When our bodies speak, we should listen

When our bodies speak, we should listen

There are times when we need to push through the pain and lack of motivation to achieve our goals.  Then, there are times when we need to stop what we are pushing through and listen to what our bodies are telling us.  I don’t want to complain here, but lately I feel like a hot mess!

For the last few weeks I’ve been really struggling with feeling well.  After the new year, my goal was being healthy.  I started to plan out my workouts and log them for accountability [which I still am].  I picked up the intensity of my running and classes, was eating healthy and getting plenty of rest, but something wasn’t right.

Then, a few weeks ago I woke up to my on again, and off again sore throat and felt like I was 90 years old.  I felt like total crap, so I decided to go to the doctor to see what was going on.  I’m not sure where you live, but in this part of the country the flu and strep is running rampant and I wanted to to rule them out.  After being swabbed a few times and running some blood work, everything tested negative.  I was relieved, but I still knew that my body was hurting.

In addition to all that, the back of my heel has been aching and now has a bump on it.  I’ve always had Achilles issues, so I self diagnosed myself with having Haglund’s Deformity.  This is a condition where the soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed and the “bump” appears.  I’m not 100% positive with my diagnosis, but I’ve had enough injuries to know my body.  I knew that a daily ritual of rest, stretching, ibuprofen and ice was definitely in my future but I haven’t totally been listening to that advice and it’s still there.

Then, about two weeks ago my shoulder started with some pain and I noticed a hard bump on the collarbone.  I ended up going to the doctor to get that checked out and it turned out to be an osteophyte.  Basically that’s a fancy name for a bone spur.  I have a future appointment with an orthopedic doctor, but until then, my shoulder activity is limited.

Finally, I started with a sore throat and body aches AGAIN on Monday and came home from school yesterday at lunchtime to rest.  My symptoms aren’t severe enough to be called a flu, so I’m thinking it’s another cold.  I have been teaching for years and have usually been immune to sicknesses, but this year they kicked my butt.  This morning the sore throat is still there.

So, the moral of the story today is listen to your body.  Push when you feel like you can, but if you are feeling run down, sore, tired, or have strange little bumps appear, stop and rest.  Go to the doctor and see what’s going on.  For me, my mind wants to keep moving, but my body is saying stop.

2018 ~ A healthier version of me

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Yep, I admit that I am jumping on that new year bandwagon by trying to drink more water, eat healthier, consume less sugar [and wine], and exercise more religiously.  It’s not that I don’t do those things normally, I just want to try and make a bigger effort to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be.

I know that at my age, I won’t be as tiny as I was in high school. I also know that I won’t be setting any running PR’s since that was done by my 20-something year old self.  But I do know that by making a few tweaks, I can push my body to feel better, stronger and happier.

Increasing Workouts and Sleep. As I said, I do workout.  I just want to do it more frequently.  I want to run more miles and hit my favorite fitness classes a few times a week.  This is nothing life changing, it’s just a little more effort on my part.  I coupled sleep with this one since it goes hand in hand.  If I go to bed earlier, I will get up in time to make my 6am classes.

Eating clean. A few months ago, I loosely tried the Whole 30 program.  While I didn’t comply to the rules for the whole 30 days, I did incorporate the accepted food into most of my meals.  Veggies, fruits, lean meats, most nuts, even cocoa powder….I can do that!  The thing I really liked about it was that potatoes (sweet and white) are allowed. This saved me. I have tried [and failed] on low carb diets. I get too tired, weak and cranky without carbs and those diets just don’t work for me.  This, on the other hand, did.  What did I miss?  Wine and chocolate and my daily coffee with flavored creamer.  As I said, since I followed it loosely, I did allow myself a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate here and there and I did feel so much better!  In addition, I found a bunch of recipes that I loved and made religiously and these are the two I made the most.  Since I don’t like eggs, I needed to find something Whole 30 compliant for breakfast and these two recipes did the trick.  For the record, these chocolate cupcakes are TO DIE FOR.  So all of this said, I started up the Whole 30 kick again on January 2nd and I already feel better.

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Clean Chocolate Cupcakes courtesy of Monika Hibbs

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Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake courtesy of Wholesomelicious

Drinking more water.  This is huge.  I don’t drink enough water and it’s so important. Let’s face it, living in the northeast with winter temperatures in the teens, the last thing that I want to do is consume 60+ fluid ounces of cold water. I am going to try and make it a priority to drink as much water as I can every day.  Having a cute water bottle doesn’t hurt either.

Journaling for a few minutes a day.  I am a firm believer that taking care of yourself mentally can lead to a more balanced being.  [More on this in a future post].  Lately I’ve been hearing so much about the Five Minute Journal that I decided to see for myself what the hype was all about.  What I love about this journal is that it has morning and evening guided prompts that are short and sweet.  Let’s face it, if I am going to make that 6am class, I don’t have much time to journal.  These pages take about two to three minutes to complete and are perfect for the busy person.

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Meditating. This is not on my list for this year, but definitely is something I want to incorporate in the future.  I read of the many positive and calming effects it can have on the body, but I am starting small.  With all the meditation apps out there, do you have a favorite?

What are your ambitions for 2018?  I’d love to hear.  In my opinion, accomplishing goals and creating the best version of oneself starts with a single step.  One small change per day can possibly lead to a better, happier, healthier you.  Good luck!