health · living

Monday Motivation: What being sick has taught me

Ever since I was little, I have hated getting sick. I become a stubborn mule, not wanting to eat or drink anything, and certainly not wanting anyone or anything to help me. My mom used to overcome this attitude with Disney movies and cuddles. Those I definitely miss in my adult life. Now being sick means having to miss work, stress about missing said work, feeling badly about putting more responsibility on my husband, and having major FOMO (fear of missing out) as I stare longingly at Facebook posts of friends going to the gym, getting brunch, and having fun.

This past weekend was no exception. My plans to relax with my husband and unwind from the week quickly unraveled as my temperature skyrocketed on Friday. Whether it’s the change of weather (New England, I curse you!) or stress from work, I felt like a bus hit me. Three days of fevers and chills, nasty cough, and antibiotics ensued. In and out of my naps and Nyquil dreams, I thought a lot about why I get so cranky when I am sick and how these thoughts can power me when I am healthy. I am hoping that some of these can be YOUR Monday motivation.

  • Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do. Always. Not used as a punishment. Having to take more than my usual rest day reminded me just how capable my body is when it is healthy. Nothing makes me appreciate how much I have until I can’t do it any more. 587bceed612ad9c35b95bcb0e9672024

 

  • I don’t HAVE to ___________. I GET to _____________. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to do things like eat healthy, exercise each day, spend time with my husband and family. I take things fore granted and become forgetful in daily life. Being sick made me more mindful of the fact that I GET to do these things and they aren’t always a guarantee.5ea982f23b482b62c6247fb1c72d6e12
  • Rest. I don’t think its cute or admirable when I see people post on social media: Had a fever and was coughing up my own lung but made it in for a workout. #health #livinghealthy #workhard #noexcuses.

That is a sign of ignorance and punishment to your body. Hey, I get it. The guilt sets in when I miss a workout and I, too, believe in #noexcuses but when your body is literally crying out for help, you better listen. A fever is your body’s way of saying that it is hard at work fighting off infection. It is in its own war and workout against a foreign invader. Just like you want a strong army to protect your country, wouldn’t you want a strong army to protect your body? The only way to do that is with rest. If you think you are doing your body good by forcing it to go through more energy and resources than it needs to on top of fighting off germs, you are sadly mistaken. You are not #livinghealthy. In fact, you are putting other gym-goers at risk of getting sick too.

Our pets can sense when we are sick. Random thought, I know. But our dog Lucy spent much of the weekend by my side or laying with me cuddling. Normally she needs to be taken out 3x a day but this weekend she barely went out. It was written on her face how concerned she was for me (Goldens are pretty expressive). It must have been my nasty cough or the fact I could barely stand long enough to take a shower. Or she noticed how little I ate… there MUST be something wrong with Mom if she isn’t eating! Even my grumpy cat took a gander over to my couch at one point to sleep on my arm.

 

Look. Being sick with strep throat/the flu for a weekend doesn’t make me an expert on chronic illness or a voice for everyone who has ever been sick. It just made me thankful for my healthy body and sometimes it is nice to have that reminder. So if you are stuck as miserable as I was this weekend, know that your body is trying to take care of you. If you were lucky enough to be able to kill your workouts and eat/drink to your hearts content, be a little more thankful for all your body can do. Now, let me get back to drinking fluids and sleeping my day away so I can get back to kicking ass tomorrow and cooking for my husband so he doesn’t eat any more junk food.

Questions:

  1. When was the last time you were sick? How did you handle it?
  2. What is your Monday Motivation?
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