The past year of my life has been dedicated to turning my health around. Since starting on June 17th 2010, every day has presented two options: eat healthy and work out or eat crap and be a lazy fat ass. Even when I went on vacation, I felt guilty if I didn’t continue disciplined eating and some form of exercise. During my trip to New Orleans I got up every morning and ran laps around the hotel grounds. Out of the past 365 days, I’ve never truly taken a day off and allowed myself to completely rest without some since of guilt. In many ways I was just like the businessman that goes on “vacation,” but continues to check his e-mail, is on the phone with the office and takes his laptop with him to the beach just to “get a few things done.” He never truly rests. He’s always thinking about what he should be doing and feeling guilty for what’s not getting completed.
The result of never truly resting is that fatigue, frustration, boredom and burnout start to set in. Monday I started feeling exactly that: burnt out. I’d rather sleep in than wake up and run. The healthy food I once craved had become bland and routine. My workouts were just a lifeless routine, simply going through the motions.
I sought out some insight from my friends Mark and Josh in regards to taking a break and truly resting. I’ve banned myself from the gym until Saturday. This week instead of waking up at 6:30a to head to the gym, I’ve slept late and allowed myself to hit the snooze button. For the past week I’ve eaten whatever I wanted… burgers, fries, pizza, chicken nuggets, and ice cream. (Yes, physically I feel like shit from eating crap food. I have a gluten allergy, so I’ve had a constant headache all week.)
This week I’ve learned the importance of consistent, rhythmic rest and moderation. A week of undisciplined eating probably wasn’t the best decision. Sure, the Ben and Jerry’s Everything But The Ice Cream tasted great, but man, I have one hell of a stomach ache. Come Saturday I’m back to what I know is best for me: eating right and daily exercise. I’m committing to working out 5 days a week, running at least 10 miles a week, but also to fully resting at least one day a week. I’m also ready to work toward my next goal of running a 10K September 17th.