The kids are ok. Despite the coughing and snuffling, despite several slightly sleepless nights, they still get up in the morning and head off cheerfully for school and daycare. Neither place reports that they’re low on energy or otherwise out of sorts in any way. Both places were somewhat surprised to learn that they even needed to go to the doctor, they’re that ok.
It’s another story when it comes to their poor mother.
For the last few weeks, I’ve found myself unable to wake up early enough (5.15 a.m.) and distinctly lacking in energy and motivation to exercise. This morning, I turned off the alarm and stayed in bed till 6 yet again. Despicable.
Remember I made a promise to myself that 2011 would be my year for exercise? And I also promised myself I’d get enough sleep. I knew even then that doing both would be difficult.
One recent research has triggered several newspaper articles saying that getting enough sleep is important for health and longevity and that prolonged lack of sufficient sleep increases the risk of heart disease etc etc. Not that I’m particularly concerned about all that – I just want to get enough sleep so that I am not irritable and sleepy all day long; and enough exercise so that I can continue to eat those few foods that I still can eat, without worrying about my sugar levels or my cholesterol levels (I’m not even going to think about my weight right now).
As I drove in to office, the thought sneaked into my head: Was I really that tired this morning, or was I just being lazy? Have I been just being lazy these past few weeks, when I’ve been sleeping “late”?
Hold it right there, I said to myself sternly, putting the brakes on the car almost as sharply as I put the brake on the thought.
Those of you who’ve read my book already know that the most memorable time that I attributed my tiredness to “just being fat and lazy” almost got me killed. (If you’ve not read my book – it turned out to be high altitude pulmonary oedema. Yes, it’s an interesting story. Why haven’t you read it? Go read it now.) Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that the last time I thought my tiredness was “just getting old” it turned out to be chronic fatigue; which, moreover, was easily cured by a couple of weeks of vitamins and a sleeping pill. If I needed any further instances, there was the whole gluten intolerance thing. I couldn’t believe that I could have put on that much weight that quickly and in the end, it turned out to be related to the gluten intolerance. I lost 3-4 kilos in a couple of months just by going off gluten.
What single thing should all this tell me? If I have any sense at all, it should tell me that I should trust my body and my self. If I think something is wrong with me, if it seems uncharacteristic of me to be this tired, this lacking in energy, or even this fat, I should sit up and take note. I shouldn’t ignore all the signs and accuse myself of being old, fat, and lazy. I know myself – when I’ve decided to do something, I’m determined, focused, committed, and energetic. I’m not young, and I’m not thin, but I’m also not that old, not that fat, and not that lazy. If I am tired, I should just accept that and let sleep win gracefully over the intent to exercise.
Moral of the story: Listen to your body and don’t be so damn hard on yourself.