“I SHOULD get some exercise,” I kept thinking. “I SHOULD get up right now and go to the gym.”
I was so busy “should’ing” all over myself that I forgot to notice how badly I did not, actually, want to work out this morning.
So I didn’t.
I scale hopped; I saw the lowest number I’ve seen in months (the only positive side-effect of being sick and not having much of an appetite for weeks), poured a cup of coffee, took two sips, and went back to bed for an hour.
At 6 AM, I got up again, made breakfast, took a shower, watched the news, and hit the road.
It is 3 PM, and I could seriously put my head down on my desk and fall asleep. I feel great – just SUPER tired, probably the result of not enough sleep last night + two very full work days + social plans on top of it all. I’m already excited for tomorrow night, when I’ve promised myself the luxurious treat of a restorative yoga class at a tiny studio near my house.
I spend a lot of my life thinking about the things that I “should” do, be, say, think, feel, etc. I’m willing to bet that all of you do too. What would happen if we all just did what we felt like doing (to a reasonable extent)? If we followed the non-verbal and non-emotional cues our bodies gave us, and fulfilled all our cravings?
Tired? Go back to sleep.
Hungry? Throw away your calorie journal and eat something – eat something WONDERFUL.
Craving sweets? Salt? Forget the sugar free, reduced calorie ice cream. Laugh at the fat free olestra-filled potato chips. Get yourself some pie and a plate of French fries. Eat a few bites – savor them – I bet you’ll push it away, satisfied.
Want to lay on the sofa all day, doing nothing but watching TV? Go for it.
I guarantee you the world will not end.
Take a walk; take a nap… take control. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know that my unhealthy actions usually come from a place of losing control and acting mindlessly – rather than making conscious choices and owning them. There’s a big difference between ordering a pizza out of stress and low blood sugar (and then binging on the whole thing), vs. planning to order a pizza for dinner, enjoying a couple of slices, and calling it a night. For me, those mindless moments occur when I’m tired, hungry, thirsty, or anxious.
So I shoulda gone to the gym this morning. I coulda gotten up at 5 AM and hit the road. But then I woulda been even more tired (hungry, thirsty, anxious), when the clock struck 3 PM.
Instead, I chose to listen to my body and give it another hour of sleep – probably the best decision for me at the time.
How about you:
- What are your cues that you need more food/sleep/water?
- How do you identify and manage the difference between a legitimate craving and sensible CHOICE vs. a mindless indulgence?
- How do you make sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard in any direction, simply because you think that you should?