Sunday, February 21, 2010

Give Me a Break

This past Friday I took my first scheduled "rest day" since the beginning of January. Somehow I managed to fit in some sort of physical activity for 47 days straight. My minimum daily exercise has been the 25 minutes it takes to do a level of the Shred, but for many (especially weekdays) I've been incorporating an additional 30 minutes of intense cardio at the gym. I hesitated a little when declaring this day of rest. Part of it, I'm sure, was fear of breaking a good habit. I don't want this rest day to lead to inconsistency. I'm learning, however, that rest is important both physically and mentally. On Thursday, after 15 or so miles on the stationery bike my body was telling me "ENOUGH". Earlier that morning I had a headache, a stomachache, a small cough and a general feeling of fatigue. I could barely make it through my 6 am Level 1 Shredding. I've read enough articles and blog posts on overtraining to know it was time to stop before I hurt myself.

The day off felt good, but it was great to get back into it last night after returning from a short trip to Central PA. I did Level 2 of the Shred, ate lots of veggies for dinner, and went to bed super early. Today I managed to fit in Jillian Michaels' Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism in it's entirety (55 minutes including warm up and cool down!). Had I not had a day off, I'm sure my body would not have been happy with that work out. I think what it boils down to is that we can take care of ourselves in many ways. I can push myself to become stronger, but I also need to be sure I'm rewarding my body with proper rest. I don't think I'm going to let myself go another 47 days without it and hope to be able to incorporate one day of relaxation in every 7-14 days. Has anyone learned the importance of rest the hard way? How many rest days do you give yourselves?

I also want to add a quick thanks to everyone who's been sending such kind words of support my way after my involvement in the "Oz 100". It's really amazing to me to see people responding to that particular episode so positively. I finally got a chance to watch the whole thing and couldn't help but get choked up during a few of the segments. It reminded me again of who I once was versus who I am now. The new me was always inside, but losing weight really helped me bring that part of me out. Visiting York this past weekend—the town where I hit rock bottom and reached my heaviest weight—I passed countless fast food restaurants, convenience stores, diners, and donut shops where I so often fed my emotions. I felt such an enormous disconnect from that life I used to lead. That girl would never dream she would one day be sitting in the studio audience representing weight loss success. But there I was, and here I am and I couldn't be happier.


Katie said...

I always find when I get into exercising again, I go too hard and eventually reach a day where I'm feeling sick and dizzy and realize I haven't been taking enough breaks. On top of that, I always find I don't eat enough in the beginning because I don't realize how much I really should be eating!

On Thursday I was at the Y for the first time in MA, and wound up on the treadmill running for 30 minutes. What the hell was I thinking? I got home and rested for a half hour before turning on the Shred, started warming up and realized there was no way I'd be able to continue on with the Shred that afternoon. I took a four hour nap after that, I was so exhausted. I ended up taking a two day break from the Shred, all because I wasn't ready to run full speed for 30 minutess and I wasn't eating enough to energize myself. I can totally understand how doing the Shred for 30 days straight is doable, but not when you're adding in cardio for the first time in months.

I just want to let you know, although you probably already know, that whenever someone I know is looking to lose weight or talking about exercising, I point them in the direction of your Flickr photos or this blog so people can see what a great job you've done. You used no gimmick diets or surgery, just exercising and eating healthy, and to me, that's not only incredible but highly commendable and inspiring - you are a walking, talking advertisement letting people know that it's totally possible to get to a healthy weight again without surgery. You are an inspiration to people who are 150lbs overweight to people who are just looking for a little exercise inspiration (which is how I originally found your Flickr, when searching Flickr for "weight loss"). On top of that, your photos are great so it's a pleasure following your Flickr feed.

Anyway, this deserves a "You go girl".

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