Hey, Hey - Piggie Posse!
My little hiatus is over!
Sorry about that… I took a couple months to get my sh!t together after a rough personal life situation, and I’m back. A lot of things have transpired in the last two months, and I needed a little bit of a recovery period. I’ve experienced many emotions, both happy and sad (mostly sad, if I’m honest) and I feel compelled to write it out so here it is.
Recovery comes in all forms. Physical, mental, emotional…
When something happens to shift your routine, it’s scary and sometimes hurtful. Whether it’s being sore after leg day, relaxing after a long day at the office or nursing a broken heart.
I went to Disneyland on Saturday with a friend I hadn’t seen in five years, and it was the best time I think I’ve ever had there, and probably the best walking mileage I've had in a long time!. We made our day a “Wayne and Garth do Disney” trip for April Fool’s day, and it was a blast! The last time I was there, it was May of 2015 and I was running the Pixie Dust Challenge, and it brought back some seriously bittersweet memories.
Just like exercise and sore muscles, the discomfort you experience makes you stronger. It sounds so cliché and even reading myself writing it makes me cringe – but it’s true.
Taking this break I needed has helped me re-evaluate some crucial aspects of what is and ISN'T important. Just like resting between workouts helps foster the development of your muscles.
Muscle growth occurs “whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown”. This adaption doesn’t happen while you lift the weights. It happens when you rest; when you spend time recovering from the stress and the trauma of it all. If you don’t allow for recovery, you may do the opposite of what you intend. Same with all situations, and in my case, VERY much my current situation. Reflection and time to recover is crucial to both my physical and emotional health.
My 3 Best Strategies for Recovery
- Get Enough Sleep: or you’ll be cranky! Who doesn’t love a good nap? Outlaw Fitness suggests that “Human Growth hormone is essential to both muscle recovery and repair, and it’s mainly produced during your sleep”. I don’t know about you, but I feel like crap if I don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night. It helps lift your mood and rejuvenates the body. I’ve done a lot of that.
- Eat the Right Foods and Drink Your Water! Eating and fueling your body with the right nutrients is a given, but if your gas tank is running on empty, you won’t go anywhere. Our bodies are 70% water, and our muscle tissue is the same – staying hydrated is vital to all health, not just physical. Research has been done to show that people who consume fast food and highly processed foods on a consistent basis “51% more likely to develop depression than minimal or non-consumers”. If I eat like crap, I feel like crap. That’s just how it works.
- Take a bath! Okay I know, I know… it sounds dumb, and feminine (sorry guys) but it truly helps. Epsom salt or ice baths (hell to the no for me on those) are helpful to “reduce swelling, relieve stress, improve circulation, soften skin and improve mood.” For me, ice baths are not something I’m into. I did one after the Pixie Dust Challenge and couldn’t handle it, even though it’s said to constrict blood vessels and flush out waste like lactic acid, and reduce swelling… but warm baths I’m all for.
Regardless of what it is you’re going through – sore thighs or a sore heart – you have to take care of yourself. Everyone has been telling me to take care of myself first. That if you pour from an empty cup, there isn’t much to give. It’s not in my nature and that’s a hard adjustment for me to make, so I get it. Relax! “They” say to work hard, but to also enjoy yourself. It’s ALL about balance.
Til next week!