Friday, April 30, 2010

Health Hiatus

For the past three weeks, life has been pretty busy. My regular 9-5, which is actually more like 9-7 most days, has been kicking my butt. I've also been very fortunate to find a freelance gig that is a part-part-time version of my dream job. I get to write, review others' articles on health issues, and work for an organization and its founders who are as passionate about holistic health as I am. So it was strange that my health routine started to veer a bit off course in the midst of this new health-centered adventure.

First, my training for the Broad Street run went to the back burner for a few weeks. Food preparation was also lacking. I didn't prioritize trips to Whole Foods and, as a result, I started eating a lot of burritos. Chipotle had become my default destination when I needed vegan food (ie beans, rice, peppers/onions, guacamole burrito) because I hadn't cooked my own food. It's not that these burritos were "bad" but my food plan had started to lack the variety and fruits/veggies and juices I used to consume regularly.

Aside from the break from exercise I've felt guilty about my return to regular coffee-drinking with as many as two cups per day. I even debated this with myself in my head on the way to work one morning. It went something like this:

I'm planning to have coffee today.
You really should not drink coffee today.
I like the taste.
But it's not good for you.
It's one little vice. Can't I have one vice?
First, you've got more than one vice right now. One vice my a#%.
Second, this vice is acidic
And it will negatively effect your immune system right now.
And what about your kidneys?
You are having it every day these days.
I thought we negotiated having it once per week.
Yeah, but I need it to get through the long work days.
Ok but it's got the potential to make you jittery.
Do you want to gamble with that?
Can't I just have some gd coffee today?
Everyone is drinking it and I want to too.

Seriously? The "Everyone is doing it" excuse?
Ok, ok. I'm out of excuses...
But I'm still having the gd coffee.

While I've been beating myself up over what I consider to be a divergence from my health plan, I have remained committed to several important things.

* I have not entertained any soda urges. I find it odd that I crave soda at all, seeing as I never really drank it in the past.

* I have not touched meat since the start of the Lenten challenge.

Ed and I are engaged in a pseudo "sudden death" match to see who will go the longest without meat. We are in this challenge for the long haul and for serious reasons (health, animal well-being, health). But the competition aspect has reinforced the commitment during those rare occurrences of temptation.

This challenge has subsequently made for several hilarious dreams. I've had two so far involving me accidently eating meat, which felt similar to the real-life slip-ups I'd had regularly on Fridays during Lent when I was a kid. I was eating chicken salad in one of the dreams and my mom quietly reminded me, in her New York accent, "Um you are a vey-gan [vegan]." Shocked that I had forgotten the challenge, I proceeded to spit out the meat.

In the second dream, Ed and I were lunching at a picnic table and I was eating a McDonald's chicken nugget (this would never happen in real life). As I ate it, Ed elately shouted at me, "Ah ha! I win the challenge, sucka!" I screamed a stereotypical slow motion "Nooooooooooooooooo!" and woke up.

I recently shared the dreams, the coffee dialogue between me and me, and my frustrations with my fellow holistic junkie. Interestingly enough, she had been experiencing a hiatus from health around the same time! We both agreed that it's completely fine to take breaks so long as the health plan gets back on track eventually and doesn't do any major harm (ie eating a food that's really non-negotiable). So how long will our hiatuses last? My friend believes that getting back into a routine will be somewhat easy; she's attuned to how great her body responds to better health practices and how cranky it gets on vacations from them. She shared some talk back she got from her body as a result of recent indulgences. It asked, "Where did the smoothies and yoga go?" It also mentioned a preference not to play with sugar and dairy in the future because "They are mean bit*%es." :P

So far my body has been ok with the hiatus ~ the coffee, the many scrumptious burritos, and the short break from working out. She says she is happy I started running again, although I always get this feedback when the run is over. :)

1 comment:

Olivia said...

I cracked up over that conversation you had with yourself over the coffee. I found myself craving Diet Coke (what the...?) the other day, and had a similar convo. Except I didn't have a busy schedule. And didn't need to "use" for any reason. I resisted, but definitely had a few sips of the fella's Coke.

Now that I'm starting my own little running adventure, I hope for selfish reasons you get back on board. (OK, and for your health, too.) I'm also working on going vegan save for the occasional dinner out. Transitions!

Most of all, though, I hope you focus on all the amazing work you've done for your health. We can't be perfect all the time. It's important to be kind to yourself and let your body chillax when need be. Thanks for sharing your journey!