I’ve got this workout thing down. I have endurance, motivation, and a sincere love for all things endorphin-producing. Alas, I am not as disciplined when it comes to the nutrition side of fitness. And when I say “not as disciplined,” I mean “not disciplined at all.” As in, both boxes of Samoas and both boxes of Thin Mints are G-O-N-E. So is the Nutella. And the leftover General Tso’s (extra spicy!) with a side of pork fried rice. Did I mention Hubby and I stopped at Hot Dog Johnny’s yesterday? Where I ate two Johnny Dogs and a bag of fries? And proceeded to wonder why my body felt so incredibly awful.
Really, I was doing very well for a substantial amount of time. I drink my Shakeology every morning and plan our meals and snacks very carefully. Then came a stretch of days that had us away from home at mealtimes and so packed with errands and events that I had no time to hit up Wegmans. And I relapsed into old ordering habits, each restaurant pulling me farther and farther down the slow and sluggish rabbit hole. I started with Chic-Fil-A grilled chicken wraps and side salads (not so bad for a drive-thru order) and went all the way to bacon cheeseburgers (at our favorite diner) and the aforementioned General Tso’s (from a not-worth-it takeout Chinese pit whose convenience is the only reason we use it). I kept up with my two-a-days and long run schedule throughout this downward food spiral, so my calories were actually in check. My nutrition, sadly, was not.
Two days ago, I found myself lacking in get-up-and-go. I figured I’d take a rest day as I hadn’t had a true “rest” in awhile. Then yesterday, I continually ran into workout roadblocks: Hubby needed a ride to the eye doctor for a nasty case of pink eye; we had bank stops and office visits following the eye appointment; the babe required much tending to once we were home. I was thinking ahead and planning an early bedtime for the kiddos so I could squeeze in my workouts before I hit the hay myself. And then, THE WALL. I hit it. Hard.
I told Hubby I wanted to lay down with the babe for a bit while he napped, figuring on a half hour rest. I awoke two hours later, a sweaty, drooling mess with no more energy than I’d had before my sleep. My limbs were leaden and my head heavy. And I finally put all those puzzle pieces together: I needed my iron.
I have suffered from anemia since my teen years but can usually bypass iron supplements so long as I keep dark leafy greens and the occasional steak in my diet. Not only had I let my nutrition slide, I was still exercising as though I hadn’t. Yes, calories were in check. But my essential nutrients (and my iron) were not. It finally clicked for me: if I want to train like an athlete and continue my workout schedule at the intensity I enjoy, I actually need to eat the way I train. Brilliant! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?!? Oh, right…
It is so simple, and I have said it to others so many times. I preach it to my children on a daily basis. But I finally took a step back and figured I needed to apply it to myself. Diet is not a four-letter word; it is a lifestyle. It is something I need to follow if I expect my body to continue performing at the level I have become accustomed to. So I’m back on the healthy food train, chugging right along. My run today felt a little sluggish, but I got it done and recovered nicely and with enough energy to complete my Ab Sculpt and Kenpo X sessions I had scheduled for today. And now, I am feeling a tad hungry (read: RAVENOUS) so I’m gonna head to my kitchen and pull out last night’s leftovers (Beachbody’s sweet pepper pork) and snack on some fresh strawberries and kiwi for dessert. I swear I have learned my lesson this time! (Just please, don’t put me anywhere near chocolate cake…)