Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The first word in HAES is Health

Good with Cheese reminded me at exactly the right time that the "health" part of HAES means a lot more than just eating well and moving my body regularly.

See, I came down with a nasty cold Monday. One of those where you feel fine all day, and then suddenly, after dinner, WHAMMO! Sore throat, stuffy head, general ick. I've been coughing, blowing my nose nonstop, have a fever on and off, have been trying to come up with a way to make the insides of my ears stop itching, and generally being a sickie.

Here's the thing: having this cold has been making me have long, INSANE conversations with myself (no, the conversations aren't insane just by virtue of the fact that I'm talking to myself; THAT'S completely normal) about how I need to get to the gym to keep up my pattern of exercising 3x a week (sometimes even 4x a week, if the dogs can con me into a W-A-L-K).

I feel strong and clearheaded when I exercise regularly, and I love the endorphin rush. And since I couldn't work out for most of November, all of December, and all of January because of a sprained ankle, when I got back to the gym in February, I vowed to make it a regular part of my schedule. Not to lose weight, but because it makes me FEEL GOOD.

After not working out for almost 3 months, and then getting back into the habit of regular exercise for the past 3 months, my lizard brain keeps zipping around, yelling "Must...work...out!!! Get to the gym!!! Go go go!!! Can't miss a week!!!" I even said in my comment to Good with Cheese's post that I've "been good" by working out 3x a week for the past 3 months.

Yup. I fell into the trap of the good/bad mindset, where exercise = good and not exercising = bad. I didn't mean to, but I think that's the whole point -- it's still ingrained in me that some behavior is "good" and other behavior is "bad," and if I don't stop once in a while to check my brain, I can be hip-deep in self-congratulation for my exercise streak.

You know what IS "bad"? Pushing myself to work out when I can hardly breathe because I have an icky cough. Convincing myself that I can go to the gym and "just walk around the track slowly" when I hardly have the energy to read a book.

I said in my comment to Good with Cheese's post that my "row of gold stars" is broken. But, hell, who deserves a gold star for pushing herself too hard and maybe getting sicker, for exposing lots of other people to her cold, for NOT listening to her body? No gold star there.

I needed the reminder in Good with Cheese's post that the "health" part of HAES comes from listening to my body to find out what it truly needs, and then giving that to my body. Some days my body does need to move, and I try to honor that. But this week, today? My body just needs to rest and get better. Anything else doesn't qualify as "health" and damn well doesn't earn me a gold star.

8 comments:

Rachel said...

I hope you feel better soon!

Pet~ said...

Teppy, must be going around cuz I've got it too and it hit about the same way. Just WHAM! One minute I was fine, the next I felt like crap.

I'm doing the best I can to take care of myself, but with three kids at home and a DH who works buttloads of overtime just so we can pay the bills... Well, some *minutes* are better than others.

I could deal with all the rest of it, if this darn COUGH would just go away. That's what's killing me.

::::raises cup o' hot tea:::: Here's hoping we BOTH feel better soon!

Twistie said...

Ah, but there is good behavior and bad behavior. Good behavior just happens to include taking the time to rest and recuperate from illness. Good does not include pushing oneself into further illness by failing to understand that the body needs rest when it's unwell.

Your health is important. Take care of yourself. The gym will still be there when your cough is gone. You know, when it feels good to move again. Here's hoping that day comes along quickly.

spacedcowgirl said...

I had the cold of doom back in January--I bet I haven't been that sick in 5 years. I did take a week or so off the gym but I pushed myself to go back before I was ready. Apart from the fact that I shouldn't have done it because I felt like crap some of those days, and the exercise felt more punishing than healthy--which, I feel sort of offended on my own behalf that I did that to myself because why did I deserve "punishment"--I really think this caused me to recuperate more slowly than I would have otherwise. I think listening to your body and taking the time you need to get better is definitely the way to go.

Piffle said...

We all have colds, mine comes with a headache advil can't touch. My little girl is sick too, and the boys are just getting better and feeling squirrely because I don't have the energy to run them.

Let's all have a nice cup of virtual tea and visit. I'm forumming with you nice folks and some nice gardening folks too. Pointed someone toward a really nice varigated rosemary which made her very happy. :)

Yes, HAES is letting yourself heal and rest too, even when the kids are sqeeing and running around in circles...

Mary said...

You know? I think THAT deserves a gold star. Or a green one, if you want to switch your colors up!

Fat Academic said...

I too am hacking up small parts of my lungs over here in Australia. I hope we both feel better soon!

Awesome post too by the way!

Lourana said...
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