A Mid-Summer Dream: Let Your Body Do Nothing – and then Get Back to It

 

I’d like to say we’re having a lazy, slow summer, but we are, and we’re not.

I’m currently 3 weeks into my internship at the gym (Coaching, LOVE it.), the study that accompanies that internship (fitness certification), squeezing in holidays, celebrations, camp and kids – plus my ‘real’ job.

I’m busy – but I am CHOOSING it all, so I’m perfectly happy. 

 

While in northern Saskatchewan, a stray dog ended up on our cabin doorstep, and promptly determined she would not be leaving us. Her lovely temperament, dutiful obedience and desire to please us made her easy to love. So, we welcomed a second rescue into our home. Don’t judge me by the dog hair. OY.

I knew this about my body, but had it affirmed post-holidays. Remember the challenge – and my “lack” of weight loss. Well, I came home from a week of NO workouts, fast food meals, ice cream, Texas cooking, homemade pizza, garbage junk food and more alcohol ingested than I would drink in a year – and finally saw my weight sink.

What’s that about? Remember at the end of my 8 week challenge? I’d lost a number of inches, but really no weight (1.7 pounds). A good example of a body rebuilding itself at a cellular level – re-structuring. And yet, to come home after a week of indulgence – no, OVER-indulgence – and see a 3-4 pound weight loss in a WEEK, is a bit mind boggling.

Intense exercise (that is hard core training 4-6x a week) can be interpreted as a form of stress in your  body. Here we go – Paleo talk. In a body’s perfect ancient wisdom, during times of stress, it would hang onto as much body fat as possible (anticipating famine likely or hard times ahead) – it’s survival mode.

What happens on holidays? You relax. Move less. Zen more. Overfeed. In this relaxed state, your amygdala (that ancient lizard brain) interprets safety and abundance. In this state, your body does it’s best work – burning, healing, resting and restoring.

We weren’t designed for GO GO GO all the time. We weren’t designed to be responding to traffic and dinging alarms and wifi signals and blue light at night.

Our bodies in their perfect ancient wisdom long for silence and stillness and black nights for deep sleep and YES – even recovery.

Here’s where most people get it wrong. Your body was also designed to move. Walk long distances. Haul rocks and logs if needed. Fish and hunt and lug and lift. We were never designed to SIT for HOURS upon HOURS at a desk.

Nor were we designed for INTENSE exercise regimens day after day. 5-6 days a week of HIIT will eventually prove too much for most bodies. Primal Blueprint author and founder Mark Sisson insists that 2-3x a week of primal movement (HEAVY lifts, sprinting and lots of walking during a week) is all a body needs to retain maximum fitness capacity.

I was back in the gym this week 3 times. I focused strictly on strength and good form with one metabolic workout. My main focus has been on cleaning up and normalizing my diet. Lots of protein, LOTS of veggies. LOTS of blueberries. (OH, I LOVE BERRY SEASON.)

My first Kettlebell Coach, Tim Day talked about the importance of SCHEDULING rest for his body – a week or two weeks of DOING NOTHING – and how it was so important. He was the first one to teach me that my body would require that time for deep rest.

Every time I’ve taken a week or ten days of deep rest, my body has rebounded in a way that surprised me.

Every great gain I’ve made in strength or capacity or endurance; every time my body has let go of a bit more fat or gained a bit more muscle – has been after I’ve blessed it with joyful rest and good food.

This isn’t a pass to let all my hard work and commitments go to shit.

Holidays are over and I’m back to training. I feel strong and lean and joyful and grateful for so much learning, love, abundance and yes, even dog hair.

xoK

 

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