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Learning not to feel guilty

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Who catches a cold in the summer time? Apparently, I do.

Friday morning, I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck. I had a sore throat and terrible nasal congestion. The nasal congestion was giving me sinus pain and a splitting headache and the splitting headache made me feel dizzy every time I moved. I took the day off from work to recuperate and to see the doctor. Luckily it's just a cold and not a sinus infection so I don't need antibiotics. But between the cold and the cold medicine, I was knocked out all day Friday.

Wanna know what that does to my activity level? I'm normally quite active due to the fact that I walk to work, I have a pretty active job, and I do some form of exercise (almost) every day. I normally average 15,000 steps per day. Since I bought my pedometer, the most steps I've ever tracked was 28,982. One day, I'd like to see if I can crack 30,000. Yesterday, I took a whopping total of 1,622 steps. Today, with no exercise I'm already at 8,126. What a huge difference.

And of course, I've been waiting for the weather to get nice all week so I could go running. But I was in no shape to do that yesterday. Being sick and stuck indoors when the weather is gorgeous is like getting a broken toy on Christmas or some other thing that's really lame. That's how much being sick during the summer SUCKS.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty guilty about not exercising, specifically for not running when the weather was perfect for doing so. I am feeling much better today. I'm still feeling kind of crummy but less crummy. I still easily tire but at least I'm not passed out. So today I thought I might test the waters with a walk outside (at least to enjoy the weather) but unfortunately just don't have the time. Obviously, I was well enough to run the errands I needed to do. But between the errands and the fact that I'm about to head out to cheer on a friend in a roller derby match, I just ran out of time today.

So yes, I am learning not to feel guilty when I don't exercise. Isn't that such a funny statement? Once upon a time, I sat on my butt all day, all week, and all year long. But now exercise is a habit of mine. It's just part of my routine. Not exercising feels like forgetting to shower. It feels gross. It feels wrong.

This morning when I started beating myself up over not exercising, that's when logic FINALLY kicked in. In all other aspects of my health, I live by the rule of "LISTEN TO YOUR BODY." I eat when I'm hungry even if I'm over my caloric budget because my body is telling me it needs more nutrition. I don't eat when I'm not hungry even if I still have some calories to burn. Why eat those extra calories just to eat them? I stop any exercise if I feel like I'm pushing myself too hard to be safe. I take rest days when my body tells me to. So listening to my body when it's sick is the same thing. I shouldn't push myself just because I'm going to miss a few workouts. I need time to recover.

And summer hasn't even officially started yet. There will still be beautiful weekends for me to go running or biking and to enjoy the sun. And I've still got a week before my next race. It's plenty of time for me to recover and get in a practice run before the race. Relax, Jen, relax. So what if you're sick during the summer and can't exercise? It's not the end of the world. Just go have fun at roller derby tonight.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hope you feel beter soon.

    emoticon emoticon
    2969 days ago
    I'm glad you're feeling better! We all need a break once in awhile especially if you're sick!!!
    2970 days ago
    I am glad you are feeling better. I am happy to hear you are listening to your body. It is so crazy for me too, if I don't exercise for a day I am racked with guilt. Previously I could do nothing for weeks; no guilt.

    I hope you are soon back to feeling 100% and I bet your body will feel better for the rest you gave it.

    2970 days ago
    I'm glad you took the time off to let your body feel better and I am glad you are feeling better!

    I have been right there with you this past week of not feeling good and not working out and then feeling guilty about it. I had to have that same realization about listening to my body and letting it get better.

    Glad you are feeling better!
    2970 days ago
    First, I hope you feel better soon. For one, being sick, not only in the summer, but on the weekend, is terrible.
    Second, about feeling guilty? I think it's a phase we "new" exercisers are going through. When I miss a day or two, I can really feel it when I resume because my "base" of fitness isn't there - three steps forward, two steps back. When I talk to people who've been exercising for years, or who make it their occupation, they'll recommend taking not just a day, but an entire week off. They're in it for the long haul.
    Good for you for listening to your body. There is no "chicken soup" emoticon -- this is as close as I can get! emoticon
    2970 days ago
    Glad you're listening to your body and giving it the rest it needs to get over the cold. Hope you're feeling better soon!
    2971 days ago
    Isn't it funny how things change . . . you go from being "allergic" to exercise to feeling guilty when you don't do it. I hear you.

    Glad you took the time to take care of you and are better. NO GUILT . . . you did what you had to do!
    2971 days ago
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