Chatting about recognizing your bodies signals that it’s time to rest, rejuvenate and re-assess!
I just wanted to share something of my personal journey with you as I’ve recently run into a moment with my body where things were starting to take a down turn. My intention sharing this is for a few reasons.
It is so easy to present only our “best selves” when showing up on social media and I want everyone to know that even health professionals hit struggle town sometimes!
2 pro tips!
I have had much love and support for so much of my life. The guidance from all of my people has made me so switched on and resilient that it would be a crime not to share the love.
If you happen to have a “go get em tiger” personality (like moi) then it can be difficult to moderate yourself! My body has its own way of telling me when I’ve pushed it too far. Knowing what the signals are and listening to them can help you (and me) dial it back in when needed so that balance can be restored.
How we got here
I have entered into a new and exciting phase health-wise for me. Largely this involves being well and energetic enough to work out like a super-woman for 5 days a week, resting for 2 days and having a “de-load” week every 4th week.
I’ve been loving this and with the increased exercise load I’ve been wanting to see some nice body composition changes .. so typically Bek style, I’ve been undergoing a “sports nutrition” trial using a diet map that I have put together from trawling the sports nutrition journals.
My desire (shared by almost everyone who works out, I’m sure) is to add lean muscle mass and strip some fat mass, so to do this I’ve been running on a small calorie deficit whilst optimizing my macros for the goal. It’s probably about 8 weeks in to this new regime (did I mention that I had mostly forgotten about re-feeding days?) and all of a sudden my stress levels rise .. and then something else goes wrong. Before I know it I have gone from a superwoman like creature into someone who is feeling sluggish and heavy . Due to my persistent nature, I’m still getting up to work-out in the morning but then things start to come apart.
I get back from a workout one morning and the feeling of physical heaviness is overwhelming. All of a sudden, my face is leaking and life seems way too hard. The stress-full things are now much bigger than they usually are and far harder to deal with.
At this point, I realize that something is not working.
Is there a problem?
Let’s go through the checklist
-negative thinking … tick
-feeling overwhelmed … tick
-desire to sleep ..tick
-the world feels too loud and intrusive …tick
-self care …..…..hmm
-enough friend time ..tick
-eaten steak recently …tick
-eaten for pleasure … umm …
-medical investigation ….ok lets do some things
-is there a root cause that is glaringly obvious …nope..
The above list gives me a plan of things I need to do to restore balance
Restoring the balance
First step is to get some blood work done to make sure that nothing has gone wrong with my thyroid or nutrient levels/ rule out disease.
Second step is to listen to the body and sleeeep … and laze around and embrace the heaviness.
Third step is to eat for both pleasure and nutrient sufficiency, give myself a breather from being a nutrient nutcase for a while so I can mentally re-cooperate and enjoy whatever I have a hankering for!
Fourth step is to do something nourishing for my beautiful strong body! Bring the balance back , she does all of the heavy lifting powerful things I want and I think its time she got a massage and a bubble bath!
Once the energy levels start to return
I can reflect from a better headspace as to what I need to change so that the chances of this happening are less in the future. Do I need to do a more regular “re-feed” day? Probably. Do I need to have two sleep in days a week .. likely .. you get the idea. Its about altering little things that this new mis-adventure/ learning curve has bought to light.
If you are prone to going at full steam and then becoming a deflated and weary version of yourself, it can be really helpful to write down a list of “warning signs” that you typically experience on the down-ward trajectory. This way, when it happens , you recognize and catch yourself before you become an extremely hot mess and need to have significant down time to repair your health!
It’s all about finding little ways to nurture yourself. Have a list of these things on hand too. Being organized about it when you are healthy is something that your fatigued brain will be super grateful for! It’s difficult enough to function when you are on the downward spiral, let alone being creative and loving. Get a cheat sheet together now!
life is full of ups and downs. If there are some simple things to do that help you recover from the downs faster and with some learning on-board, then you are still totally winning.