As I've mentioned before, I'm kind of a type A, overachieving human. And by kind of, I mean I totally am. I don't do well with time off. It is very difficult for me to relax. I'm actually the most "relaxed" - or I guess comfortable is a better word for it - when I have a plethora of things to do. I know, I'm weird. But like they say, idle hands are the devil's workshop...right?
Last Saturday, one of my best friends got married, and TBH, I went a little overboard preparing for it. Fine. I went way overboard. Saying this out loud, people would probably assume I was the one getting married. I did a hair or face mask almost every two days so that my skin and hair would look fierce day of the wedding. My trainer and I adjusted my training so I would look the most toned in my dress. It was a long halter dress, so rather than my normal training of resistance sprints, sled pushes, squats, and box jumps, the last month, my life revolved around pull ups, rows, tricep burnouts, and throwing around every medicine ball we could find. Diet wise, I eat pretty darn clean as it is, but I'm weird, and I've been wanting to try the master cleanse so I figured this was the perfect time to go for it.10 days before the wedding, I attempted the cleanse. And I barely got through 2 days. By day three, I knew I needed real fuel for my training, so I decided to adjust the cleanse. I drank the concoction until 12 or 1 depending on my hunger level that day. Then I ate raw fruit and vegetables until dinner, where I added a cup of rice or half a sweet potato to cooked veggies and maybe an egg. So I guess you could say I "cleansed" by subtracting/replacing one meal a day.
**looking back, this was really stupid and I don't recommend to anyone. And I'm not really sure why I even thought to do this: A) given my past relationship with food and restriction but more importantly B) I know my body thrives on more food, especially carbs so I have no idea what the hell I was thinking. But hey, we all make mistakes and life is a learning process.
Since the wedding, however, I haven't been keeping up with really any of my normalities when it comes to diet and exercise. Greg and I moved into our town home on Monday, and our lives have been crazy. Between a new work schedule, furniture shopping, long commutes and nationals practice for me, we have both been exhausted by the time we actually get home each night. I only did one workout this week - and it was a half-assed tabata workout, so I'm not really going to count it - especially because I did it for my stress levels and not my physical appearance. And when it comes to food, I've been listening to my body and have been eating whenever I'm hungry. Which this week has been ALL. THE. TIME. And again, it's all whole foods. Lots of apples and cherries, salads, and veggies. But it feels like I'm starving after an hour and a half of eating. I know my body is under stress. It's exhausted. It's been moving and lifting boxes and going up and down continual flights of stairs. We've been sleeping on an air mattress so the sleep I am getting hasn't been deep enough to actually refresh me. My brain is constantly worried about finances and budgeting and shipping schedules and the other three weddings we have to go to this month and when Greg is going to regret the decision of asking me to live with him...
My old brain wants to go into fight or flight mode. I want to go on runs (please note I HATE running). I want to punch things. My normal defense mechanism is both sarcasm and pushing people away. My old brain is scared. Scared of ruining my relationship. Scared of realizing I'm sucking as an adult. Scared of realizing I am SO not ready to live with a significant other. Scared of the large amounts of food I'm eating and gaining back the weight from college. Scared Greg won't be attracted to me anymore if I do gain that weight. Scared Greg won't be attracted to me anymore because of learning all the weird quirks I have. The list is petty and slightly superficial, but it goes on and on.
But my new brain knows my old brain sucks. Old brain wasn't working for me. Old brain put me in a mental hospital and made it seem like this life wasn't worth living. New brain has a much more open minded perspective. New brain knows I can't be on all the time. New brain "grants" me permission to let go of my old habits and thoughts. And it's freeing. Yes the old thoughts are there, but when Greg suggested we eat pancakes for dinner last night, I resounded with a "Hell yea!" Instead of working out the last three nights, we've been cuddling and watching Phantom of the Opera and drinking champagne (because as it turns out, Greg loves Phantom just as much as I do! #bonuspoints).
I know I preach a lot about self-preservation. And I also know I don't always take my own advice. I feel like when people talk about doing something for their mental health, it's reading a book for an hour or doing a face mask, or going on that run - essentially one and done things. But sometimes you just need more than a face mask to recuperate. This week, my body needed a break. My brain needed a break, even though it was still filled with stressful thoughts. I needed to eat more avocados and sweet potatoes. I needed to not train. I needed to sleep. And most importantly, I needed to chill out and enjoy the small things this week had in store for me. Having my first big food shop with Greg. Making some adult decisions and buying a mattress and furniture. Making meals with limited amounts of kitchen supplies and no plates. Bonding over the fact we actually have a pretty similar taste in furniture and decorative pieces. Literally only having only two chairs to sit on. Watching Greg geek out over CADing the layout of our furniture while I replant succulents. Walking Jaso (his dog) together, because we're on the same schedule now. Me getting slightly buzzed on champagne and crying to "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" while Greg kissed my forehead. THESE are the things I'm going to remember 5 years from now. Not the slight definition of abs I've been striving for. Not the hours spent meal prepping. It's the real moments when I'm paying attention to my surroundings rather than the chaos in my brain - the old and new.
I feel the need to write this because I feel it's necessary to tell both you and myself that you need to chill out every once in a while. That you need to stop. Yes setting goals for yourself is a great way to grow, but no matter how many Instagram fitness models or lifestyle gurus tell you to "grind every day" and to "not make excuses", sometimes you just need a week off. Or two weeks. Or however much time you need to take care of yourself. Yes it's the middle of summer, but honestly no one actually cares about your beach body. Put your body on a beach. Boom. Nailed it. If you're exhausted take a nap, or prioritize sleep. If you're hungry, feed your body with nutrient dense foods. If you're thirsty drink your water. If you're ready for a fun night out, go have that fun night out. If you want a sneaky dessert treat (because it's hot out and who doesn't?) GO. EAT. THAT. DESSERT. It's okay.
Yes I want to live a healthy life. I want to be fit and fuel myself with the foods that make me feel the best I can. I want my outward appearance to radiate how I feel on the inside. I want to do these things for myself now so I can live the longest, most enjoyable life I can. But more importantly, I want to live a happy life. I want a life full of love. Love from and for other people, but a life full of love for myself. And you can't do that whilst pushing yourself to the limit every single day. You can't just say you love yourself, and you can't do the bare minimum either. Loving yourself means you do whatever you need to do to thrive and actually be okay.
This week was weirdly really nice. But now I'm ready to get back to working out. I'm ready to meal prep again. I'm excited and inspired. So much so that I want to blog more regularly and about new things. Aside from the physical side, I'm genuinely mentally ready and excited for this new adventure. Life's a journey right? Well, every journey needs some down time, or else that journey comes to an end hella quick...