As I stated in the Paleo introduction talk on Tuesday of last week, there are a lot of well educated Paleo people all around you when you come to the gym. With that in mind, I bring to you our first guest blogger of the Paleo challenge, my wife, Marina:
Paleo is More Than Food
Are you blown away by my existential wisdom? I thought so. In reality, this is a topic I’ve given a lot of thought to in the last month. As many of you know, I’ve been really sick for most of September. And not the kind of sick where you get to wear pjs, indulge in all your favorite (*paleo*) comfort foods, and have an excuse to watch terrible reality TV. No, sadly, I’m talking about the kind of sick where you can’t eat of drink for 5 days, where you get bounced between a million doctors, and the final one says to you ‘In 40 years of practice I’ve never seen anything like this…you’re a mess and I’m sending you to the hospital.’ Now wait- I know what you’re thinking- this lady is trying to tell ME how to eat and be healthy??? Good joke, right?!
So there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye. Going back three weeks prior, some of you may remember that my darling husband (and your Crossfit Coach) was also sick. Not sick where the doctors looked at him like he had 3 heads (like me)…but to the point that he was pretty out of commission for several weeks. Cue my perfectionist tendencies and perhaps a subconscious desire to be wonder woman and the groundwork was laid for future disaster. Ryan happens to be quite the helper around the house- so in picking up his normal chore load, plus all the things I normally do, plus starting back my gig in the schools (germy teenagers!!!), plus not getting sleep because Ryan was coughing all night, plus being exposed to his germs = not the greatest time for my immune system. So what the heck does this have to do with paleo? As it turns out- everything! Paleo isn’t just modifying our diet and making jokes about cavemen…it’s about getting more sleep, trying to reduce our stress, increase pleasure and creating a climate of balance and moderation in what can be a pretty chaotic world. If we were to go back over this checklist, the only area in which I slightly succeeded was with the diet- and even then I was stressing about coming up with creative and innovative new meals. Now normally, this is something that brings me pleasure- it’s one of my favorite aspects of paleo because the sky really is the limit, and I’m constantly surprising Ryan with what I create. However, this was not the time to be turning the pressure on- and was really unnecessary when I have so many ‘go to favorites’ that take 30min or less. I cringe when I distinctly remember Ryan telling me to ‘come sit down…come relax’ after having been at work all day, cooking, and then in the midst of cleaning up the kitchen. My curt reply was that I simply couldn’t. After all…the world might have ended if I waited to clean the pots and pans until the next day. I would go to bed feeling tired and stressed about work, and leave work feeling tired and stressed about all I had to get done at home. However, I still had to go to crossfit 3-4 times a week though- totally healthy right? NOT!! Not if my immune system is already being compromised, I’m burning the candle from both ends, and I’m doing it as a compulsion and not as a reflection of what is really going to be good for my body at that time.
Looking back, it’s not such a huge surprise that my body wasn’t in the best shape to fight off the infection I got. Who knew it would morph into this crazy syndrome that has only been reported 18 other times in the entire United States…EVER! I knew I was pretty special, but wow! Now I’m not saying that if you don’t take care of yourself you will mutate into the freakish troll that I turned into. But what I am trying to stress is that in order to really take care of ourselves, and to truly embrace the spirit of what ‘paleo’ is…we have to look beyond the food logs and look at our approach to life as a whole. And sometimes ‘good enough’ is going to be best…and THAT’S OK!
Monday’s Benchmark WOD:
50 Air Squats
7 Muscle Ups
10 Hang Power Cleans (135/95)
Compare to 6/13/11
2011 10 09