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Recently I’ve been following Kathryn Morgan’s 12-week challenge, and loved it. It went very well, for the first week, and a bit less so for the second… And then things started going downhill.

It wasn’t so much that I lost motivation. Last week started with the aftermath of a dance weekend (where my dance group’s teacher comes over from the UK and has classes with us). And I thought, well, I did the Monday dance class, and on Tuesday my legs definitely needed rest. Apart from the dance classes on Thursday I didn’t really have any energy for doing anything exercise-related for the rest of the week. I really felt lazy, but I genuinely felt exhausted. To my defense I tried.

Turns out it was the stomach flu. Or something similar. Yesterday was the first time I’ve even been outside the house since Saturday, and on Sunday I couldn’t keep anything down at all. I’m still not completely recovered – you tend to feel the effects of several days of barely eating, and I still think I eat far too little. There’s just no room anymore. Makes me think of the stories of those who have had gastric bypass (I think…?) surgery, who says that you can’t eat more than a little at a time, but then you have to eat rather often instead. It’s almost like that. I sort of managed to eat normally last night, but the result was that I woke up with a stomach ache this morning. Not very fun.

So now I am trying to tell myself that not following the plan when things like this happen, is completely OK. You can’t go running if you’ve just been spending three days sick in bed, and have hardly eaten. If you can barely get one solitary bag of groceries up the hill (which is natural after having been ill and thus become weaker and less energetic), there’s no point in even trying to strength train or do workout DVDs or whatever else you feel you need to do. There’s just no point – you’ll just end up feeling worse, and feeling like a failure.

Sure, sometimes you are able to train relatively normally right after being ill. But it depends on both the illness and your fitness level. For my part it sort of built itself up over a week, so it had more impact than it usually would. I think.

What will I do? Well, I am going to ignore the fact that I’ve missed quite a few days, and go back into the plan wherever it feels comfortable. It’s not one where the intensity levels of the workout increases a lot from week to week, so I think I might be able to dive back into the correct date. Perhaps I’ll do the yoga/stretching bits and some barre, and be happy with that. We’ll see.