Something’s Gotta Give
Posted July 25, 2018 by Prairie Wife - 3 comments
It’s been proven over and over again, we can’t do it all.
Eventually something’s gotta give.
A new mom can only go so many weeks doing it all on 2 hours of sleep until one day she cracks and begins to scream/cry/babble at her husband in an uncontrollable rage.
A friend can only be taken advantage of so many times, before she walks away.
A husband can only take so many Elk hunting trips before his wife takes a few of her own.
Just a few random examples I thought up 😉
A few weeks ago I headed out for a run.
Just like I’ve done hundreds of times before.
I told The Cowboy how long I was going for (8 miles) and when I would be back (1 1/2 hours or so). I hit the road with Zip the Wonder Dog and despite the heat I felt pretty good for the first mile. Then suddenly at mile 2 I had trouble focusing, I felt dizzy, I felt nauseated, and all I wanted to do was lay down and close my eyes.
It scared the crap out of me and as I set my sights on the top of the next hill I decided I had to at least make it that far…
As I trudged up the hill I contemplated my next move. Did I push through and hope for the best, or stop and turn around, give up, admit defeat and throw off my training for yet another week? As I took the final steps I found myself struggling to remain upright. I took a deep breath and drank some water, turned around and slowly walked home.
I felt defeated, and I was near tears.
Honestly I couldn’t figure it out.
Last year I trained twice as hard for my half marathon, in weather way hotter than it had been that day…and I was fine.
I was planning to climb Pikes Peak in less than 2 months…could I do it if I couldn’t handle this?
After a half mile’s worth of negative thoughts and pushing back tears I took a deep breath and pulled myself together.
I knew there had to be a reason my body was doing this, after all, I KNEW I should be able to handle this.
As I walked back home I started to focus on what had been different this year than last.
But who cares?
It was a job that easily fit into my life, something I loved that was challenging but was by no means stressful. I had still been making time to run twice a week and practice yoga. I had refocused on getting enough sleep and was averaging more than 6 hours a night. It was Summer, we had already been on some great vacations and had tons of fun in the sun!
So, I started looking at everything day by day rather than at the big picture.
And after thinking about it I realized that I hadn’t been eating.
Don’t get me wrong, I WAS eating, but all the wrong things in all the wrong ways and for sure not enough.
I’m about to share with you a typical day of how I eat, and I can’t lie, it’s super embarrassing to type it out.
Wake up, drink THIRVE shake. Fill up water bottle go to work at the radio/run errands/workout or playdate and come home around 12:30. Send the sitter home or feed the Cowkids if they were with me, chat with kids while eating a cheese stick and some pretzels and hummus. Work or read or waste time on social media (drink more water).
Then it happened.
I was starving and grouchy…yet it was almost dinner.
So I’d make a cup of green tea hoping it would fill me up, maybe grab an apple or orange.
Still starving 15 minutes later, so I’d grab a handful of chocolate chips, or some marshmallows, leftover cookies…or chips.
10 minutes later still hungry..so I’d grab one or two more handfuls of something.
Time to make dinner. Let’s get real though, it’s summer and cooking isn’t high on my “let’s do this list” so I would throw together barely healthy meals, tacos, egg salad sandwiches, BLT’s…
For obvious reasons (now that it’s all written out) I wasn’t hungry for dinner. Yet…surprise surprise I was hungry again at 9:00. And even though I have a super strict no eating after 8 rule I was breaking it more often than not, and with food that was a 2/10 on the healthy scale.
Once I figured out that I had been treating my body like junk for the last month it was pretty obvious why it had quit on me.
Thankfully I was due for my monthly session with GuruJoe a few days later. I texted him a brief account of what happened and asked for his advice.
What followed was a very useful session.
First, he told me that it was great that instead of pushing myself through, I stopped and listened to my body…and while I beat myself up mentally for a bit, I also acted like a witness (setting aside emotions and looking at what really happened) to find the root cause and think of solutions. Prime examples of softening (go me)!
Guru Joe gave me a list of things I needed to be doing, but what it really boils down to is, that I needed to start treating my body the same way an athlete would.
Because folks, I AM an athlete.
I snorted a bit when he said that and it still makes me awkward and uncomfortable to think of myself in that way. Yet, I hike and run around 10 or more miles a week, I ran a half marathon, I practice yoga weekly, and I am planning to climb a 14,000 foot mountain…sounds pretty athletic to me.
Below are the changes I’ve made over the last three weeks. I’m sharing them just in case some of you are like me, and have no idea what you’re doing. I didn’t grow up doing any sports and began running 7 years ago by simply walking out the front door and running.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or personal trainer. Please check with a professional before altering your diet or exercise routine.
Drinking Sole Water
Very long involved story short, this is salt water. It’s made using special salt and helps to balance your body and replace minerals you may be lacking. This link will tell you all you need to know, and has the recipe I follow. For me, I put 2 tsp of sole water in a glass of cold water with half a lemon and drink it first thing in the morning. I then do the same thing again in the afternoon. In three weeks I’ve noticed a vast improvement in my intestinal health (more regular and NO bloating) and my skin is better than it’s been in a long time.
Eat Like an Athlete
Protein, protein, protein. Other than what’s in my THRIVE shake I usually have only one serving of protein a day. Thanks to my pregnancy with Cowboy C I can’t handle lunch meat, and with this heat the idea of cooking up chicken for a salad or frying an egg for lunch isn’t really appealing. While I like my burgers I could easily go days without eating meat. Yet, I know that protein is vital for my body especially when I’m training. I’ve begun making protein smoothies (Greek yogurt, berries, kale, and powdered ginger) and drinking them on my workout days. This link also had some great food suggestions for runners. I’ve been packing healthy snacks (cheese, almonds, fruit and veggies) to eat at work and have been eating leftover dinner for lunch when I get home. On the dinner front, I’ve hit reset and gone back to good old Pinterest for inspiration 😉 Once a day I have something sweet, after all I’m not trying to loose weight, just give my body ample fuel. I make sure it’s a decent amount (4 golden double stuff Oreos instead of the whole row) and I’m back to not eating after 8.
Warm Up and Cool Down
I never stretch before or after runs, and warming up and cooling down is a vague term I somewhat recall from High School gym class. Like I said, I never participated in sports, and while I consider myself a runner…my runs begin with me putting on my headphones and running. They used to end with me drinking some water while I walk a few circles around the car and head home. Turns out, this is unacceptable and terrible for my body. Guru Joe sent me this video and then this one, to give me some ideas of what to do to warm up. I combined my favorite moves from the two to create a 5 minute warm up. Even though I felt like a total dork high knee skipping and spinning my arms around the first time I did it I shaved 15 seconds off my mile time. For cool down I went to Pinterest and found some stretches and take the time to keep walking and hydrate until my breathing is back to normal before doing them.
I have always been against weight lifting. I already have an athletic build with broad man shoulders and before I had my mastectomy and reconstructive surgery I used the term “body like an 11 year old boy” to describe myself. My biggest fear has been bulking up and looking even more manish than I already do. Plus, ever since my mastectomy my previously weak chicken arms have become even smaller and weaker. GuruJoe insisted that I begin weight lifting, he hasn’t steered my wrong yet so I agreed. I half heartedly perused pinterest and mentally searched my house for the free weights I had bought years ago. The day after I had the conversation, my neighbor stopped by for tea and she looked great. I hadn’t seen her in several weeks (maybe longer) and as we caught up she mentioned that she had begun weight lifting. I mentally thanked whatever workout God had sent her at the perfect time, and asked if I could go with her and try it. For the last three weeks I have been waking up at 5:30am twice a week to go to our town’s rec center and lift weights. I suck at it, and bench pressing is HARD after my surgery, but I’m already up to 50lb and I can see a difference in my bum (a good one) after just three weeks of doing squats with the barbell. We use the StrongLifts App and it’s awesome. It keeps track of your reps and tells you exactly how much weight to use each time.
Cold Showers and Magnesium Citrate
Yup, you read that right. Cold Showers. Not all the time, thankfully! After my workouts I take a regular warm shower and then bit by bit turn the water to as cold as I can handle it. Focusing on letting it hit my back and legs. It sounds terrible but isn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. It has helped SO much with being stiff and sore…really! The magnesium citrate is a supplement to take after workouts, I’ve only been doing this for a week so I need to get back to you on how it works!
These were a lot of changes, and it hasn’t been easy to do this.
After almost three weeks I can already feel and see a difference in my life, and this encourages me to keep on including these good habits into my daily routine. I made the commitment to keep this up until I climb Pikes Peak, though I’m fairly positive that I’ll keep up on all this for a long while after. I want my body to do what it needs to do, and I want to be able to keep pushing myself to do new things I never dreamed of accomplishing. For that to happen, I need to treat my body with the respect it deserves and take the time to do things the right way. #strongenough
A few tips…
- Let your partner know about your new goals and ask them to be supportive and encourage you to follow through on your commitment to yourself.
- Have a friend that will help you, or at least hold you accountable.
- Make this about adding things TO your life not taking things away or punishing yourself.
- I whole heartedly believe in cheat days or skipping a workout here and there (this means once every two weeks or so, not every week).
- Schedule your workouts and keep in mind what you’ll realistically be able to do. This means better to start with 2 days a week and succeed than 4 and fail and feel bad.
- Brag it up, you are a super star and taking action to create the life you want, celebrate it sister!
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Any tips or tricks for me?
Favorite sources of protein?
PLEASE, share your knowledge!