When you get into the routine of moving your body everyday everyday, it becomes addicting. Your body feels better, your mind is clear and focused, and you are full of energy. So what happens when you become injured and even the lightest workout of yoga hurts?
That was me this week. A few weeks ago I strained my hip flexor at an exercise class. Normally, I would just ignore it and continue to work out, so that’s what I did. Slowly, however, it became worse and worse and it hurt just to walk around campus. I didn’t want to stop exercising or doing yoga because I LOVE the rewards it brings and how good I felt. To me, there’s no worse feeling than lying around the house all day like a lazy lump. Don’t get me wrong, I always take one rest day a week to help my body heal and give it some time to relax, but three or four rest days? I did not want to do that.
After talking to my best friend and some of my roommates and realizing how ridiculous I was being, I knew that I needed to take some days off to let my leg heal. It seemed horrible now, but if I didn’t rest and continued to wear it down it would only prolong some time off in the future. DEFINITELY not what I wanted.
While all this was going on, a certain article popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. Although it was simply a bizarre coincidence, this article was EXACTLY what I needed to read. In her article, Holly Goodwin discusses how we sometimes get so caught up in “body checking,” checking out how we look in the mirror, and the routine of working out that we don’t stop to listen to our body to see what it’s actually saying. Most importantly, she writes:
” The anxiety of going off of a program (be diet or exercise) can be frightening and daunting. The insecure thoughts of not “burning enough calories” or “not consuming enough protein in a meal” can derail individuals from listening to their body and checking in with what they feel their body needs or wants.”
Never do I restrict what I eat or workout just to burn calories. When I exercise, I am confident and secure in my body because I know my strength and I see what my body is able to do. I am, however, guilty of feeling anxious when I don’t work out because I know I won’t feel my best. After reading this article, I knew that anxiety and guilt of not exercising were out of the question. I was listening to my body and it was telling me NOT to work out. So that’s exactly what I did.
It was tough at first and it was all I thought about for the first day. By the second and third day, I allowed myself strength exercises that didn’t incorporate my injured hip flexor and I made sure I wasn’t doing intense cardio. I took the long way to class and always walked when I could. I iced and rested when I needed to and I made sure I was eating clean, healthy food.
And you know what?
It was the best decision I made. The pain went away as soon as I took it easy. I’m slowly easing back into an exercise program, but always making sure that I’m listening to my body and what it’s telling me. With the help of Holly’s article, this experience brought me a better relationship with my body and taught me to always be mindful not only in thought, but in physical action.
Speaking of sports and exercise….
Today is the Superbowl! Now I definitely know nothing about football and pretty much just enjoy this day because of fun football parties and the delicious food. If you’re looking for a dish to bring to a party, try out these gooey chocolate chip cookies. Made from oats, coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup, these babies will be the star of your Superbowl party. Find the recipe below. Go Pats!
Gooey Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies
- 3 cups oat flour (blend rolled oats in a food processor or blender to make your own!)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 4 tbs honey
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup dark chocolate chips (depending on how much chocolate you want)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 4 tbs almond milk or whatever milk you have on hand
- Preheat oven to 380
- Combine dry ingredients together
- Melt coconut oil and mix wet ingredients together
- Add wet ingredients to dry
- Using an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon, spoon small balls onto a greased baking sheet
- Bake for 7-9 minutes until edges are golden brown
- Bring to your Super Bowl gathering and be the star of the party