Monday, August 18, 2008

I’m Not the Energizer Bunny

It’s rare for me to admit when I’m tired. When I was a kid, my mom would tell me, “Go to bed!” when she saw me staring heavy-eyed at the television on a Saturday night. “I’m not tired!” I’d insist, even though I could barely keep my head on my shoulders.

What do I think I'll miss out on by going to bed or taking it easy? I asked myself that question today and I concluded that I equate tired with weak or wimpy. It’s OK to be tired if I’m really sick or when I had babies or surgery, but it’s not OK to be tired after a vacation or concert or something else that is technically “fun.”

I don’t know if it’s that I’ve run smack into 45 and I’m slowing down or if it’s because I’m coming off a crazy 16-day schedule or if it’s a combination of the two, but I admit I’m tired. Bone tired. I had every intention of working out this morning, but I physically couldn’t bring myself to get on the elliptical or lift a weight. My thighs are stiff, my arms feel like dead weight, and my brain is fuzzy, like I’m looking through a smeared mirror.

When I got back from Minnesota last Monday, I worked out five days in a row, including Saturday before leaving for Scranton to attend the Journey concert. Yesterday, we drove home so I didn’t work out, but I figured I’d get a good nights sleep and do a normal routine today. Problem was, when I woke up, my body said, “Umm….no.”

Of course, in walked the fat chick in my head who said, “Ha ha! If you don’t work out today, you’ll gain weight. Nanner nanner nanner.”

I hate when she talks to me like that because I tend to believe her, and then I have to talk myself down from feeling like a total lazy butt. So I called my husband.

“Honey, if I don’t work out today, I won’t gain 170 pounds, right?”

“Right.”

“OK, good. Just checking.”

He’s so reassuring, isn’t he?

So instead of an intense workout this morning, I caught up on laundry, dishes and the grocery shopping, and I told myself I could go for a walk later today if I wanted. I’ve also got a lot on my mind and things to sort out, so I'm contributing that to my tiredness as well.

I hate being tired and I hate feeling guilty for not working out. But both require my attention today rather than simply tossing both feelings under the rug. I need to tell myself that it’s OK to be tired, especially after the hectic activity of the last few weeks. It’s also OK to feel guilty (trying to deny a feeling is as useful as wearing sweat pants in a Jacuzzi), but it’s not OK to act on that guilt by beating myself up. I’m working on acknowledging it and letting it go.

When I was putting on my makeup in the bathroom this morning, I heard my neighbor playing her piano. She is a music professor and a concert pianist and in the spring she suffered an injury which left her unable to play the piano for several weeks. Today, as I listened to her play scales, I was reminded that our bodies almost always have the final say in what we can and can’t do, despite what our mind says. My neighbor still plays the piano beautifully, even after being away from it for awhile. She got her mojo back, even if she felt a little rusty. Same thing with my body and exercise. I’ll get my energy back. The mojo is still there. I’ll kick off the cobwebs tomorrow, or when my body says, “Go!”

8 comments:

  1. Nice post Lynn. I understand how you feel. I did not go to the gym on Saturday and I have the nagging feeling of regret for not going but I was just so tired - I took the bodypump class on Thursday and I was still feeling the pain in my legs and in my back (which is not good) - I just could not lift them. But the guilt was still there and is in my head as I write this post. You will get your mojo back don't worry and you are not that "fat girl" anymore remember she is a distant memory one that I hope to share with you one day. Thanks for always inspiring us.

    Mara
    http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

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  2. I was feeling tired and weary a couple weeks ago. When I looked at my food journal I saw that I wasn't getting enough protein or water. Both of these are essential to repairing muscles after exercise. When I upped my protein and water intake I felt *a lot* better.

    A friend of mine also suggested adding whey to my diet when I told her about my tiredness. She told me that her homeopathic doc told her to use whey as a good source of protein.

    So look at what you're eating/drinking in addition to sleep.

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  3. Hi, Lynn,
    If I may ask: how did your neighbour get injured? Was it from her playing the piano?

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  4. It must be all about listening to your body in all aspects of health. You stop eating when you are full, you push exercise when you know you can and you take a time out when needed. That old, fat girl would never have worked out right after vacation!

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  5. I can SO relate to this, Lynn. I do find that I feel much less guilty about skipping a workout if it's a PLANNED day off. However, I never do this! I try to get on the treadmill 4-5 days per week, but I don't have set days off. Your husband is so smart and reasonable!

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  6. I can relate! It's hard to take a day off when I need it because I fear that one day off will negate all the hard work I put in the rest of the week. Hmmm does that make me a glass is half empty type person?! Oh well, good for you on listening to your body, you'll feel better faster because of it!

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  7. Are you living in my brain right now? This is exaclty how I am feeling. I need my MOJO back - desperatly. I have not worked out since Tuesday and had a binge last night as well. When I woke up this morning I told myself to get over it because the weight will not come back in one day. Onward and upward! Thanks for sharing so needed to read this today.

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  8. I like your blog--you make sense. Right now, I am full. I ate half a can of Mr Pringles chips. Oh, am I bloated. I came in to do work at the computer, but somehow I found you. We seem like kindred spirits. Thanks for the energy!

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