Disclosure: I understand that what I am about to rant about makes absolutely no sense at all. It’s just me.
I like to believe that my body chemistry is unlike anyone else in the entire planet. By believing this, I can avoid listening to stereotypical advice on what to eat and not to eat, how much you should work out, and how much sleep a person needs.
I have the pickiest eating habits of anyone else I know. Sometimes food that made me sick a week ago will be fine today, if I am in the mood for it, but then sick again in a day because I said so- and it really will. Shrimp was my favorite food growing up, and since age 25 I have been allergic to it (hey, ask the doctors at Mass General, if you don’t believe me). I am lactose intolerant, but LOVE cheese (especially paired with wine). I get a stomach ache from almost every meal (from even a salad)- yet my cravings ONLY consist of chocolate, puffy Cheetos and chicken wings…that of course my body digests perfectly. I feel sorry for my boyfriend, who will have to preview a menu to make sure there is something on it I will digest. He even researches the places I go for client lunches and will text message me the menu item that won’t kill me. It’s actually very sweet. Funny thing is, on our first date, I assured him that I was easy going and not picky about food. I guess it had never been pointed out to me before, as I only ate what I wanted- and didn’t realize that consisted of a very limited range. Hey- I’ll eat sushi!
Working out to me has been this enigma that I have been trying to solve since college. I can’t quite figure it out. Did people in the 1960s (or earlier) work out? I watch the show Mad Men- and there is an episode where the newly divorced woman in the neighborhood is seen “walking.” GASP! “Where is she walking to???” The other women cry. Her response- “I just like to walk.” The only other exercise I have seen on that show was of course the young school teacher, aka, Don Draper’s latest victim, running at 4am. So only young school teacher-types and divorced women work out, while the “normal” women smoke and drink red wine 24/7? YET…They are ALL thin and gorgeous. (Please note- I realize I am arguing with a television show, but if you look at pictures from that time- the women really were perfect looking!) I won’t argue much past the 1960s. I think we all know that the 1970s brought the leotard to us, for the purpose of exercise class. I’m just saying- there WAS a time when we didn’t need to think about all this so darn much. Red wine solved it all.
In college, I worked out so much that if my friends and I were getting ready to go out, and I felt kinda “fat,” I would go run a mile or two then continue the beautifying process. I tried diet pills- that only made me seem to be on speed 24/7. Lost a couple dates that way (I guess you’re supposed to let the other person talk too), yet never really got thin, until I STOPPED taking them. Strange.
Now that I am in my 30s, working out is like this chore I know I have to do, yet stall until it hits me like a deadline that it must be done. Other days, I crave to be on that treadmill. Neither situation would be possible without the use of my boyfriend’s extra Apple headphones (I plug them into those beautiful little TVs installed on top of the machines). At first, I could “borrow” them, but now they have slowly become my property and just as important for me to wear to the gym as my sneakers or sports bra. I also have the belief that if I work out 1 week prior to a special event or trip, that my body will be drastically better than it was the day I started. If a special event or trip is coming up, all of a sudden I LOVE working out and couldn’t image never loving this activity. When said event is over…give me my couch/remote back.
I will never understand how one sleeps through an entire evening, without waking up. I have tried everything from counting sheep, melatonin to benedryl- nothing works. I will say, at the suggestion of a colleague, I bought some vitamin B1 and (when I remember) it works like a charm to ease my mind and let me sleep, at least until 3am. I can fall asleep in a car in about 2 minutes, or when laying on something warm. Once awake, I can never figure out how to stay up without being exhausted. Caffeine makes me tired and coffee gives me a headache. If someone puts a movie on, 10 minutes (sometimes less) into it, I am sound asleep. When it ends- like the second it is over-I am wide awake. I will say this- there is nothing more victorious than when, from the hours of tossing and turning, you find that perfect sweet-spot and your eyes finally close.
I think I need a vacation. 🙂