It's backwards, right?
I know, it's reversed. Allow me to explain…with the help of Mindy Kaling's facial expressions.
Let's start here: I am a workout nut. As in, I cancel plans because I "need" to go to the gym. I deprive myself of enough sleep because I "need" to wake up early and, you guessed it, go to the gym.
I work out a lot during the week. Like, I 'go hard' Monday through Thursday. I do this because I have an idea in my head that it makes up for my lack of structured exercise on the weekends. Four days of working out in a row is usually just too much and then I take it one step further. Instead of 'going hard' one day (ex. HIIT) and focusing on strength or stretching the next, I go hard for all 4 of those days...in a row.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working out. I enjoy the endorphins. I enjoy sweating. I enjoy feeling strong.
But I'm realizing, I'm not listening to my body.
I am no waif. I'm certainly not a girl who needs to gain weight. So, again, allow me to explain.
I'm going to start by telling you a secret. I know that by the time you're reading this, this will be published, publicly and no longer a secret. But, let's call it a secret.
I am a relatively healthy eater, but I'm realizing, I've been depriving myself. This depravation causes, what I'll refer to as, binging. And sometimes, sometimes I get so hungry that I sit down and will literally eat myself sick. I will eat until the point of physical pain. Writing that sentence was hard and, when put in writing, sounds incredibly unhealthy. If you have the power to stop eating when you're actually full, I commend you.
I need to listen to my body. If I'm hungry, eat. Make balanced, healthy choices but, eat. If I eat a well-balanced meal at each meal, I will have no reason to overeat.
I'm exercising for 2 days in a row (ok - sometimes 3, depending on my schedule) and I'm going to 'go hard' (I suppose this is my way of saying, cardio) 1 day and then strength/stretch the next day. And the following day, I am going to REST. Maybe I'll take a long walk home from work, or maybe I'll grab a drink with a friend, but I'm going to take.it.easy.
And about that eat more part? I'm eating more at each meal and including a protein, a fat and a carb.
I started this new exercise and meal regimen last week and here's what I've noticed:
Without giving myself strict exercise rules and depriving myself, I'm listening to my body more. By eating more at meals - I'm actually eating less throughout the day. And by working out less I'm also less hungry and I still feel great.
Let me end on this note: these are changes that work for me.
The common thread is this: listen to what your body is telling you.
Good things happen when you're kind to yourself.