Thursday, December 29, 2011

Keeping it off: From Colds to Cruising with the Backstreet Boys

Now, I must admit: I have been rather inactive since returning from my cruise to Nassau with the Backstreet Boys. The Cruise 2.0 bug put me out of commission as soon as I got home. The first week was a blur. I believe it was the headcold - but I just could not seem to get my bearings. I was getting weak and could barely sleep. The following week I was in full flu mode. What I've learned in the last 4 years is that you really do need to listen to your body. This being said, I am not immune to the occasional guilt trips that pop up when I am unable to keep up with my fitness regiment.

The Truth:
You cannot expect yourself to be "perfectly active" at all times. Strong emotions, illness and time constraints may prevent you from being active even with all the planning and preparation in the world. I've been lazing around all week. Although I am aware that I could be out and about working out or simply going out for a walk: I just cannot be bothered. It might be that I just need to be a couch potato. It might also be that my body needs the extra rest to make up for my insomnia last week.

Although I adore fitness and I typically work very hard at the gym I too have my slumps. Being sick always takes the steam out of built up motivation. The thing is, although working out is good for you even when you are ill, you need to trust yourself in determining whether or not you can venture out and get on that treadmill. The sniffles can easily be dealt with: simply switch to more heavy lifting. But, anything that affects your lungs or will give you dizzy spells is difficult to work around.

Simply put, sometimes you just have to curl up in a ball and enjoy that extra snooze. Personally, I am not feeling too guilty given that I will be within 10 minutes walking of my "close to work" Nautilus for the next 5+2+5 days (year end = weekends worked).

How to avoid weight gain when the only equipment you'll be using is a Snuggie or Bathing Suit:
And I do want to specify: illness isn't the only time we tend to avoid the gym. Not many of us will venture out and hit the weights when we're in Cancun. I don't really have that much of a secret when it comes to eating healthy when I'm being "less than perfectly active". I suppose it's just something that has become a way of thinking that comes naturally.

When deciding what to eat knowing that I probably won't be working out I will tend to chose a "healthier" option. Say, if you have the choice between salad and soup, salad and a burger, or the "fatty" option - I would say to chose something somewhere in the middle. I typically will chose the salad and sandwich only to gauge how much to eat off my plate. When in maintenance, it isn't about trying to achieve perfection at every meal. The key here is to use your head. You know how much you can handle when at home and when you are working out. If you are in maintenance you know how much food keeps your weight stable. Simply apply the same principles when you are unable or unwilling to run on that treadmill for 45 minutes.

Splurge in Moderation:
I always used to tell myself: "I'll start eating well on Monday" whenever I would eat a Snickers bar or three... Being healthy shouldn't have a begin or end date. Splurges are bound to happen: Birthdays, Weddings, Summer Parties, that extra piece of cake at the Buffet. The key here is to splurge in moderation and to chose your splurges wisely. Which will satisfy your sweet tooth the most: a Snickers bar or the molten chocolate cake at that restaurant everyone keeps raving about? Splurging on something that is of high quality and taste will leave you filling more satisfied than the Snickers bar from the vending machine at work.

The key with every splurge is not to beat yourself up over it as well. The cake I am planning on munching on after I eat this grilled veggie sandwich would make any trainer turn blue, but that being said: I don't eat that cake every day and I eat one slice. If you make healthy food choices 98% of the time a little extra here and there will not make you gain weight. Make poor choices constantly however and your "Hips won't like".

Now, I think I might plan on a trek out in the snow tomorrow with the new Point and Shoot. A little motivation to get moving never hurt ;)

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