Not Always Being a Hero

I woke up today feeling pretty uninspired. Yesterday was a bad day. I don’t even know why. Nothing happened in particular and I think part of the reason why it was so bad was because I was angry that I felt crappy for no apparent reason. Don’t you just love it when you make your own problems worse? Maybe it’s the random cold weather in DC? Maybe I was just tired from being wicked active on Sunday between spin and walking around a lot? Maybe it was a lack of sleep? I don’t even know. Maybe no reason at all. All I know is that I felt miserable and frustrated.

It should have been a good day. I was on top of my to do list. I had a bunch of productive meetings. Work was okay. I had good eats. I was able to turn in my visa application for Russia. But alas. For the life of me I couldn’t feel positive.

I had plans to go to the free bootcamp class offered at the Nike store in Georgetown at 8 last night (for those interested: they have this free class every Monday!) I’ve been wanting to try it forever. But I knew I needed to go to bed early and so that just wasn’t going to happen. I was bummed to scratch that out of my planner. This turned into me deciding to go to yoga at six instead at my gym. But then as the clock ticked along at work I realized how exhausted I was. I realized how little I wanted to be anywhere but my apartment and in my bed. My plans quickly turned into me not working out and going to bed at eight o’clock last night.

As I stared at the clock in my yoga clothes a little after five, all I could feel was guilt. I felt like a quitter. I knew deep down that my body and my mind just needed rest and even yoga wasn’t going to be good for me- but I still felt awful because I was giving up on my workout plans. I’m not one to ditch plans so it bothers me when I change my schedule last minute. I kept saying, if you go to yoga, you won’t get home till 7:30, then you’ll still have to make dinner and shower. You won’t get to bed till probably 9 or 10. You want to get extra sleep tonight thus you really shouldn’t go. It’s okay to rest. But it didn’t matter. I knew no matter what I wasn’t going to be able to climb out of the hole of guilt. Eventually, instead of fighting it, I accepted it. I felt like shit last night and just let it happen.

You can’t always have a perfect day. You can’t always be happy. You can’t expect things to always go your way. You can’t always turn things around when you want to. Life is going to continually throw wrenches into your plans or expectations. Yesterday should have been a superb day. But it wasn’t. And I dealt with it.

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I started to write a letter to myself convincing me that it was okay to just have a bad day. It began as so. Yes, this is how I talk to myself.

I can’t always be a hero, workout when I don’t want to, and turn my blues into smiles all around. This doesn’t make me a failure even if I feel like one in the moment. This makes me a real human being. And that’s okay. As much as I push myself to be greater than the average human being- the fact is- I am not super woman. I am Allison.

Saying no to the gym doesn’t take away any “healthy credentials” I may have. It doesn’t change the fact that when the doctors at the hospital before my colonoscopy asked me if I was an athlete- I said YES for the first time in my life. I am still an athlete. I am still me. I am still the same person. In fact, I am a better person for taking care of myself. I will be a better athlete today because of the rest I gave my body last night.

That one hour I decided to spend taking care of my mental health and sleep needs over exercising made me feel healthier last night. I am a human being. I am Allison. I am a girl who loves working out. But I am a girl who knows herself really well. I am a girl who knows when not to push it. I am a girl who needs her sleep.

While my issues with food have gotten world’s better, and I truly mean that, there are still days like last night where things go awry and my old friend Ed comes back to visit. He makes me forget how far I’ve come and tries to drag me back into the vicious restriction cycle that he loves me on so much. I may not be able to always be a hero, but at the very least, I have the strength to deny Ed’s requests and still eat food. I may feel awful and guilty and weird and sad and like a mess- but I accept those things, eat, and look toward a new/better day.

SO I took off my workout clothes. I put on very comfy pajamas. I then painted my toes because 1) it’s something I enjoy doing 2) I needed a more neutral color for my trip to Miami this weekend and 3) I knew I couldn’t put back on workout clothes/sneakers at the last minute and force myself to go to the gym with wet/dentable toe nail polish. Tricks. I’m a master at them.

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I then proceeded to make dinner as planned. On the menu was Tina’s 3-Ingredient Meal: Cheesy Garlic and Herb Brussels Sprouts with Sausage with a side of roasted red potatoes. Nom.

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Next up- I ate dark chocolate squares. Topped with peanut butter. In the bath tub. YUP.

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It was a little after eight when the sun had finally set and I crawled into bed. I listened to a guided mediation from this site and went to sleep.

Last night ALLISON didn’t want to workout. Ed told me I needed to in order to earn my dinner. I told him he was wrong. I didn’t work out. I still ate dinner. I still even ate my dessert. For as much of a failure as last night seems, it was still a victory in a small way.

Today, I wanted to wake up and feel like a million bucks. I didn’t. And I still don’t. But I’m just trying to take today one minute at a time. I haven’t called it quits on making it a better day. It’s morning and I have a lot of hours to change my tune. I have the tendency to think in “snow ball effect terms” and see one bad moment as the frame for the rest of my day- week even. But I know that’s silly. One bad day doesn’t equate a lifetime of bad days. Everyone has them. And sometimes you just have to accept them and move on.

Like I said earlier. Today I’m still me. My clothes fit the same exact way they always have. I devoured some deliciously sweet strawberry overnight oats this morning. I walked to work. I still have this blog. I’m still a healthy human being.

I’m a believer that its the small decisions and choices we make everyday that lead to a greater state of wellbeing. My decision last night not to workout was just one of my decisions in the course of my day. I may not have felt good about it last night, but looking big picture, it was one choice out of the bajillion I make regularly. I think my track record can stand it.

Plus, that free bootcamp class at the Nike store in Georgetown isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It will kick my butt eventually. Until then…

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

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19 thoughts on “Not Always Being a Hero

  1. HELL YES. Chocolate in the bathtub? Take that, Ed. Way to freaking go, girl. I want to give you the biggest hug ever because I am so proud of you for taking care of YOU. Given the rough week you had last week, that rest day was most certainly necessary and I’m so glad you listened when your body told you that. Also, I had strawberry overnight oats for brekkie this morning, too – twinsies!

  2. Eating chocolate in the bath is GENIUS. I need to do that. I’m glad you were able to refocus yourself and realize what you need to do for you instead of letting that pesky ED come back and take over.

  3. I don’t know why but i needed to hear this today. maybe because i get this more than ever and totally feel you on it. it is tough because it is hard to not be hard on yourself when I know I am so grateful for all i have but at the same time can’t shake this funk. I am glad you really put in some self care which is all you can do. poopy days happen, for no reason, but like with uphills there is always a downhill on the other side

  4. I love the fact that you wrote a letter to yourself! That is genius. I am going to try it the next time I’m having a bad day.

    I hate days like that… Days where everything seems MEH even though there’s nothing that’s specifically wrong. I hope you’re having a better day!

  5. gah we seriously live the same life…i ate the same exact dinner and painted my toes last night!!! i was also feeling unmotivated at the gym, so i left early! it cracks me up when i come read your blog and realize you truly are my east coast alter ego!! also, i am goign to email you my address today so i can get my playlist and then you can send me your address so that i can send you yours!!! hopefully you have a better day today…trust me, i totally feel ya on the feeling guilty thing. this happens to me a lot when i don’t stick to my normal “routine.” gotta just tick it out and things always have a way of getting better!

  6. Thank you for such an honest post! Today was just one of those days where nothing went right, and it’s nice to know that other people go through the same thing, and it’s ok to take a day off from life (like going to the gym) to get back to “normal.”

  7. Those days are the hardest. Sometimes things are just… crappy! Best days to practice a little self-care and relaxation 🙂

    I have also been wanting to try that free bootcamp class… it looks super fun!

  8. Wow, I went through the same thing last night. I was going to go running with my running club, and then I felt…tired. And I just wanted to cook and watch TV. So even though part of me felt guilty for not “crossing out a workout” on my schedule, that’s what I did! Thanks for being so honest in your blog. I used to have an Ed in my life, too.

  9. Pingback: Floundering | Wicked Healthy Washingtonian

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