I can personally resonate with this post by Em. 2012 for me has been crazy, intense, hectic and all kinds of super calla fragilistic! I know all too well how easy it is to take too much on board and jump on the "I can do everything and push past the pain bandwagon". Here Em shows us how to listen to our bodies cues and incorporate a dosage of self loving into our fitness routine.
After being back from my amazing Italian honeymoon for 3 months, ‘every day’ life seems to have swallowed me up as I try and manage to juggle everything a woman does – a demanding job, fitness, relationships, my home, my goals, everything post wedding, the surprises life throws at you and one of the most important – enjoying this new life chapter with my amazing husband.
Before I go on, I just want to be clear. By no means am I having a whinge or am I upset about what is in my life. I am extremely blessed to have everything I do and wouldn’t change that for the world… but it comes back to our topic – Control.
Despite how personally challenging the past few months have been they’ve also led to an amazing time of self-discovery and self-direction.Unfortunately I can’t be Wonder Woman, no matter how much I’d like to be. Everything is starting to take its toll and my muscles are suffering. You may know what I'm talking about, when stress turns into its negative form our body reacts - some of us get sick, others may have a breakout. For me, my muscles are tighter than ever and overall I'm tired.
Now tight calves are quite normal, in fact for most of us our calves are the tightest muscle in our body but they shouldn't be this tight, ever! Also it’s important for me to regularly go to the chiropractor to ensure my body is aligned correctly. I keep appointments about 8 - 12 weeks apart. My last appointment was 4 weeks ago and it’s time for me to book in for another one - my back and neck are already feeling the strain.
What I've learnt:
This period has taught me a few things I need to change, some I have been aware of for a little while, but it is going to take time for these things to form into habits.
1.The first is not to put unnecessary stress on myself. I tend to have extremely high expectations of myself and sometimes they can be quite different to others expectations. By nature, I’m a high achiever, but sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and give myself a break.
2.The second is to take the time to stretch a little more and roll out my muscles at least once a week after one of my classes.I mention stretching and rolling because I really feel they work hand in hand. The new Pilates session I've integrated into my fitness routine includes the yoga move ‘downward dog’ this made me me realise just how tight my calves really are. When our muscles are relaxed, we’re able to stretch them out correctly and also perform other exercises like squats more efficiently.
3.The final lesson is integrating massages into my life. Although I know they are good, I’ve always viewed them as a luxury item…something you get on exotic holidays, not as a regular health service to keep your body in check. I know I need to let go of my pre-conceived views and allow myself to book in for an appointment.
So what now? It’s time for me to start turning my lessons into actions. If you’re not already doing these, why not join me:
♥Don’t be so tough on yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in life. Take a moment to enjoy, take a deep breath and give yourself a break.
♥Ensure your fitness routine involves exercises that stretch and roll out your muscles (yoga, tai chi etc) – your body will work more efficiently and won’t be as impacted by stressful periods in your life.
♥Book in regular massages throughout the year. Massages are a good treat for achieving your goals – whether fitness or not.
So tell me... Has your body taught you any important lessons lately? How do you better hone into what your body is trying to tell you? What are your tricks for staying in control?
Em specialises in Marketing Communications, is a qualified Group Fitness Instructor, has a soft spot for fashion and is passionate about equality and healthy living, particularly healthy body image. Her motto: Be the change you want to see in the world. Connect with Em on Twitter here