I was at the grocery store recently and saw a woman pushing her small son down the cereal aisle. When she put a big box of something that looked brown, stick-like and healthy into the cart, the boy picked it up and dropped it on the floor. She tried again. The boy did it again. "James," she said calmly, "Please let Mommy put that in the cart."
"No." The boy said, then pointed to a box of cereal with a giant cookie pictured on the front. "I want that."
The mom looked at the colorful box, sighed from somewhere deep in her soul and said wistfully, "I do too."
This reminded me that being an adult can be a real drag sometimes. Being a healthy adult? Doubles (maybe even triples) the drag factor. Not only do you have to take care of your life (and work, kids, house, dog, cat, etc.), but you have to do it with a salad in one hand and a set of weights in the other...while jogging.
So, what happens when you never take a break from all that responsibility? Your mind becomes like that stubborn child, not only refusing to accede to your demands, but potentially sending you on a reckless salad-free, exercise-free bender.
We all need time to breathe, time to enjoy a few moments in life without monitoring every movement, every bite, every calorie. Time to play a little hooky from being so Healthy and Responsible.
Some signs you need to play hooky: Salad Fatigue - When one more bite, even one glance of a piece of lettuce sends you over the edge Exercise Fear and Loathing - When even the sight of your workout clothes invokes a fiery hatred, the intensity of which rivals a thousand suns Murderous Fantasies - When you find yourself daydreaming about firebombing your food journal, mashing your oh-so-carefully cut vegetables into an unrecognizable pulp, then driving recklessly to the nearest Chick-Fil-A.
Scheduling a break before you have a meltdown gives you the power to plan exactly what you will (or won't do) and savor every minute...without guilt. You can take up to a week off from exercise without losing your fitness and, sometimes, just a day off (or even a meal or two off) from calorie-counting can help you keep going without falling off the wagon.
What do you think? Does planning breaks from exercise and/or healthy eating keep you on track? How do you avoid a complete exercise meltdown? Leave a comment and tell me how you play hooky.
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