Coming to you live from a steaming bathtub filled with Bath N' Body Works peppermint scented bubbles and Epsom salt infused water, I'm back!
Life has been pretty chaotic lately. Last minute college preparation duties, graduation planning (36 more school days until the big day, but who's counting?!), and grinding hard in the gym has been the structure of my life lately. Everything has been a complete whirlwind of emotions, and I am starting to feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz when she's being whipped around in her cyclone swallowed home. It's all starting to take a toll on my body.
According to Google, TLC means...
TLC: (noun) Tender loving care, or considerate and solicitous care.
According to me, TLC means...
TLC: (noun) Tasty large cookies; Tender loving care towards one's own self. Usually resulting in peaceful bubble baths, blissful cat naps, and dense chewy cookies (Lenny and Larry, I'm talking about you guys).
I've pushed myself harder than ever before in the gym this past week, and my body is definitely feeling my determination. Bruised shins, terribly callused hands, aches and pains from hell, and a ravenous appetite to follow. It was an amazing week filled with new PR's (personal records), delicious food, and true happiness.
I've always had an issue listening to my body, but for the first time, today I listened to her. After a smooth set of 2x8 squats, paused deadlifts were next on the menu. When I can't even lift up a warm up set without my hips feeling like they were being scraped with a sharp knife, I know that my body was screaming at me to just simply stop. I began to shed guilt filled tears while Ed internally yelled at me for not finishing a workout, and taking the rest of the day and tomorrow off.
"You CANNOT and WILL NOT give up. No whining. No pain no gain. You'll be so thankful that you kept lifting when it comes time to eat later." said Ed.
And then, a moment of triumph and bravery arose out of me.
"If I keep going, I'll injure myself even more than I am right now. I'm not whining, I'm ignoring you and listening to my body. You never let me listen to her, and it's not fair to her. She deserves to be heard, because she knows what's best for me. She says that if I want to come back on Monday ready to go, I need to tell you to take a hike, and stop this workout." I answered.
I didn't even give Ed a chance to respond.
This was a humongous deal for me. Willingly not finishing a workout? You'd never expect that coming from the bull-headed perfectionist that I am. I'd never even expect that from me. I'm constantly pushing myself to go go go and am always going past the point of comfort. Today I learned that there is a distinct difference between not wanting to finish a workout because it's too hard, and not finishing a workout because it's physically painful and would be creating more injuries if I were to continue.
I'm treating my body with total TLC tonight. She soaked in a hot bath earlier, rested her aching joints and muscles with a solid 3 hour snooze, and will soon indulge in a double chocolate peanut butter swirl cookie that is the same size as her face. My body deserves to be cared for in a gentle manner. She is a temple, and as her caretaker, it is my responsibility to keep her taken care of and deeply nourished.
Your body is not a battleground. There's no workout worth finishing if it means you'd be hurting yourself in the end. Know when your body can't mentally handle a workout, and when it can't physically handle a workout.
Acknowledge your temple. Care for your temple. Feed your temple. But most importantly, love your temple.