Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Ebb and Flow of Healthy Living

Last month I was in a rut.  Not motivated to work out as hard as usual and not interested in eating much beyond my winter comfort foods (more grains and starchy carbs, less fresh fruit and vegetables).  I so dislike that feeling of being out of sync with my intentions and goals to live healthfully. 

I tend to gravitate to the "all or nothing" approach to life.  My family says that I am like my father in that I am either "on" or "off".  Either going a million miles an hour or lying flat out on the couch and watching TV.  I don't walk the middle ground very well.  It didn't help that I was glued to the 2010 Winter Olympics for almost 3 weeks last month, and thanks to the invention of the DVR, I was able to watch every single evening broadcast on NBC but one.  (Fortunately, I could condense about 3 hours of viewing into about 90 minutes or so.)  I am in such awe of Olympic athletes, but watching them day in and day out apparently wasn't motivating enough for me to get my own body up and moving beyond the occasional hike with my husband or a walk on the treadmill.

However, when the calendar page turned to March, something shifted in me.  I felt more eager to focus more on eating well and working out regularly.  Maybe it is because Spring formally arrives this month (although in Maine, it truly doesn't feel like Spring until May or June) or maybe because I have to go to Florida for work next week and the upcoming trip is making me think of sunshine.  I am not sure, but either way, I am grateful for the shift. 

Sometimes there is no real reason as to why shifts happen or when they appear, but I try to trust that my body was taking care of itself through January and February by needing some "rest" and now my body needs to "move" again.  Observing and respecting the ebb and flow of my energy, desire, motivation, and habits helps me to not fight myself as much when I seem to be less in sync with healthy living.  I try to trust the process and rhythm of my mind and body.  It is hard and frustrating at times, but I try to remember that I need to be gentle with myself.