know when to hold ’em … know when to fold

At the worst of my over-exercising days many years ago, I was so ridiculously obsessive and relentless about the gym that I pretty much gave myself a two month-long cycle of bronchitis. I never allowed myself to fully recover; I was just hellbent on pushing myself past my limit and not listening at all to my body, which was screaming “REST! For the love of G-d, REST!”

I remember my doctor telling me I needed to listen and rest and being angry at the advice. How could I miss my workouts?! Didn’t he know I’d gain so much weight from not working out?! Didn’t he know I’d lose muscle mass and strength and …

Yes, I was ridiculous.

I cringe remembering just how obsessive and rigid I was. And I learned my lesson, with the aforementioned 2-month long bronchitis stint.

Though sometimes even today I may want to push through when I’m feeling a little under the weather, things are very different now. I know when to fold, and I really do try to respect my body when I get sick.

As a working mom with two little carrier monkeys (thanks, school!) there is always some kind of illness running in our family: strep, cough, pink eye, sore throats, runny noses/sniffles … you name it and 1 out of the 4 of us (or 4/4!) have it.

Today I woke up and just knew my “head cold” I’d been trying to cure with Tylenol Cold  & Flu wasn’t  just a head cold. I could feel pressure in my sinuses, had the icky post-nasal drip, and a headache that — for me — is always associated with a sinus infection / sinusitis.

Last winter, after several months of dealing with recurring sinus infections (not as a result of lack of rest, might I add!) I ended up seeing an ENT and getting a CT scan to find out how bad things looked and if I’d need surgery. As it turned out, they looked awful … but surgery wasn’t on the table (nasal sprays were).

I have a feeling this winter may be Winter 2015 redux, since sure enough,a visit to the doctor confirmed my suspicions within minutes. Sinusitis.

Even with a helpful husband on hand, being the parents of two small kids means there really are no true sick days for either of us. It’s super hard to rest with them home demanding my attention, if not my physical body (they love to lay on me, use me as a bean bag  to plop on)… but rest is what the doctor asked for me to do and I promised I would oblige as best I could.

He prescribed a Z-pack (which usually works for me on Day 2) … but I still feel like garbage even tonight. So I am in bed early. And that is how I am nourishing myself: by resting. I didn’t worry about steps or the gym today; today, nourishing myself means taking care of myself and listening to my body.

Sometimes rest really is the best medicine. And though 24-year old Melissa wouldn’t have heeded that advice … 36-year old Melissa does. She knows when to fold ’em.

How about you? How did you nourish yourself today?




6 thoughts on “know when to hold ’em … know when to fold

  1. As a former sufferer of chronic bronchitis and sinusitis, I empathize. But I have learned the secret to success, at least for me. I dropped dairy from my diet, and, like unwanted guests once the booze is gone, my illnesses quietly snuck off to some other universe. I haven’t needed a Z-pack in 9 years.

    1. That’s awesome–glad you discovered your culprit! Not sure what causes mine (and I don’t have any interest in an elimination diet just yet) — it’s only been a year of this (on and off)– but that’s awesome you found out your trigger!

      1. Trigger(s), unfortunately. There are a bunch–wheat, cow’s milk, peanuts…there’s quite a list. Still, I’ve re-learned to cook — the food is great and I feel better than ever. If it continues, don’t sneer at the elimination diet. It may be what’s holding you back from health.

      2. Definitely not sneering — just was saying, at this time, it’s not on my agenda but I am willing to consider it if this continues again. So far, it seems to be seasonal for me (Nov or Dec-March). But who knows. I do appreciate the tips and am glad you have found what works for you!

  2. Listen to your body…good advice. I have struggled with some knee issues and just have to know when I need a day of rest rather than pushing through the discomfort. I get so discouraged when I have to miss a cardio session…but my body will be healthier in the long run 🙂

    1. YES–that’s exactly it; we’ll be healthier in the long run if we give our bodies adequate time to rest and recover. Mentally, it’s just hard sometimes 🙂

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