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Dear Cassey: I am just too tired to work out.
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January 29, 2021

Dear Cassey,

I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and during normal times I workout 6 days a week. However, the pandemic situation has really taken a toll on me, and my season was put on hold right in the middle of it. I try working out on my own like I do in the off-season, but my body is just so weak and tired. Every time I try looking for tips for how to deal with emotional exhaustion so I can get more energy to exercise, one of the top things is to exercise. As you can see, this is really circular! Do you have any other ideas?

Sincerely,

Took Out Yoga Mat; Laid Down

Hey Took Out Yoga Mat,

You’re so right! How are you supposed to work out for more energy…when you have no energy to workout?! 

I’m totally guilty of recommending exercise to feel better mentally and to boost energy. And it does work, most of the time. But you know what? Sometimes forcing exercise right away isn’t the answer. Sometimes, you really do need a break to heal your mind. 

Side note: isn’t it amazing how much our mental health impacts our physical health and vice versa?! Taking care of both sides is so important! 

For you, you’re dealing with two major things that impact you on both sides of the spectrum. On the physical side, you’re forced to work out on your own. Which wouldn’t be a huge deal, except you’re also dealing with stress from the pandemic AND the interruption of your season. You’re missing your team, your motivation, and the ability to do what you’re passionate about. No wonder you’re exhausted! 

My first piece of advice is to find some kind of outlet. If your normal workouts aren’t working for you right now, don’t force them! Experiment with something more gentle that allows you to breathe and process your thoughts. Something like: 

  • Walking and getting lost in a podcast or your favorite music
  • Yoga (certain poses like hip openers can really help) 
  • Meditation
  • Journaling

Or, any new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the time! Even if it’s as simple as reading, finding something new that you enjoy could lift your spirits and light a new fire in you.

Lastly, lean on your loved ones. Your family, friends, teammates, coaches, the POP community, or anyone you trust. Support is everything through tough times! In these pandemic times, it’s important to connect safely as often as we can while we deal with being physically separated. Hopefully reaching out here helps!

Remember that you’re not alone in this right now. The weight of the pandemic is suffocating and it’s making it really difficult for a lot of us to stay positive and motivated. It’s DRAINING and EXHAUSTING. So know that your feelings are valid, and I’m with you.  

Give yourself some time to heal mentally, and move your body gently until you truly feel ready to get back into your normal workouts. It may seem like this weird time is never going to end, but I promise it will! You’ll be back out there, stronger than ever 🙂 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave a comment below! You may be featured in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

28 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: I am just too tired to work out.”

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  1. Pained and exhausted says:

    Dear Cassey,
    You always say exercising is the best way to get energy to exercise. A body in motion stays in motion and all that. I want to believe this- i want to experience this but all I’ve ever experienced from working out is pain and overwhelming tiredness. I’ve watched so many of your videos and tried to follow along. I’ve tried a myriad of different styles of workouts, but the end result is always the same: I end the workout exhausted, in pain and completely and totally unmotivated to do anything after working out (including those things I have to do!)

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis and have gone (mostly) gluten free on the recommendation of my doctor in an effort to avoid being on thyroid medication. I have noticed a difference when I do eat gluten in that I’m more painfully drained afterward but even now I’m still always worn out and totally unmotivated to workout knowing it’ll only make me feel worse. Any suggestions that I might try to improve my general energy level? How can I find a way to exercise that isn’t going to leave me even more drained then I started?

  2. Tired of cellulite says:

    Dear Cassey
    Firstly, i love your workouts and your workouts have helped me a lot since past few years. But last year when this whole pandemic started i kinda lost all the motovation to workout. But gratefully i am back on my routine and doing your workout videos again now. But my only concern is CELLULITE and that extra fat on my hamstrings, my calves and my butt. Due to this, my calves and hamstrings also look really fat. Will pilates help in getting rid of cellulite or hiit routines? Any other beneficial tips would really help. TIA❤

  3. Gemma says:

    I struggle to follow your workout plans every day. Is it ok if I skip a day or catch up another time?

    1. blogilates says:

      Yes, absolutely! But I still recommend creating a schedule that you do want to stick to so that you don’t end up too far off your intended routine!!

  4. Sarah Quinton says:

    Dear Cassey
    I am a 42 year old woman who has been doing your workouts for the best of 5 years. It is because of you that I am obsessed with doing pilates. I have recently been diagnosed with an under active thyroid and have gained 40+ pounds. I am very active and I know that nutrition plays a big part. I don’t feel I eat poorly.. But I would like to have some direction in what I can do boost this metabolism of mine to help me shed this unwanted weight.

  5. Rianna Morgan says:

    Dear Cassey,

    Im very thin and have been most of my life. I excercise to fill in with some muscle and to strengthen my body. My issue is that a lot of meals that are healthy in the fitness world dont have enough calories to keep me from losing weight. Help! I want to eeat healthy but i need to gain/maintain my current weight!

    1. emily says:

      there are a number of foods that are more calorically dense and still healthy – olive oil, nuts & seeds, whole grains, avocado, yoghurt, and plenty of others. I find that it’s quite easy to eat thousands of calories worth of nuts in one sitting! If you’re still in a calorie deficit, it’s also good to up the portion sizes a little bit.

  6. Frustrated mind says:

    Dear cassie,
    I want to lose Weight, im in my mid 20s and the thing is I have no motivation. I start a workout and halfway through it, I’m tired and stop it. I try to control my diet but I just feel like it’s not working. I don’t have a lot of self control too. I feel so frustrated. Any advice?
    Love from Australia ❤️

  7. Sara says:

    Dear Cassey
    I started my fitness journey since almost a year now and em addicted to working out, running, strengh training… I also found the perfect diet for me, lost almost all tge extra weight untill Christmas, i ate sugary stuff again and started having a cheatday every week and i overdo it to be honest. When i didn’t like feeling bloated and changed my cheatdays to more moderate ones, i still couldn’t lose the last 5 pounds i need and want to lose, tge scale goes down a bit in 3 days (-1kg) then goes back again. Em not gaining fat but i can’t come to lose those 5 pounds even though em running 3 times a week (i love it) and working out with dumbells and bodyweight) what should i do to lose those last 5 pounds?

  8. Exfitmama says:

    Dear Cassey, rewind 10 years…I was in my early 30’s and had just discovered the joy of working out and eating healthy. I was in the best shape of my life. I was also working in the field that I had always dreamed of (medical assistant). Fast forward 10 years…For reasons unknown to me or my doctors, I now have osteoarthritis in my lower spine. I tried everything to get healthy and back to working out but nothing helped. I even tried PT 3 different times, and still no improvement. I decided it was time for surgery, so I had a laminectomy, once again, no improvement. I am now 30 lbs more than I was when I was healthy. The only “exercise” I can do is walking on flat ground for about 30 minutes and some stretching. No more going to the gym or working out with you Cassey. I skipped the part where I can’t work. I feel like I have lost myself and most days I have to live with the pain or deal with the really bad side effects of medication. Would you consider doing a video for people with low back pain? Enough to get my heart rate up but not so hard that I end up incapacitated?

  9. Sakshi says:

    You all are missing one great great point herr! Having a relationship with God the Father is ssoo so important, i really tell yall that I’ve been in this all through quarantine making abs falling into the traps of eating disorder but no friends or family can give you the understanding of your identity as God…we all ultimately long for the experience of that love! one encounter with the living person of Jesus can truly set you free from all chains and you start to see yourself from the eyes of your father! as his worthy creation! The taste of that love is in itself sufficient!!! it sets everything else into perspective! this body will ultimately die but the spirit that comes from him is everlasting! this was a beautiful message Cassey! i love how you keep encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone while being authentic and raw at the same time… seriously though couldn’t imagine working out without your pumping voice saying… “comm’mon you got this gurl!!” XO

    love this fam❤️🤗
    praying for you all to know Jesus without religion<3

  10. Nacera Meynen says:

    Add tumric, gengar and black pepper to your daily intake

  11. Aimilia says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’ve been working out regularily and with full power since the beginning of this year now. I never really gave everything and had a really hard time changing my diet to the better but somehow everything changed. It’s good that it did and I feel happier more often but there’s a problem. Last year I feel in love with someone and it didn’t quiet work out and now I feel like my only motivation to work out and to give my everything is a kind of “revenge” on him. You know, showing how far I got and how much strenght (also mental) I gained without him. But I feel like that’s a bit toxic and I don’t know what else to take as motivation since exercising and cooking healthy is the only way to keep going for me and to be at least halfway sane without breaking down crying on the floor. I also feel like I’m about to strain my body too much since I already planned to do workout challange after workout challange but I just feel bad for not working out and I also feel like when I’m not working out for one day my mood is down again (this also comes from the environment I’m living in, exercise is a way to escape from all bad thoughts for me). Do you know any other way to motivate yourself to exercise? And ia it okay to exercise every day (with stretching breaks)?

    Thank you that you are there for us Cassey!

    All the best,
    Amilia

    PS: I really loved your 21 day tone 🙂 It’s sooo much fun to work out with you, you even got me out of bed at 5 am xD

  12. Tiffany says:

    After long workdays in the week, I’m always mentally and physically tired. I feel the need or working out and miving, but it’s hard when there’s still thousands of things to take care of. Only thing I can do is to take my sog for a walk and get the mail, but I do feel I’m not exercising enough.

  13. Idah says:

    Dear Cassey, like everybody else, every year I’ve put “to be active and stay active” as one of my resolution. In 2020 I finally managed to get into it and stuck to it(even in 2021). I found something I like doing other than just running. I found an app that I cn follow along to and workouts are different everytime(which is a plus as I do not like doing the same thing every single day).

    Unfortunately, I injured myself recently. I was doing fine when suddenly I woke up one morning with an excruciating pain in my knee area. Every step that I took, the pain was just unbearable. Went to see a doctor and he told me that my muscles we overworked. He examined my joints and said that he did not feel/see any broken bones. He just gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine and told me to rest.

    When I got home, I felt really sad as I thought I could keep to my resolution and have an active lifestyle. I have been doing so well up till now.

    I kept wanting to grab the weights or do some exercises but I know it won’t be good for my recovery. Help. What should I do.

    Sincerely,
    Injured me

    1. blogilates says:

      This is a great question! I would also advise seeing a physical therapist in addition to a doctor, someone who can help rehabilitate you and give you a more specific timeline on how to recover. Also, remember that you DO have to rest when you are injured. If you continue to workout while injured, you might aggravate your pain further!! Sending you love!

  14. Nish says:

    Hey Cassie, I have a question. I had a really bad, extremely painful back injury at the gym in Nov of 2019. It’s been over a year but it’s still not healed to where it was before. Part of the reason is scoliosis. I know I need to strengthen my core to support my back but Im terrified of pushing myself in case I get injured again. Any advice?

  15. Melissa says:

    Really great information. I really want to keep on track with my fitness goals for 2021. Still have some baby weight to loose after giving birth to my daughter. I signed up for this 12 week yoga challenge and have been loving it so far! https://bit.ly/2MNgvRX

  16. Anisha says:

    DEPRESSED & DEMOTIVATED

    Hi Cassey,

    Hope you are safe &well..

    I have been working out from last 5 months regularly.. Not much but yes i could see some changes that i have loose few inches from my belly and little bit toned but there is no variation on my weight. I have stopped all processed foods and carbs but nothing giving slight change on my weight..

    Please help and let me know is there something i should be taken care of.. its actually demotivating me and forcing me to quit.

    Hope you sèe my message and help me soon.

    Best Regards
    Anisha

    1. Lisa says:

      Hi Anisha, I’m not Cassey but maybe I can ask you a vital question. Ypu say you stopped eating processed foods but the scale won’t budge. Regardless of weight loss though, how does eating cleaner make you feel? Are you getting more energy? Feeling like you have less after eating dips? The scale sometimes doesn’t budge for a while and that’s okay. If it really frustrates you, try tracking your calories meticulously for a while. Don’t stop eating healthy just because you’re not losing weight. You’ll regret that, both because the scale will go up again and because you’ll probably feel worse if you start overeating on processed foods.

      1. Lisa says:

        Also; don’t cut carbs completely! They are VITAL to losing weight in a healthy way! You need carbs for energy and to feel full. Healthy carbs!

  17. Confused says:

    Dear cassey
    I’ve been wanting to lose weight since a few years ago only because I wanted to feel like everyone else. Now I’m 14 ,I may be young but i want a change in myself mentally, physically and my mindset. But as my school is 2 hours away from house , I always feel tired and hungry when it’s time to workout, I feel like every time I tried , it’s like another opportunity for me to stop and when it comes to eating healthy I can’t always be eating veggies as my family is rich nor poor but here in my country we can’t always get access to all fruits and veggies as they are expensive sometimes.

    I would like some tips how I could fit physical activity in my life as I not so active and how I could eat healthier

    Sincerely, confused

  18. Super Insecure says:

    Dear Cassey,
    since seventh grade I have felt fat and ugly and I am still struggling with my confidence. Two years ago, I was in a relationship but had to end it, because I could not give in, I couldn’t let him touch me due to my insecurity. What is more, when going out with my friends, I am only thinking about how better-looking and smarter they are.
    I would really appreciate some tips on how to practice self-love, be more confident and feel better in my own body.
    Love, Super Insecure

  19. Super Insecure says:

    Dear Cassey,
    since the seventh grade I have felt fat and ugly and I am still struggling with my confidence. I have tried being in a relationship two years ago but was too insecure to give in, get to know my partner and let him touch me. My insecurity also reflects in going out with my friends, because I am only thinking about how better-looking and smarter they are. Even if they say that I look good, I do not believe them.
    I would like some tips on how to practice self-love, be more confident and feel good in my own body.
    Love, Super Insecure

  20. Feeling lost and confused says:

    Hi Cassey,
    I lost weight over quarantine but I realized I lost a little too much weight due to school stemming at 115.6 earlier this week. I’m now at 117 as of today due to continuous tracking but I’m having trouble maintaining weight at a set point. I still have the unhealthy mindset with food of not eating too much and walking away but I’m just tired of labeling foods bad or good. My question is how can I heal my relationship with my food while staying at maintenance calories?

  21. SKG says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I found your videos a couple of months ago and really love your positive cheerful energy. However I really struggle to breathe during exercises – in particular ab ones where you have to suck you stomach in. I feel like the two are at odds with each other. Either I focus on my breathing and let my stomach go or suck in my stomach but feel like I can’t breathe. Any tips on how I accomplish both?

    Sincerely,

    Holding my breath

  22. Ris says:

    Dear Cassey, over the past ten years I developed a chronic illness named Tietze syndrome. I was always told by doctors that I had to live with the pain it caused me in between my ribs and that it would get less painful over the years (I’m 21). Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and it has only gotten worse. I am now in treatment with a specialist who helps me understand my pains and what I can do to lessen them. The only problem is, she recommends that I don’t work out for at least 6 months, to lighten the pain and not make it any worse by putting tension on my body. I tried walking 10000 steps a day, but this doesn’t give me the satisfaction that I get from doing a workout. You see, I am still on a weight loss journey and lost 10kg in 2019 and in 2020 it all stood still because of this. I’m really thorn in what I should do. How can I reach my weight loss goal (-15kg) while I can’t do workouts? I am now at a point where I am afraid that if I don’t push myself, I will gain all the weight I’ve lost again.

    Do you have tips for me?

    Love, Ris

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