Listen To Your Body (Forget About Your Heart)

So maybe don’t forget about your heart, I was trying to make a play on the song “Listen To Your Heart” but make it apply to your body. Yeah, it probably doesn’t really work like I intended. What can I say, my jokes don’t always land. Apologies to my readers for missing last week, I was embroiled in some serious preparations for Hurricane Matthew and just ran out of time before the storm. I was blessed to not suffer any damage from the hurricane, other than some minor flooding on my porch. Anyway back to the matter at hand, this week’s entry. This week I would like to take some time to talk about fitness, rather than just weight loss. More specifically, I want to talk about recovery and how important it is to listen to your body.

As some of you may know, I tend to follow a pretty strict fitness regimen most weeks in order to keep losing weight and gaining muscle in my quest for the perfect human form. All kidding aside, I tend to be pretty strict about my fitness plan. I run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday and I lift weights with cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. But every once in a while things get in the way of that and I have to take a break and recover. Last week during my hurricane prep, I took a bit of a tumble while boarding up a house and bruised up my leg. I wasn’t really concerned with the pain after I got up, I was too busy worrying about how much it was going to set back my half marathon training. I had already started my first week of training and I didn’t want to have to wait around for my leg to get better before I could run. After consulting with my coach/fitness mentor/fairy godmother, Suzanne, I realized that I needed to take it easy for a bit and not run for at least a week. So for the last week I’ve been “resting”, not running or doing cardio, and only lifting weights. Which has been driving me nuts!

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It might be hard to tell without a comparison foot, but my ankle was pretty swollen and note the bruising on the lower part of my leg and a couple spots up top. 

I’m not good at taking it easy, I like to stick to schedules and it’s been a difficult week of recovery. That being said, by icing my leg 3 times a day and not overdoing it by resting, my swelling has gone down significantly and the bruising has been getting better. I think I’m finally ready to start running again and I hope I haven’t lost too much of my edge after this week off. As much as it pains me to admit, resting and recovery have been crucial to the healing process of my leg and they’re definitely important to mind on any fitness journey. Suzanne is always telling me to listen to my body, to avoid injury or general wear and tear. While I’m 100% certain she’s correct and the authority on this, I struggle with it sometimes. My mom used to tell me I had “selective hearing” when it came to listening to her. That I would only listen to what would benefit me, and not the rest of what she would say (which is probably accurate). So occasionally I like to think that I have the same selective hearing when it comes to recovery and listening to my body.

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Sometimes your body is telling you to have a margarita. 

I’m not the type to overwork myself, I have the schedule in place that I do because after a lot of tweaking I found it worked best for me and didn’t cause strain. I am however, the type to ignore minor bumps and bruises or pain here and there, in favor of my fitness goals. Learning to listen to my body has been a long process, but I’m so happy that I’ve gotten better at it over the last year. It hasn’t been easy, I pulled a muscle in my lower back last February and tried to run 3 miles, let’s just say it was one of the more painful runs of my life. I learned my lesson the hard way, but now when I feel these aches and pains I know to take it easy and allow myself the time to recover. A couple weeks ago when I tweaked my back I skipped running and the gym for 3 days, until there was no longer any pain, and instead did yoga designed for back pain. It wasn’t the workout I had planned, but it was something and it aided in my recovery and I was back to running in less than a week pain-free.

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This is my “I just ran 3 miles with a pulled back muscle” face. I was in a world of hurt. 

I guess this blog entry is aimed at the Type-A people, like me, who never want to stop their progress even for one day. If you haven’t already learned the importance of recovery, learn from my mistakes and don’t run 3 miles on a pulled back muscle. It is NOT FUN. This weight loss journey has definitely been a learning experience for me, and I think it has tremendously benefited me both in regards to my overall health and the lessons I’ve learned that apply to other areas of life. Sometimes it’s good to take a break and allow yourself recovery, whether that’s from exercise or life in general. Listen to your body, it’s not just telling you things for the hell of it.

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1 thought on “Listen To Your Body (Forget About Your Heart)”

  1. I have an awesome photo I want to post but can’t figure out how to do it. It basically sums up the struggle I too have with “rest days”. I have started doing yoga on rest days. This is a major win-win for me: I know yoga is good for me as a runner but I never want to skip a run to do it- so now it had a “place”in my weekly routine. Geez- one would think we were “blood family” with ur similar approaches to this situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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