Questioning The Need To Rest

I can tell I am in vacation mode, and that it was the last day of school yesterday, because my motivation to be productive is starting to wane.

I was riding high after my first fun night out in as long as I can remember and then Sunday came and I could barely keep my eyes open….and I mean ALL day.

I think I could have slept 24 hours straight because even though I was physically awake, my body was barely functioning.

I had no desire to walk on the treadmill, which I did anyway for a measily 20 minutes and then opted for a slow forty minutes outside with my sister. My normal household chores did not get anywhere near my best effort, and all I really wanted to do was take a nap until Thursday when we leave.

I was extremely conflicted by this exhaustion, because the eating disorder part me of me kept screaming “LAZY, LAZY LAZY!!!” and saying that I really did not need to eat much if all I was going to do was rest, but then the other side of my brain just wanted to give in and enjoy the relaxation I needed and the memories of an amazing night with my husband.

I have discussed this before but I have absolutely lost any concept of “normal.”

I am going to be 25 next week, so in theory I am not old and a lot of others I know who are close to my age go to bars, clubs, stay out late and enjoy themselves on weekends; allowing their bodies to rise naturally, maybe work out, maybe not, and I would assume eat properly, so why is this such a difficult idea for me to grasp?

Or is it that I don’t believe I deserve to have that much fun?

Sunday I was accepting of my abnormal state; perhaps even a little happy about it because I felt like I was starting to come back and be the person I used to like, but Monday was a bit more challenging.

I set my alarm for my work day 4:00 am wake up and thought I would be absolutely refreshed since I went to bed early, slept incredibly well for my standards, and had my pre-treadmill snack, but once I got on my walking machine fatigue set in.

*I have to admit something here that is going to make me sound like an absolutely horrible person…

Ryan is way caddying for a friend to qualify for the US Open, and normally, on mornings when he is not home ED sees it as the PERFECT opportunity to go harder or longer than my husband typically prefers. Many times I give into this by doing extra time or higher intensity, but yesterday I just couldn’t.

Even the small (way smaller than usual) part me of who wanted to pick up the pace, literally could not move any faster.

I was nearly sleep-walking because my eyes felt so heavy and the only thing that kept my legs in motion seemed to be the music.

It was the weirdest thing to experience because typically, days without Ryan, and when I know I am going to be in an uncomfortable food environment (like on vacation) really soon, are my perfect opportunity (and sick motivation) to rebel from recovery, but something held me back.

I don’t know if it was all because of being exhausted, the happiness I was still feeling from Philadelphia, or having a renewed desire for freedom after that experience that prevented me from doing the “wrong thing,” but my abstinence is proving to be difficult for me now.

The fear that I won’t ever want to exercise like I used to, that my body is just going to continue to expand, and that I am all of a sudden going to become the most lazy, fat, disgusting person loves to replay in my mind.

Of course this is all pretty irrational, and completely eating disordered, but it doesn’t make the negativity any less real when it runs and runs and runs.

Fortunately I am in a place right now, that I can say a big “f*ck you” to the devil inside but honestly, and you all know, this is not always the case.

Everyday, meal, moment, is a battle and I am happy that right now I feel like I am on the way to a win. I just hope the momentum continues 🙂

Do you believe in rest days?? At this time I feel like that is my biggest struggle…telling my body it needs and should sometimes take a rest. If you had a similar belief, how did you overcome the guilt?

Happy Tuesday!

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10 thoughts on “Questioning The Need To Rest

  1. Hey girl! Definitely felt the need to comment on this post as it’s still something that I struggle with, even after overcoming my eating disorder. I love the way that I feel when I’m active and have trouble taking days off. Over time, though, I’m learning to tune into my body and rest when I need it. Our bodies are so smart and I have been injured – stress fracture in my foot, runners knee, etc. because I pushed it too hard. If it helps, remind yourself that it isn’t like your “calorie bank” restarts each day … categorizing one day as “good” or “bad” or “too much” or “too little”. You deserve to rest just like you deserve dessert – and your body AND mind will thank you for it.

  2. Rest days are SO tough for me. I have the same tape playing “LAZY” in my head too…it’s no fun! I’m still working on overcoming the guilt, but it helped this weekend when I realized that I felt more rested and less weak. So maybe try focusing on how you feel after allowing yourself a little rest? And when ED starts verbaling abusing you about it, try to distract yourself and block out his nasty voice. **I’m still working on this 🙂

    • I think you were exactly right when you said DISTRACT! that seems to be the only thing that ever helps me! so maybe if I put other activities i like in place of my exercise that could help! lets hope!!! good luck with your recovery girl! thinking of you!

      • Thank you! Maybe try making a list of “self soothing” activities that you can just go to when you get antsy. I have things like crocheting, yoga, scrapbooking, blogging, stuff like that on mine. Good luck to you too! You are so determined – you can do this!!

  3. Rest days can be equally challenging for me as well. I actually just wrote a post today about this, I have decided to challenge my ED I’m taking a week off exercise. Every kind, even yoga. I want to prove to myself I don’t need exercise to strive and to survive everyday life. It is such a challenge, but I am honestly feeling a lot better. Not mentally, mentally I’m struggling a lot, but physically I feel a lot more rested. Not completely, but I can tell this will help my view on exercise. It’s been 4 days and my weight hasn’t changed at all. Not a huge shocker, but it just made me realize how much mental energy I put into my workout routine. It is such a hard thing to challenge, and I’d been tempted to do the week off challenge thing for about 6 months before last week when I decided I would “just do it”, seems so simple, but it is a challenge. You can do this CJ! I really believe you can overcome this, you are so lucky to have your supportive husband, just realize he’s there for you and lean on him for support and reassurance.

    • oh my gosh lisa this is such an inspiration! what a great challenge and I am so happy you are doing well with it!!! good luck and I hope your body continues to feel fabulous. I know how difficult it may be mentally but if anyone can do it, you can. Keep up the great work and thank you so much for all the support 🙂 ❤

  4. Oh CJ, I think you know my thoughts on this one. When I took a full week-long break a few months ago, it was hard as hell, I won’t lie to you about that. Everyday I wanted to restrict and there were days that I did. But then that week ended and I was not 50 pounds heavier, out of shape or full of fat. I was the same, perhaps a bit more mentally crazed and anxious because of the rest, but then calmer in the end because I proved to myself that I could do it. Now I am exercising again but it’s sooooo much less intense than earlier this year because physically I am unable to exert myself! I Don’t have a damn choice, yet I am still eating similar amounts and… not gaining.
    Just try it out, consider taking a rest day, and then two in a week, perhaps making it up to three, in order to prove you CAN do this, you will not blow up, you will not get out of shape, and you can handle it… I know you can, you are strong and capable.

  5. Having those questions about normalcy, feelings of guilt surrounding exercise and tying activity with food are big time red flags. Our bodies need to be honored and treated gently, you deserve it. Truth? The only way I overcame it was quitting – completely and entirely. It was the furtest thing from easy, but I know that I can’t run without taking it too far and that’s just my reality now. It look a long time, but I’m happier than ever.

    A.
    http://www.wildheartcity.wordpress.com

    • That is so great to hear!! What did you do to completely stop? Did you replace and distract? I have heard inserting other activities into your “exercise” schedule is pretty effective I just havent been overly dedicated to do so 😦 thanks for the encouragement hun!

  6. It wasn’t easy, it was really hard. And I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still struggle with wanting to be more active. It got to the point where I was just too tired. Otherwise, I’ve practiced just sitting with the discomfort. I also realized that I really love the part of exercise that involved being focused, accomplish, and spending time outside. So I replaced that exercise time with other activities that satisfy those needs!
    It gets sooo much easier over time, and its so worthwhile and rewarding. You can do it!

    A.
    http://www.wildheartcity.wordpress.com

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