1. You just finished your workout, feeling good but exhausted.
But as your body cools down, you realize the next 12-72 hours are going to be hell.
2. You've got some serious stiffness going on. It's not too painful—yet. But you know what's coming.
You hydrate, refuel, and settle in for some beauty (and recovery) sleep. (Which is super important for weight loss, FYI.)
3. You roll over in the middle of the night and realize that EVERYTHING HURTS.
Nothing can save you now. (Except for these sore-muscle treatments. Maybe.)
4. In the morning, you go to swing your legs out of bed and happily yank off the covers, but…
Then you realize you feel like you got hit by a truck. LOL JK I'm staying right here.
5. But you have to go to work/class/adulting, so you slowly peel yourself out of bed.
This may include slowly moving one limb at a time or rolling like a log straight onto the floor. (Fingers crossed your feet catch you).
6. All your normal tasks are extremely difficult.
Getting a coffee mug off the top shelf suddenly seems impossible. And bending down to put your shoes on…LOLOL.
7. Once you get moving a little, it's not so bad. And then you come to a staircase, and it's all over.
Just leave me here to die.
8. And you walk like…well, like this.
This has got to be the sexiest thing ever.
9. You're so sore that you can't even think about working out for a few days.
Active recovery can mean laying on the couch, right? Yoga is NOT gonna happen.
10. Cue hours of foam rolling. It hurts so good.
Praise the heavens for foam rollers. Although that creepy trainer is definitely mistaking your "ow" face for an "O" face.
11. You will do almost anything to get someone to give you a massage.
Like, unmentionable, terrible things.
12. And you hope that when you get up the next day, you'll feel like a human being again.
But actually you feel even worse. So it's another day of death.
13. Eventually, you start to feel mobile again.
After hurting so badly, just being able to move feels like the best thing in the world.
14. But, naturally, you go back to the gym and it starts allllll over again.
Hello, vicious #gainz cycle.
This article originally appeared on Shape.com.