Treated myself to a mini Maple Bacon donut from Montclair Bread a couple of weeks ago. (Full disclosure, didn't pull the trigger on drinking the chocolate milk, but it's Markus' favorite kind so I gave it to him)
We were given 4 bottles of Deer Antler from the people of Lurong Living at the Trainer Summit. I've been experimenting with taking this daily for recovery
A perfect dinner! A litle sauteed cod, string beans and roasted mini potatoes, dollop of sour cream.
Plan ahead!!! I had a busy day leaving for Cali and new I wouldn't want to be stuck at airport starving, so I made sure to pack an open faced sandwich to go!
It's been a challenging week. I have been thinking about the blog and what to write, more so, how to tie in everything I wanted to write in a way that is impactful and makes sense to others and their lives. To make a long story short, I've dealt with some back issues for about a year now. I should rephrase that to say that about a year ago, my back issues became apparent and symptomatic. They have probably been underlying for quite some time but were exploited when I let up on my intense training, took a break and then resumed at 90% with very little ramp up.
I had a tremendous amount of success with Dr Ryan in Randolph literally allowing me to resume full capacity and functionality pain free...until last week....Once again, same situation...I had backed off from heavy squatting and was increasing slowly in weight week to week until one week where I made too big of a jump. That put me in a vulnerable position and after 10 days of 'backing off' I jumped back in too quickly which was the final blow.
Last Monday I was on my back on the floor in tears. I couldn't stand straight, bend, turn, sit...Cooking food for the kids or getting through a drop off at school was agonizing. But throughout this the hardest part for me wasn't really the pain, it was the anger and frustration. "Why did I do this to myself?!" "How am I back to this place?" and of course "When can I get back to normal?"
However, after a day or so of that frustration and the realization that it was NOT going to help anything, I started looking at how I could learn about myself and how I approach things from this experience. I truly believe that a great deal of the physical shut down was my body being at it's last resort to slow me down. The emotional stress and pace of my days does not allow for that and so I keep demanding more of myself each day...until my body finally said "NO!"
Many of our healthy endeavors are a two sided coin. For example: working out/ CrossFit. One side is the benefit and healthy approach to our bodies and the physical benefits we gain from increasing our work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Other benefits and positives are the mental gains and humility we should all be taking away with us that extend beyond our physical bodies - understanding what it is to persevere, to push ourselves, to not give up. The perspective of community and support, the judgement free approach to our peers.
However, there is the other side of that coin as well...the side that takes things 'too far'. All of those positives taken to the extreme can be detrimental. Not allowing rest, not scaling appropriately, not focusing on form...not listening to an ache or a tweak. Pedal to the gas and no letting up regardless of what gets in the way. Things can be taken too far on the intangibles side too - putting everything into performance in workouts and measuring our lives against a time or the notion that we 'gave up' on ourselves by not meeting a goal.
Where this has particular relevance is in our G60 Nutrition challenge that is approaching its' halfway mark. I know that all of us have our health as the highest priority as to our 'why' for approaching food differently in the challenge. It could also be a 'healthier' relationship with food and finding balance. It could be doing more cooking versus eating out and committing to the time it takes despite busy schedules. Regardless, the 'healthy' notion is paramount for us all.
However, what about that darker side of the coin...? The obsessive behavior, be that the need to get 'zero's' in the macros daily, carrying a food scale around, being compulsive about seeing the bathroom scale numbers change...I am here to raise my hand high in the air on all of those.
I had to be honest and see that although it is natural to have both sides and almost necessary to find the balance between the two, I was pushing it too far to the negative. For me the specifics are using workouts as my crutch for stress relief. I 'need' to workout, to sweat, to get my heart rate up, to push. Taking a complete rest day is torture and feels unnatural and makes me anxious. My need isn't for crazy heavy or destructive workouts on the reg, but it's a 'checking the box' on having done SOMETHING. While it's wonderful to find something that is a stress relief, it can't be addictive or that much of a dependency. So for me, the back forced me to see that life needs to have some balance and I need other outlets beyond a workout to find that calm in my life.
Similarly on the food...and this one is a BIG work in progress...the Macros have been truly life changing in that I feel free from good food/ bad food and the notion of 'perfection'. However, I need to be eyes wide open in terms of that tendency to obsess over the scale going up or down a pound, going over with a 1/4 cup of rice one day or not being able to accurately measure a meal out.
So, the revival has begun, the back is on the mend, and I am grateful to be walking, moving and feeling good. It has given me some perspective and time to reflect on what is truly 'healthy' and work to keep the coin the right side up.