Thursday, January 5, 2017

Catching my Diet Brain

Anyone else's joints extra noisy lately?  Maybe it's me, I live in a place that gets cold.  Like today, seriously, -20 degrees (F) with windchill.  Brrrrr!  My brain is already annoyed by the weather, it makes perfect sense that my body should follow suit!
Last night after work, I received a long letter from my mom.  She explained her theory of what happened to her lungs, something about lint/dust in her apartment and exposure to someone's headcold.  Ummm, she's in denial bigtime, but she claims she is doing much better and hasn't had any more episodes.  I can't force her to have her lungs checked out, I'm sure she is avoiding doing it because she's afraid of what she'll be told, and how she'll be scolded for not being able to give up smoking.  Guilt makes us do things we wouldn't normally do, especially when we are the ones who personally suffer.  Not having your health checked because you're scared you've failed yourself somehow, could be a foolish and fatal mistake.  My own boss is doing a similar thing.  He is in his 50's with the typical Wisconsin beer belly, he drinks a good deal.  He confessed to me a couple nights ago, that he went to the gym (his first time) and while working out his chest started to hurt and get tight.  The next morning when he tried to get out of bed, he was so dizzy that he fell to the floor and by the time he was telling me this, about 24 hours after the treadmill incident, he said his chest was still tight.  I told him those are very common symptoms of heart problems, and two of the symptoms my dad had when he found out he had 5 blocked arteries.  I implored him to have it checked out but he said he wanted to see if it got better on its own.  By the time I was leaving I was bugging him so much about it that he said maybe he'd stop by a nurse in the building and have them take a quick blood pressure.  Sheesh!  Why do we do this out of guilt?  Just check it out.  The heart and lungs are nothing to mess around with!  We can't, however, force anyone else to admit they have a problem.  I totally understand being scared of health issues, but knowing is always better, and is often a motivation to change.  And maybe that's the bottom line, knowing we have ruined our health means we should change, and maybe some people know they are not ready to change so they would just rather be ignorant and stay in their comfort zone. 
But I digress.  I spent some time reading my mom's letter, there was a lot of good, healing stuff in their too, where she exposed her feelings of guilt over being gone a lot when we were young, and for taking such a dangerous job (Leutenant Firefighter/EMT) that put her in situations where she could have been taken from us, and she talked about family and said she is putting together a booklet about some family history and such since I have recently become very interested with our heritage.  By the time I finished reading the letter I was so over-hungry and feeling drained (physically) so instead of my normal veggie burger loaded with veggies, I had some crispy fried ravioli with tuscan herbs. 
It was pretty tastey, I made too much, but I had to use it up because it was getting freezer-burned, I did eat it all and I was aware it was more than I needed to be satiated.  Even though it was tastey and satisfying, after eating much cleaner lately, I was really aware of how creamy and heavy it was, and I felt like I needed to have something fresh so I ate 1/2 cup of frozen, organic berries and that felt better.  Maybe it's a mental thing but I think my body is liking all the extra fruits and veggies I've been getting lately. 
This morning, when my alarm went off at 4:20am, I felt feverish and stuffy and I could tell that the majority of my muscles were tired and just sore enough to not want to be used.  I slept until 5am and did my normal morning routine to get ready, take the dog out, feed him and me, then get myself ready for work then the kids.  I feel sluggish and like my brain has an extra layer of fog over it today, and I have tight/stiff kinks in my neck/shoulder and a dull headache.  While I was eating breakfast this morning I thought about missing a workout this morning and wondered if I would work one in later tonight.  I had to stop myself because I realized I was slipping into diet mentality of "all or nothing" thinking.  The stressful, guilt-ridden, I'm-either-off-or-on-my-plan mentality that ends up getting me in trouble.  I am not off-plan, I don't really have a plan.  I took a rest.  I ate a warm, flavorful dish last night and chose to stay in bed and let my body rejuvenate with rest a little more this morning.  Rest is needed in order to heal, and that is a message that goes so much deeper than the surface.  Being mindful is about more than what you put in your mouth and why, I also need to be mindful of when my body is telling me it needs a bit of a break. So I'm not going to stress out about missing one cardio session or eating a little higher fat and carb meal.  All the healthier things I have been doing for my body are adding up and won't be immediately erased by one day or even two. 
Today I may work on balance by a simple practice of standing on one foot for 30 seconds at a time.  Did you ever realize how many muscles are activated/needed to do this activity?  I never would have thought of it if it hadn't been something I was encouraged to do when I was rehabbing my knee after surgery.  The physical therapist said that balance is something that many therapists and doctors neglect to focus on, but almost everyone has problems with balance as they age.  Try it, stand on one foot for thirty seconds, bending your other knee behind you.  The first time I did it, I was surprised to see how many times I felt I needed to put the other foot down to regain my balance.  I am getting better now, though it's not something I remember to do consistently.  It's simple enough to work into my day, even if I do 3 sets that's only 3 minutes.  That's my kind of workout!  haha. 
My TLC for my body today will be some stretching, the kind I can do at work without looking silly, some neck stretches and maybe some arm stretches to get that kink out of my neck and shoulder.  Tonight I may take a hot bath to soak and soothe my muscles, or I might just go to bed early.  Some hot tea today (because brrrrr! Even inside the clinic where I work) and making a little time during lunch or in between patients, to focus on deep, happy, healing thoughts.  There is so much more to being "healthy" than just eating salads and spending time on the treadmill.  I'm glad I finally realize that, I feel wholer than I have in years! 
Happy Thursday to you!  Whether you are taking a restful day or celebrating all the things your body can do, I hope you have a great day!



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