Let's get real.
For me, rest days are still tough. Yes, I know how important it is to take a break from working out, especially at the level that I do; without giving my body proper rest, I am more prone to injuries (re: my history in the ortho doc's office for stress fractures...they know me by name now), burnout, and plateauing.
So, why is it still hard for me to let my body rest?
Let me get you up to speed on my weekend. On Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I slept in, made banana pancakes, and lounged around the apartment. To say that it was wonderful is an understatement. I didn't set an alarm (I know, crazy challenging to my OCD) so that I could gage when my body was actually ready to wake up. I woke up a bit earlier than he did, so I ran (read: walked) to the store to pick up some bananas and whipped up some of my "famous" paleo-banana pancakes using coconut oil, eggs, bananas, and cinnamon, and topped them with walnuts.
Around 1:00 pm, we started to make our way down to the ferry, where we walked around a bit and enjoyed the Seaport District. It was actually such a treat to take the ferry over to DUMBO instead of taking a subway- especially on such a beautiful day!
We spent the afternoon in DUMBO wandering around the photography festival. Every photographer or group of photographers had their own storage crate, where they set up all of their work. We saw some pretty incredible, emotional, and raw pieces.
After visiting each unit, we decided to make our way home to cook dinner and relax before meeting up with some family for drinks and ice cream (you better know by now that we went to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream of course haha!). It was an absolutely wonderful day, and I wouldn't change it for anything. But there was something in the back of my mind.
I didn't work out nor did I count calories.
Though there were moments when I was fully present and enjoying myself, I still had this nagging voice in the back of my head: You didn't run today, and you're lazy for that. Why aren't you counting calories? How will you know if you're eating too much?
I knew my body needed rest. I had run a race the weekend before and every day since, and I had started taking my design courses right after a full day of work every day last week. I was going from 5:00 am till 11:00 pm everyday and was down right exhausted, so deep down, I knew that my body was crying for a break. But my mind wouldn't give.
Instead, I spent part of the day feeling guilty for giving my body what it deserved and needed. That in itself is exhausting. Granted, I used to spend a lot more of my day focused on these two things, so the fact that I'm able to now get it down to brief moments is a huge milestone of success. But my body still felt tired, and I believe it's because my mind couldn't relax. I couldn't accept that I'm not considered lazy for taking one day off of exercise. I couldn't accept that I didn't need to count calories, because guess who the best counter is? My own damn body. It will tell me exactly what I need, how much I need, and when I need it if I trust my own system instead of letting my mind take over.
The mind is a powerful entity, but if I tell it to relax, then I can finally let my body do its job in taking care of itself so that ultimately, my mind can function properly. I'm sure we all can relate to this when I say that my mind loves control and thinks that it knows everything. Well, it doesn't. In fact, the more it thinks it knows and the more it tries to control everything, the more my body and soul become prone to messing up.
Do I wish that I could have shut my mind up on Saturday and let myself enjoy my rest day, sans worries about calories and laziness? Absolutely. But, am I mad at myself for not being worry-free? Of course not. This is an ongoing process of growth, one in which I am seeing improvements in myself everyday. This upcoming week, when I take my rest day, I am aiming to not worry about the calories or whether or not I am lazy for resting because the true Britt knows that I am not. I always strive to be kind to everyone, but the one person I really need to be kind to is myself. I need to be gentler to myself.
So today, take care of you. Be kind to you. Because we all deserve our own kindness.
Happy Monday, everyone :)
Hey there and welcome! I'm a 20-something-year-old running, painting, and eating my way through NYC. Hope to see you along the way!