Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Healthy Habits in 2012 - Knowing Your Limits

One of the things about fighting 2 chronic illnesses is that the limits of the body are more evident than they might be for the average person.

Before I got sick, I could get by on 4-5 hours of sleep 2-3 nights a week, as long as they weren't consecutive.
Before I got sick, I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and, while I might gain a pound or two, my digestive tract worked just fine and I felt just fine.
Before I got sick, I could push myself to the point of exhaustion in a workout (or pretty much anything else) and know that I'd bounce back the next day.
Before I got sick, as long as I drank a cup or two of coffee in the morning I could pretty much gurarantee a clear head for thinking all day long.

Now... not so much.

Now, I need a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night when I'm not sick. When I'm sick it's 9 - 10 hours.  When I need to push for a night, it's 6 1/2.  No less.  Even if it's only one night that week.

If I eat junk food - any of it - my stomach revolts and I feel like a complete slug for hours.

I can't push myself to the point of exhaustion. Ever.  If I want to function at all within the next 24 hours, that is.  And even if  I don't need to function for the next 24 hours, I feel the effects for up to a week.

Brain fog is something that I have to contend with if I'm too tired, if I ate something I don't normally eat, if I have a head cold or other minor illness, or if I've gotten off to a rough start that morning - no matter how much or how little coffee I have drank that morning.

Quite frankly, I miss the "old" me.  The one that didn't have to be quite so careful about everything. That didn't have to "shut down" at 1030pm every single night or else.  That didn't have to watch everything she eats.   That could push for a day or two or a week, if necessary.  That could think and reason clearly without any complications or physical and mental pushing.

I was supposed to teach 4 Jazzercise classes this week.  I gave up two of them.

Why? 

Because I spent 44 of the 48 hours this weekend in bed, unable to be upright for more about 5 minutes at a time with a terrible head cold/sinus infection.

Because I know I can't push myself too hard.

Because short term gain would mean long-term loss.

And I really and truly would rather hold to where I'm at right now - even though I'd like to be thinner with better defined muscles - than slide backwards.

That, my friends, is truly a healthy habit!

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Lea