Skipping A Workout Won’t Make You Fat

For the past several weeks I have been squeezing in a 3-4 mile run between my early morning boot camps. It starts my day off energized and since beginning this routine, I’ve felt great. It’s a mini workout I’ve grown to love.

But yesterday, I felt tired. I ran on both Saturday and Sunday to train for the BIG Palmetto 200 race this weekend, and I knew my body was requesting a break.

But while my body was telling me it was tired, my brain was telling me to run.

Telling me things like: 

–> You know you’ll feel better if you do it.

–>You know you’re trying to shape up from the winter… it’s not going to happen by itself.

–> If you miss this one run, you’re going to feel gross.

–> Just do it.

My response? I wanted to punch my brain and tell it to shut up.

And that’s what I did… well, I didn’t really punch it. But I did take the “lazy” route: I slept for 30 minutes instead.

Sometimes deciding to be lazy is harder than getting a workout in.

You’re Not Going To Get Fat From A Missed Workout

Bad Stress Is Not Good

Here’s a piece of advice that not many trainers will tell you…

You’re not going to get fat if you miss a workout. You’re not going to wake up 5 pounds heaver and unable to fit into your clothes.

I promise.

Just like eating one slice of pizza won’t hurt your figure, skipping out on a run or a lifting session because you’re physically exhausted isn’t going to make your endurance or your strength plummet.

–> Have you ever felt guilty for missing a workout?

–> Have you ever worked out even though you knew it probably wasn’t a good idea?

It’s funny, exercise is suppose to make us feel good. Yet, sometimes we get to a point of dependence. A dependence so strong that it causes anxiety and fear if we don’t get our fix.

Tips To Take Control Of Your Love Of Exercise

It’s all a mental game.



It’s your brain that tells you that you have to workout. That the more you workout, the better you’ll be as a person, the better you’ll look, and the better you’ll feel.  If you don’t workout… all the hard work and results that you have seen will disappear and you’ll start back at ground zero.

I understand not everyone has these feelings, but many women do. In fact, I’ve been there. All of those thoughts, were thoughts that have, at some point in time, popped into my own mind.

Of course exercise can help all of those elements and of course it’s great for you. But there does come a point where you have to step back and say… okay, I need a break. 

You have to be in charge, you have to control the thoughts that pop into your head so that you continue to have a healthy relationship with fitness.

Overestimation of Movement

1. Skip your workout. 

Do you remember the last time that you missed a workout? If not, perhaps now is the time. I recommend to clients all the time, if they haven’t missed a workout in at least 12-weeks, take a mini vacation now. Take off 3-5 days to allow your body time to fully recover. You might just start back with a new mental outlook.

If the idea of taking multiple days off from the gym is scary, start with just one day. Skip today. Take a deep breath and play hooky.



Can’t wait to get back into SUP to change things up!

2. Try something new. 

If you’ve been doing the same thing for quite some time, it’s definitely time to change it up. You’ll get a different perspective on your fitness and your relationship with exercise that can really make a difference.

Try a new class at the gym, enroll in a boot camp, or even try online personal training! 🙂

3. Journal your fitness emotions.

Not sure if you have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with fitness? That’s okay! Find out by keeping tabs on your emotions. Use a journal to keep track of how you feel before and after workouts. Write down the emotions that would swell up if you missed a workout.

You might find that working out is just part of the routine, but if you missed a day, the day wouldn’t be ruined. Or you might discover that your love of exercise needs to take a little break.

4. Listen to your body.

When we were kids we ignored our parents advice all the time, now looking back we often find ourselves saying they were right after all.


The same is true with your body, it knows what is good for you and what isn’t. If you feel tired and run down, take those feelings as a sign to chill out. Instead of a structured planned workout, go for a walk or take a yoga class. Be active without burning your body out.

5. Know the hard work is done. 

This is more for events that you’ve been training for. If you have a big race coming up and you’re just days away… the training is done.

Take the last few days to allow your body to rest and recover from that training so that you can succeed. Trying to cram in a few more miles or few extra lifting sessions aren’t going to benefit you as the body doesn’t get stronger during a workout but during recovery. Those benefits won’t happen until after the event is over and done, the only thing you’re doing is jeopardizing your performance by going at it with a tired body.

I know that this post might not relate to you. But for many women, exercise becomes more of an addiction and a matter of fear (not wanting to go back to where we started). For those women, remember to think about what being fit is really about… being healthy, being energized, and being confident.

It has taken me a very long time to love exercise not because it burns calories but because it makes me a better overall person. But yes, I am finally there and hopefully you are too!



  • I’ve been trying to keep the fun in fitness and get rid of the fear or anxiety that I can sometimes develop about having to get something done. Changing up my workouts regularly has definitely helped. I’m also tapering for a race this week so it’s taking all my self control to keep things easy. great post! definitely relatable.

    • Good luck on the race! You can rest!

  • my husband’s coach makes him takes 2 weeks off every 8 weeks. It’s needed to reset the body, neurologically! We need that! i take a rest day 1-2x a week. I need it!

    • I’m the same, I need that 1-2 days off too!

  • I forced myself to take a rest day because 1) my body was sore from the weekend and 2) my knee started acting up (again). Even though I wanted to just run some easy miles, I knew it was better to take a rest day. I couldn’t help but feel a bit lazy, especially when I work out nearly every single morning!

    • Congrats on the rest, listen to your body and that knee! It’s better to take a few days off now to let it heal than to hurt it and be out for weeks!

  • I am definitely with you on rest days. I take every Friday off! I’ve read a few people talk about how they hate rest days and how they “accidentally” run on a rest day, or how they have no idea what to do with themselves on a rest day. Not me- I like my rest days! Love my workouts too, but a rest day is a great time to catch up with family, friends, or other hobbies. Running, exercise, diet, etc are not the only things in life.

    Usually I take Friday’s off, me and Clay go out to eat that evening. Or I’ll use my lunch break to do laundry or house stuff instead of working out, or go to lunch with a friend, go to the library, etc.

    And, sometimes when I take an unscheduled day because of not feeling good, etc… it’s really better to just take it off, my next workout is usually so much stronger because I’m rested physically and have the mental outlook of making it count, being more refreshed, etc. I have also started slowing down some of my miles to recover, as a friend suggested, and that has helped me make the workouts I want to have really strong, a lot stronger. I think I was running too fast on my easy days maybe. So I’ll do easy recovery runs with run club, run with the beginners or other people and just chat.

    • Fridays are the best! They’re my off days too where I clean and grocery shop! Enjoy those recovery runs!

  • Great topic to post about! I sometimes find myself depending on exercise, NEEDING exercise, when I know my body really just needs to rest. It’s good to take a step back and analyze it from afar. And, just like one “cheat” meal won’t make you gain a pound, missing a workout won’t make you weaker. Thank you!!

    • Thanks Christina! Yup, enjoy a cheat meal and a missed workout from time to time!

  • I downloaded a heart rate monitor app, it helps me gauge if I really need the rest, or if I’m just being lazy.

    • That’s smart! I need a new heart rate monitor!

  • valerie

    I wasnt feeling like working out yesterday i was kind of sleepy and cramping. I was saying I need to workout, I should work out, but i ended up not working out. Instead i cleaned my house because i felt lazy just sitting there watching TV. But sometimes you need those days off and your body will let you know, for sure.

    • And I bet you felt great having a clean house!

  • Eveliz

    This is so me! I needed to hear/read this. Thanks, Taylor!

    • You’re welcome! Many of us need to be reminded!

  • Love this! I used to beat myself up over missed workouts, but pregnancy helped me better listen to my body. Motherhood has relaxed my attitude even more, in a very positive way. And I’m reaping the rewards with PRs & new achievements!

    • I know many friends who say the same thing about motherhood!

  • Kim

    I have a hard time taking days off – I don’t know if it just that need to sweat or if it goes deeper. I try to listen to my body and when I start to drag through workouts I know that it’s time to back off.
    I think that part of my problem is for me one day off leads to 2 then 5. I know that most people might not believe that about me but I’m very much a creature of habit!

    • I’m right there with you Kim! Ask family members and they will say I’m addicted. Many people just don’t get us! 🙂

  • Love this post! It took me a long time to learn this, but now I have been there a while. I have a friend who I need to constantly remind of this, though. I hope lots of women take this message to heart.

    • Thanks Amanda! I hope your friend backs down. It’s a hard thing to realize but a great thing once you do and discover how to be in control!

  • amen!! sometimes I take a week off just to recharge. I ALWAYS take 2 days off a week.

  • I always need this reminder. I consistently take Saturday as my rest day but I need to remember that if my body is exhausted (hello from the sofa and sweats right now..), it won’t kill me to take a second rest day in a week!

  • Gary Hobart

    I can say, without a doubt, the top 3 days of training I ever had did not consist of a 20+mile run, a 50 minute tempo run or 8x800m (400m) repeats….they were rest days!

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  • Loved this post! I am currently trying to develop a healthy relationship with exercise it is my Achilles heal and has been for the past decade. felt alone in these feeling and glad to know its a real thing. 🙂 thanks for the great tips and for the permission to take it easy.

  • Travelkali

    Thank you for this wonderful post! For a year now I have been working on creating a healthier relationship with exercise and giving myself some great challenges. I also rebuilt a beautiful bond with my body and with fitness. I exercise because I love myself enough to be healthy and see how strong I can get.

    Sometimes I can get really anxious when I skip a training day.
    And I think for those who feel the same way, it’s maybe because sometimes we are on a new path did so much progress. And it can be a fear of ” if I skip this day I will get back to my old habits and will have done all of this for nothing”. Although it’s a false belief because first you are not the same person you use to be and second of all, weither you are preparing your body for a challenge or being healthy It’s about the long run now. Not the short run of loosing weight in 3 days (which is ridiculous).

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