can get myself dressed and get myself there, a workout will occur. Not today.

But you know what? That’s okay.

My body felt tired and I wanted to give it a break so I have adequate energy for my eight-mile run tomorrow.

I am considering taking a yoga class on my lunch break, but if that doesn’t happen, that’s a-okay.


When Ryan was done with his workout, he joined me on a 20-minute walk with Sadie before breakfast.

Last night I prepped a pumpkin yogurt bowl to enjoy this morning and knowing that a delicious breakfast was waiting for me when I got home made me want to walk a little faster. 

My breakfast bowl contained:

  • 1 c. Chobani plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c. Old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. Canned pumpkin
  • Large squirt of honey
  • Pumpkin pie spice


Pumpkin Pie Spice

Since I prepped this last night, the oats had time to soak in the yogurt and pumpkin mixture and took on a soft, pillowy texture that added some extra pizzaz to an otherwise smooth and creamy concoction.

Pumpkin Yogurt Bowl

Sprinkled with Spice

Cold and tasty on a hot and muggy day!

Side Note

While sitting in our backyard typing this post, I’ve been attacked by five mosquitos. Leave me alone you bloodsuckers!

Questions of the Day

  • Do you ever skip a workout you have planned? How do you feel about it?

To be honest, exercise guilt is something I personally struggle with. I love working out and don’t feel bad about taking a day or two off on the weekend, but taking a day off during the week makes me feel a little anxious… like I’m not doing something I should be.

I’m trying to abandon this mentality, as demonstrated by my actions this morning. If my body wants (and needs!) a rest, I should honor that without feeling guilty. It’s not like one missed workout will negate all of my fitness and healthy living efforts… in fact, it might even do the opposite.

  • Do you struggle with exercise guilt?

43 Responses

  1. I have exercise guilt too. But it’s not working well, since I haven’t done anything in a couple of weeks!

    I also wanted to tell you that I have been browsing back posts of yours to find some recipes and that after reading a lot of them, decided that you are my favorite food blogger.. I like that you have a very healthy approach to things and a good balance of what you write about. ALSO… I found Carba Nada pasta at my grocery store last night so I’m trying that for the first time for lunch today. It tasted pretty good when I tested it last night 🙂

    • you found it in the grocery store!?!?!? i’m jealous! i always have to order it.

      • What store?? I have been searching high and low. Julie: Publix carries the brand but not the carba nada darn it 😦

  2. I definitely have exercise guilt. Even on planned rest days, I get antsy and feel like I should be doing something. There’s a fine line between what I know I SHOULD to and when I’m pushing myself to do something I SHOULDN’T. It’s good you listened to your body though, that’s something I’m working on!

  3. I can sense the guilt in your post- and I totally understand. I took today off too because my body was sore and tired and I know its the right thing, but why do I feel so bad?

    I am training for a 1/2 marathon too and consistent running has been awesome, but it takes a different kind of toll on the body then regular gym workouts in my opinion.

    Just remember that your body is your machine, your temple, your partner, and you need to listen to it in order to keep it in tip top shape. If someone told you that they were tired and needed a break, you would understand, right?

    Try and understand what YOUR body is saying, and be proud of yourself for taking the best care of the body that works hard to keep you healthy and happy 🙂

    Have a great day Julie and no GUILT!!

    • thank you for this comment! i totally agree w/ your second paragraph. i think running does take a lot out of me… more so than other intense workouts. i really appreciate your thoughtful comment! 🙂

  4. If I don’t workout out during the week I feel guilty and anxious too! It’s not a healthy mentality to feel like we have to push ourselves when our bodies are screaming STOP! Sometimes we get so stuck in the daily grind and don’t listen to our bodies, but the body knows best! You made the right choice by giving yourself a much needed day off. Enjoy your guilt-free day! Happy Friday 🙂

  5. Yes, I take days off when I just can’t get myself to the gym. And yes I feel guilty. I know that going to the gym will strengthen my legs and help my injured knees. But sometimes I’m so drained (or in the throes of a headache) that I just can’t.

  6. I feel exercise guilt if I take an unplanned day off. Often I’ll know that I’ll be busy a certain day and have to take off, but it’s those other times where I struggle. Honestly, I REALLY had to let that go when I was training for my half-marathon (which I ran the end of May). I found that I was much more tired and my legs took a bit longer than I anticipated to recover from long runs. I knew that if I wanted to stay injury-free and actually enjoy long runs, I’d have to take more rest days .. and worked on feeling ok with it! Taking a walk or doing some yoga helped! Have a great, restful day. You’ll be sooo happy you did when you are running tomorrow!

    • thanks! i think i may have to incorporate more rest days into my training plan…as hard as it may be!

  7. Don’t feel guilty- you really tried! And rest days are sometimes necessary- physically and mentally. 🙂

    I’ve gone and started running on the treadmill before and quit after a quarter mile and went home… if you’re not feeling it, you’re just not feeling it…

  8. I struggle with exercise guilt REALLY badly…as evidenced by the fact that I was totally overtraining and ended up hurting myself. I

    Don’t take this the wrong way but, it almost makes me feel better that you do struggle with exercise guilt too. You know I totally respect you and it makes me feel better knowing that you have some of the struggles that I do. So sorry if that is selfish! 😦

    • not at all! i think it feels good when we can relate to someone… it makes me feel less crazy and alone!

  9. I definitely struggle with exercise guilt. I rarely take rest days even though I know they are good for you. It’s all about balance and moderation, and sometimes that’s difficult to achieve. I think it’s great, though, that you listened to your body this morning. There’s nothing wrong with a walk as your workout. Especially with as much as you run and your training schedule right now. Enjoy the day! Don’t worry! 🙂

  10. Don’t worry! Listen to your body. If your tired, take a rest. I can see that you are a really fit person from reading your blog and I am sure resting for a day (or for the Father’s Day weekend) will not snowball into anything for you. You need a rest! 🙂

  11. I totally strugge with that! Even this morning I am. I opted to get some of my work done early in the AM (and take a break to read a blog or two…:) ) instead of going to the gym first thing. I know I’ll go later so why do I feel anxious/guilty???

  12. I used to feel very guilty about it, but once I realized how much my body is doing I finally decided that if it requested a day off I would give it. Now that being said…I still take walks and do just what you did! You didn’t go home and just lay around you still were active and I bet you’ll be active this weekend too.

  13. gahhhhh i almost did the SAME thing today! i really didn’t want to workout and draaagged myself to the gym and was about to get off the ellipitcal after like 5 minutes and i said give yourself another 5 and i just ended up working out which was great! but clearly i have exercise guilt haha

    i feel good now that i worked out but i won’t lie it was a MAJOR struggle this morning!

    glad you took the day off 🙂 it for sure is okay!

  14. Anytime you break routine or even if your significant other does a workout and you don’t, you definitely feel somewhat guilty. I can work up a good frustration too. It’s really hard for me to take a day off, real hard. But you got to enjoy a morning, try something new and your next workout will be even better!

  15. Unfortunately, Mosquitos love me and I always get attacked! I have learned to never leave my house (if I am out for a longer period of time) without bug spray…ugh, I hate them!

    I do sometimes feel guilt when I miss a workout during the week….but, If am too tired I don’t want to make myself MORE tired and beat up so I will take a rest day if I need to even when not planned.

    Glad you listened to you body this morning! 🙂

  16. I definately struggle with exercise guilt its a pretty big pain when its my birthday and I’m in vegas feeling guilty. We should all learn to get over it! 🙂

  17. I struggle with it as well. Even when I am so run down and tired, I have such a hard time taking a day off. I think alot of it might be because I am so a creature of routine, that not going to the gym every morning breaks my routine. I don’t feel as guilty if I have plans that keep my busy, on vacation…etc. I have to physically tell myself over and over that I will only come back stronger if I don’t go to the gym.

  18. I def struggle with exercise guilt. If I don’t run one day, I complain all evening about how gross I feel!

  19. It’s actually really nice to hear that I’m not alone with the exercise guilt. It’s strange, because I never used to feel guilt, but since I’ve started a more consistent routine, taking a day off during the week kind of makes me feel lazy?!?
    I know I’m certainly not being lazy, because our bodies definitely need time to rest. But I’ve just really come to love the feeling of a great workout!
    Case in point, yesterday was supposed to be my day off, but after stuffing my face with sweets, I just had to do something! I kept it easy with Pilates, but it still felt good to move 🙂

  20. exercise guilt?! This post made me feel so much better about skipping the last 3 days! I have been feeling under the weather with an infection and havent been able to accomplish much. Perfect timing for this post! 🙂

    xo Lynzy


  21. i feel like workouts are awful when you’re tired. and i think it’s just a waste!

    i get reaaaaallly guilty when i don’t exercise 5 times a week. i think it’s a little ridiculous that i feel this way but what can i do. i try to go for at least 40 minutes, 5 times..which i think is normal? oh god, i don’t even know. anyway, i feel like i’ve started revolving my life around going to the gym. not okay. 😦

  22. I used to, but not anymore. Esp once I started school and working full time–sometimes I just couldn’t. And that’s ok. As long as I made an effort to workout 3-4 times a week, I didnt gain weight and all was ok.

  23. I use to feel really bad about taking time off from the gym. For 3yrs straight i never missed a week day workout unless i was REALLY sick. But this past year ive eased up. Im listening to myself a lot more. Like this week, ive been really tired and sore. I went on a long hike last saturday and my legs/hip flexors are still tender so Tuesday morning came and i opted to sleep in.. and ive done that all week long since then. I think i needed a mental break. It happens, you feel better and rested afterwards and theres no sense pushing your body when it could cause an injury.

  24. Ain’t no shame, girl! I used to really want to be an early morning workout girl, so one day I finally tried it. I went to the gym, got on the treadmill, walked for FOUR minutes, and went home. I came back later that day for a real workout. Mid-morning is perfect for working out for me, early morning, not so much (although I do LOVE getting up early, my body just doesn’t want to move like that for a few hours).

    As far as exercise guilt goes, yep, I definitely struggle with it. The one thing that’s helped me is to recognize how much BETTER my workouts are when I take an unplanned rest day. Your body really does know what it needs, and it will respond amazingly if you listen to it.

    Good for you for listening! 🙂

  25. I totally get exercise anxiety. The other day, my hubby surprised me with a fun day..he made me an appointment for a mani/pedi and made us dinner reservations. i was happy, but you know what went through my mind first? omg this means i can’t work out, what am I going to do!?

    yeah, sad that I can’t fully enjoy the beautiful day my hubby planned for me because in the back of my mind i’m freaking out that I skipped a work out. It’s a daily struggle for me!

  26. I have only left the gym once, and I really was not feeling well so I stopped mid elliptical and went home. Turns out I had the flu!

  27. I have left the gym many times…lol and even walked out of BodyPump.I do feel guilty sometimes though and I need to learn “hey a day off is a good thing.” Plus I feel like I can push extra hard the next day due to all my stored up energy!

  28. I totally have exercise guilt! I don’t really on the weekends, also. But if it is a weekday? I totally feel guilty because the “plan” is to work out every day. And I acutally don’t feel right mentally if I don’t get in my work out. Some days I just don’t feel like it, but I know that I NEED it.

    Oh and I have totally left the gym after a short workout like that before. It feels silly because I drove all of the way there, but I just do what I can! And I’m working on the not feeling guilty about it part!

  29. I have struggled with exercise guilt for years and years. In the past I have gone months with exercising every day out of irrational fear that a day off would cause my weight to creep up. These past few months I’ve had to take time off for reasons beyond my control, and guess what? I’ve got more energy for the workouts I can do, and I haven’t gained an ounce. I also haven’t changed my eating habits. I am no scientist but I really think my body was holding on to all of my calories because I was putting my body through so much every day!

  30. AHHH! Mosquitos are the worst. I have a terrible allergy to them so often mine end up infected. If not they are about 5 times the size of what a normal person’s looks like. And on top of that they seem to LOVE me. I have been to the doctors countless times to figure it out, but to no avail. They actually told me to start using a mosquito net over my bed.

    As far as exercise guilt, I used to get it big time. Even if I would work out but not do the “planned workout” now I know that if my body and mind are fighting it its best to give in. I usually make up for it the next day because I have even more energy. Every now and again you just need to veg.

  31. Have you tried agave nectar in your yogurt? I’m a huge fan of the greek yogurt bowls and usually use plain yogurt with a squirt of honey. I’m never satisfied with how the honey mixes into the yogurt in clumps, though leaving it to sit overnight may help with that. I got some agave nectar recently and it is a little thinner than honey and mixes in better. Love it! I usually use berries or other fruit with sliced almonds. Will have to try it with the oats.

    • no, but my mom & sister love it! i should try it this weekend when i’m visiting my fam. my mom always keeps it on hand.

  32. I struggle when I miss a workout. I know that it’s not the end of the world, and that it’s ok to take a day or two (i.e. spend with family instead or rest your body), but then I start to feel guilty, and like I’m falling behind and will have no way of catching back up. It’s a tough struggle.

  33. Exercise guilt. Ughh. I hate it, and I struggle with it so much! Even after a great workout like I had this morning, plus an additional hour or so of bushwhacking through the woods around my house searching for two lost dogs, I still feel like I need to do more! I always feel that way and its a real struggle not to let myself run myself into the ground. I have a huge problem sitting still, so I always try to be doing something (the house has become VERY clean since I’ve been home for summer!)

    On another note, MOSQUITOSSS. Ah, those little buggers love me. My legs are covered with scars from their vicious attacks!

  34. I definitely do have exercise guilt! Even on my one day off I feel like I should be doing something!

    Your blog is wonderful by the way!

  35. Oh, I TOTALLY have exercise guilt! My husband is always telling me I’m overdoing it and even on my ‘rest’ days, I like to do an hour of P90X Stretching. There have been days I figure I’ll give myself a rest day only to jump on the treadmill or do a workout video at 9 or so after we put the twins down for the night. You DEFINITELY need a break here and there though. I saw your training plan the other day and it makes my workouts look like child’s play. 😉 Take care of yourself!

  36. Oh, I forgot to say that we’ve been buying Libby’s Pumpkin at the grocery store since Thanksgiving and ever since your post, it’s been out and they haven’t restocked!?

  37. definitely get exercise guilt, bad. I can’t remember the last time I skipped a workout. Even when I’m sick, I suffer through it. Though I always feel better when I’m done. I at least take it a little easier when I’m sick.

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