Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rest and Relaxation

I had a lovely holiday, and a couple of important revelations while I was away. I've been trying to think them through, and this is where I've got to.

The first couple of days I felt like shit. You may recall my red wine bender the Thursday before I went and, before that, the abdominal pain and tiredness that kept on coming and going. On the flight over on Saturday I just wanted to sleep, that was my first temptation when I got there, and on Sunday morning when we attempted to go to a christmas local produce type market thing I got half way round and then started to feel in serious danger of fainting, throwing up, or both. Later in the day I succumbed to sleep again, and on the Monday I didn't feel a whole lot better.

I decided to make the plan for the week predominantly rest. I'd taken my running stuff (first thing in the case!) but in the end limited myself to a measly 3 miles. I did a fair bit of walking, but nothing a great deal more strenuous than that. And as the week went on, and the stresses and strains that have been building up started to ease away I started to feel a whole lot better. Now I'm back and well rested I feel better than I have done for months.

It really struck me that much as I dress this exercise and healthy eating thing up as taking care of myself, there are limits to what I can do. Did I get a bit carried away at some point? Do I always need to try to run faster or longer? Can't I just enjoy things for a while, and let my body adjust to the massive changes its been through, before stepping up a gear if I feel like it later? Tempting as it is to find out exactly what I'm capable of, I can't go on pushing myself to the limit all the time. It's more important to feel healthy and alive than to stick rigidly to a training plan or diet that's just a bit demanding than it needs to be. Burning out isn't fun, and it isn't healthy, and it was only after a few days rest that I realised how close to that I was pushing myself.

I guess that what I'm saying is that I'm finally starting to appreciate the benefits of backing off a bit. But at the same time I'm scared about whether I'll be able to find that balancing point where I can do a bit less, eat a bit more, and not gain weight. But then maybe if I feel healthier at a higher weight, then being a bit heavier isn't such a bad thing. After all, I could gain a stone and still have a "healthy" BMI. I need to experiment with how I feel and, particularly when work gets horribly busy, acknowledge that I can't necessarily devote as much time to running as I can when other things in my life are calm.


A couple of other holiday snippets, one consequence of the general tiredness and illness is that I hardly touched alcohol while I was away (and regretted most of what I did have). Whether it's an extended "I'm never drinking again" reaction after that works do, I don't know, but I just don't fancy drinking at all at the moment, which is pretty rare for me. I also ate pretty well the whole time I was away, and some of the munchies I've had recently seemed to abate a little. It's still hard to find much choice of veggie food other than pizza, pasta and tortilla, but I didn't do too badly. I'm getting a bit worried about what I'm going to eat at christmas, although mum is cooking rather than us going out, I don't desperately want to make her cook something from scratch just for me, but there doesn't seem to be anything suitable ready prepared (like a nut or veggie roast or anything like that) in the supermarkets. At this rate I'll need to put something in my case!

The other is shopping. One thing guaranteed to perk me up a bit at the moment. I got a Mango suit I've had my eye on since August (but didn't want to buy it here, or in Prague where I first saw it, because it's so much cheaper in Spain), a variety of tops, and an outfit for the office Christmas party. I think I mentioned before that it's school uniform themed, and I've decided to go the whole hog. One of the really cheap shops had a very short grey pleated skirt and a white shirt and tie combo that work perfectly together for the real stereotypical schoolgirl look. The legs are coming out!

The other bit of shopping I enjoyed was that I saw a top in Zara that I really liked, but in the shop in Las Palmas they only had a large which was too big. I decided to go to another Zara near where my parents live the next day to see if they had a medium, then spoke to my sister who'd been to that Zara the day I was in Las Palmas and said she'd seen exactly the same top and bought the last medium. Anyway, I went up there the next day anyway to see if they'd got more stock in, and saw the top with a medium tag. I tried it on quickly, it fit, so I bought it. It was only the next morning when I put it on that I realised that the tag attached to it and the tag sewn in didn't agree on the size. It was a small. Of course, I didn't waste too much time telling my sister that I'd ended up with a small...


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