I have a confession: I make poor choices often in my life. I’m learning how to accept this about myself and have compassion, opposed to beating myself up and calling myself a failure every time a poor choice occurs. Often my poor choices are related to my diet and my lifestyle, but I AM HUMAN and sometimes I get sucked into the comfortable pull of what my life “used to be like.”
When I didn’t have to think about what I ate, or the intensity of my exercise, I could just do…what I wanted.
A recent series of poor choices began after I bought a bag of coffee. Coffee and I are not the best of friends, but I have come to accept that I will likely forever try to be friends with her. The problem is – sometimes coffee works, and sometimes it doesn’t. This hot/cold temper of my old friend makes it difficult to fully kick the habit.
It’s very easy for me to fall into the addictive nature of coffee. Coffee to me was never something I drank for the physical boost (although it was nice) until more recent times. When I take long breaks from coffee and then enjoy a cup the energy hits me in ways I then begin to crave.
As someone who struggles with fatigue, the surge of coffee makes me feel like I’m invincible.
I go long stretches of time without coffee, but somehow it always calls me back. After endless trial and error I am learning it’s not just the coffee, it’s often what I pair my coffee with, or HOW MUCH coffee I have that causes an issue. I decided to buy a bag last month and told myself I would ration it.
I drank it two days in a row and felt good, so of course I continued to push the boundaries.
The problem arose on the second day of consumption, when I went for a long bike ride, a 30 minute jog/walk, and a small hike. All three…in one day. For a normal body this wouldn’t be a big deal, but for an easily overtaxed body this was a lot. I have found a decent balance between pushing myself and resting, but the problem wasn’t this specific day of activity, the problem was it left me wanting more.
More coffee/rice cakes (big no no for me), more running, more long days in the sun, more, more, more. The days to follow I kept drinking coffee, I kept trying to jog, I kept biking, and my body started talking. I didn’t want to listen, but after a week of this I knew I had to stop. I am listening to my body better than I used to, but I still make these choices sometimes.
I regret nothing, because this day of adventure was so much fun it was worthy of this blog post.
This day of adventure took me on my bike to Eschenlohe, one of my favorite towns to bike to. I stopped halfway and jogged for 30 minutes (more like jog/walk) and it surprisingly felt good. Once in Eschenlohe, I hiked up to a small church I had seen many times to enjoy a small view below. I also found a creepy cave and walked through it, and the lights flickered off at one point causing my life to flash before my eyes.
It was really a very lovely day.
All of this rambling is to say I’m not perfect (not that anyone ever thought I was) with my lifestyle, and I continue to struggle often. The positive in this is that I am better today with my choices than I was yesterday, and so on. I know drinking less coffee on a stomach full of food helps me to feel “ok,” and these loopholes keep me coming back.
Sometimes it’s ok to be a human being, to make choices you know you might regret. What’s not ok is letting these choices control you or your day. For so long I would be controlled by my actions, and I am still a work in progress, but it’s a progression I don’t intend to quit improving at. I keep shifting, keep trying, and keep learning the best way to honor my body, while still doing things I enjoy.
One thing I no longer do is reward myself with sugar after a long workout.
I continued to drink coffee daily for about three weeks, and I found a good balance of foods to eat with the coffee. I cut out the foods that I know don’t work during these three weeks, but eventually my body said: “YO, please stop.” I also stopped trying to run (Brittany, let this go – you don’t even enjoy running.)
What started as a difficult time of stillness in my life (being on LWOP), transitioned into a time of self discovery. These discoveries are continual, and will shift as time goes on. For the first time since my life started to really change in my mid 20’s I am finding excitement in these moments of discovery. Most of the time. 😉
I’m also more proud of my physical accomplishments these days, and compare myself to others far less. Baby steps.
Q: What is one lifestyle choice you continue to come back to, even when it’s not always the best choice for you? GRAINS ARE NOT MY FRIEND, and coffee needs to be moderated.