...and I've been working like a dog. This week, I've just gotten tugged in every possible direction. I've been bullied by management, threatened (with lawsuits) by employees, and led around the office by our CEO like--well, like a dog. I knew it would be a rough week because I'm in a symposium on Thursday and Friday, so there ends up being extra stress to get everything done by Wednesday.
It got to the point yesterday that people were asking me "What's wrong?" Which only happens when I'm extremely ill and don't have the strength to keep up the "HR Professional Mask," or when I forget to put on mascara (seriously, I look like I'm suffering from H1N1 when I don't have eyelashes). My boss even came into my office and told me to take a day off...soon. So yeah, the cracks in my armor must have been pretty visible.
And you know what I realized? I haven't done anything active since Sunday. No walks around the block, no stretching exercises, no yoga or pilates, no swimming, no weights, no nothing. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so shocked when I realized this. The woman who refused to sweat (unless you count sweating while trying to open a stuck jar of pasta sauce), NEEDS to work out in order to feel right. Who knew?
Well, I guess I sorta knew. I mean I knew about all the studies on how exercise boosts your mood and that the effects can last over a day. I know that I'm mildly ADD and need variety. I know that anxiety can be burned off, along with some calories, by a brisk 10-minute walk. And yet, before I lost the weight I couldn't take advantage of this.
You see, there is an idea out there that fat people are lazy, and if they just got off the couch they could turn into Ironman. I don't believe being lazy makes you fat--I've met far too many skinny people who won't lift a finger if they don't have to. I DO believe that being fat can make you lazy. I am a hard worker, I'm dedicated and stubborn as all heck, yet I got truly lazy because moving around just didn't feel good. I was in near-constant pain when I walked--to the point of wanting to just give up and lie down. I hated feeling my thighs rub together, and my jiggly spots jiggle. So I avoided it like the plague, and I'm sure people around me assumed that I was lazy.
Now I'm finding that I can actually move, and that it's fun. And that when I don't make time to work out, I really miss it both physically and emotionally. Don't get me wrong--running around the block isn't going to make my CEO less of a bully, or keep the employee I secretly refer to as "The Emotional Titanic" from cornering me in my office to tell me of her most recent crisises (or crises?). It just helps me burn off the stress, anxiety, and tension that result of these things so that I can start the next day fresh. Then, I can see my CEO as a powerful, decisive woman (which she is), and I can see the Titanic employee as a very troubled lady who just needed a sympathetic ear (which she also is).
So after my symposium ended this afternoon, I made a stop at the gym. I saw a friend there, and watched a bit of the Turbo Kick Boxing she's been telling me about (I'm a little scared to try it just yet). Then I did a warm-up on a recumbent bike (7 minutes) and 12 minutes on the elliptical (a new record for me!) doing intervals. Then I did weights for my shoulders, my back, my pecs, my biceps, and my triceps. I know it probably sounds wimpy to those of you who work out a lot, but remember that I've had 2 major surgeries in the last 7 months and I'm still 225 lbs, which is just barely out of the morbidly obese column for my BMI. (Woo hoo! I've lost about 130 lbs and now I'm just the regular kind of obese!). So I've got a long way to go before Ironman. But this evening I feel better--less stressed, and less driving to eat unconsciously. So this is definitely a new, positive discovery for me.
Basically, the moral of the story is that if you work like a dog, you should run and play like one too. Or you just might end up "barking" mad. (sorry about the pun...feel free to punish me in the comment section).