Winter Re-Boot

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. ~ Jim Rohn

Truth be told, I’ve been having a lot of GI issues as of late. Abdominal cramping, feeling bloated, horrid gas, and the rest of the issues that goes along in that category. There is no such thing as TMI for a nurse. And skin issues. I’ve been breaking out more than I have since I was a teenager. And lack of energy….The list goes on.

The stresses of work and working a ton has reeked havoc on my healthy eating attempts. No time for lunch at work, or too little to eat during the day lead to a ravenous person once I got home after my long 12+hr shifts. Of course, eating a large meal late at night (by the time I usually get home it is after 8pm), enjoying a bottle of beer to help unwind after a stressful day,  and then heading to bed right after did not encourage a very restful sleeping pattern, either.

This cycle seems to have continued for the past couple of weeks. I started off January feeling quite pumped up about getting back on a “healthy” eating regime. I did not want to start the year off only eating healthier, but actually listening to my body– taking days off from exercise to give myself time to recover from either long days at work, or hard workout days. Instead of watching movies or TV shows on the internet right before bed, I wanted to start reading again instead; have a more solid, restful way to relax prior to sleep.

And, even though I might be physically fit at the moment, my body feels unfit. In a nutshell, I feel “gross.” I know my past demons have lots to do with how I feel about my body and body image. But those few couple of days that I nourished my body, I did feel more positive about myself. Now, after weeks of chaos, I yearn for that positive feeling again. Enough with this “Ohh, I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow,” and continue to eat junk food and highly processed foods believe that the next day I would “start” again. The longer I go treating my body with disrespect (which includes not eating when I probably should be eating, or eating junk food instead of food that my body needs in order to function), the more negative my body image becomes.

So, for the next two weeks (heck, I may feel so amazing at the end that I want to keep on with this way of eating), I am going to give my body a break from the havoc I have caused. I am convinced my GI issues and skin problems, etc, stem back to what I have been eating (okay, maybe stress might be another trigger). I’m going to nourish my body. Re-boot it. (I dislike the word “cleanse” as it resembles juice cleanses).Treat it the way it should be treated: like a temple. If everything I put in your mouth ends up being used by each cell, why would I want my cells to be fed chemicals, heavily processed, and unhealthy foods? If everything I eat eventually becomes a part of me, I want the foods to be highly nutritious; high in minerals and vitamins. Foods that help the body cleanse itself naturally from the toxins I have been consuming.

No, I am not saying I am going to go start drinking juices all day. I’ve figured out that juice cleanses are just overpriced ways to help people think they are being healthy, when in reality, for three days of drinking juice only, you are depriving yourself of healthy fiber. Okay, maybe some people like juice fasts, and good for them! I am simply not a fan. I think it helps those eating disordered thoughts that tend to plague my brain at times. I will attempt to have normal meals, and listen to my body. When I am hungry, I will have a snack. When I am not hungry, I will not eat. Easier said than done for someone who tends to ignore her body’s cues. Before a long, hard workout, I will fuel my body the best way I can. And after, I will have a post-workout snack. The little voices in my head may not like to hear this–“you cannot have a post-workout snack if you have something before the workout,” but, you know what? Screw them. In order to properly train for this half IM in June, I not only need to be well trained, but I need to be well nourished. That was one of the reasons why I was unable to finish my last half IM– I had no knowledge of nutrition and was not giving my body the fuel it needed in order to complete a race of that distance. I guess I feel I have become unaware of my body and what it is telling me. I want to become in tune with it again.

This will not be easy– it takes time to unlearn habits I’ve developed. But I am going to try. I know many out there say that it takes thirty days to get rid of a bad habit. Psychologically, it will be difficult as I will have to find other ways to de-stress after work (how have I come to believe that I “need” a bottle of beer after a stressful day at work in order to relax?) However, I am going to stick with two weeks at first, because I’ve found in the past I can become quite fed up with myself if I mess up or slip up (back to my black and white thinking: you either succeed at something, or you fail at it) and I do not want myself to get discouraged or overwhelmed with the thought of doing this for three weeks.

What exactly does this re-boot involve? Basically, it involves eating whole, clean foods. No sugar or artificial sweeteners like splenda. No alcohol. No coffee (I figured out I will actually save money by not going to Dunkin’ Donuts for my “Large black coffee with one Splenda” everyday that I go to work). No gluten (in hopes to dissipate this GI distress). No dairy (pretty easy for me, since I do not eat much dairy anyway–but the no ice cream will be difficult).

And when I eliminate these, I will introduce new healthier alternatives.

I figured I will post more frequently with how the weeks are going (and to keep myself accountable) and supply recipes of my favorite meals 🙂 Whatever works, right?

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“…life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” Paulo Coelho

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