When Your Body Tells You to Stop

An Update on my Couch to Cave Challenge: 2 Weeks in

Has your body ever told you that you need to stop?

Your body will clue you in to the fact that the physical, mental, and sleep-deprived related stress that you are subjecting yourself to is unsustainable.

Consequently, your body decides to offer special admission to some kind of nasty virus that will force you to slow your pace and take time off.. one of those viruses that brings a 102 fever, body aches, and no appetite.

My body sent me just such a message prior to this past weekend. As I was driving home from work on Thursday, I slowly started feeling horrible. I faked it as best as I could when I got home, but my wife is Quick Draw McGraw with the thermometer and sussed me out quickly.

To bed I went, and in bed I stayed, On Friday, I got 83 steps in vs. my goal of 10,000. But I didn’t care. All I wanted was to lay there, drink Gatorade, eat Saltines, and watch Netflix in between naps.

I was fresh as a daisy come Saturday (so I thought).

On Saturday, in 90+ weather? I played tennis because the fever was gone.

The fever came back because it was stupid to play tennis in 90+ summer heat.

Each weekend, it seems, brings challenges, but the bonus of a quick sickness is loss of appetite and associated weight loss. I fit in my smaller khakis, so there’s that win.

The Lessons so Far

Here is a stream of consciousness list of lessons from my Couch to Cave Challenge, 2 weeks in:

  • Push yourself, but listen to your body: I’m glad I didn’t try to meet my goal on Friday. I should have done the same on Saturday to continue to get healthy from whatever ailment I had.
  • Don’t be legalistic: I’ve been consistent with my 10,000 steps and my Whole30 eating, but when I was sick, I had to back off on both. Kale isn’t appetizing when  your belly is a little off-kilter. Saltines, on the other hand, are just what the doctor ordered.
  • But be honest: Not being legalistic can lead to a slippery slope where we compromise when we don’t need to on our commitments. That’s not good either.
  • Try to be ahead of the game: Sleep and rest and destress. I know that I need to be better at building margin into my life. That’s a project. It needs to be my most important project because margin is where relationships, health (both mental and physical), and finances approve.
  • Continual improvement is better than perfect adherence: While I’ve not been perfect in adhering to my diet and exercise plan, I’ve been holding to a 90-95% on, 5-10% off schedule (perhaps even better than that). We can lose the forest for the trees if we allow our inability to be perfect to hamper the overall continual lifestyle improvement we’re after.

This upcoming weekend is Father’s Day celebration wherein the whole family (my brother and his family, my parents, my family) will be gathering for a Saturday night feast. We’ll see what kind of excuse I can concoct on Monday for taking one meal off again. 🙂

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