Body Back Weeks 2 & 3. Sleep back. Brain back?

Is that a dramatic ploy to reel you in to reading this blog? No. Not really. ; ) I’ll explain, but first some feedback from the week(s). I had to miss week 2 classes because of a family birthday and a conference. I still kept on track (mostly) with the nutrition plan. I did enjoy a celebratory cupcake, minus the frosting, and some complimentary hotel breakfast food. Eehem, waffles. Mmm. My dietitian Mom would remind me, it’s what you do habitually that makes the difference. So occasionally, these things are part of a balanced diet, right? I still grit my teeth a bit when it’s time to write out the weekly menu plan and shopping list, but I AM convinced that the planning is worth it, so maybe I’ll start to enjoy the process one of these days.

We did a water drinking challenge for week 2. 108 oz. a day was usually my minimum. (My water bottle filled 4 times) I seriously felt so refreshed from being so hydrated! To drink that much, it helped to add a drop of therapeutic grade lemon essential oil each time I filled my stainless steel bottle. (Lemon oil breaks down plastic, hence the important mention of stainless steel.) In the past, sore and stiff would define the days following intense exercise. But with increased hydration, that is significantly decreased! I recently learned that sufficient hydration helps flush the lactic acid buildup out of the muscles which helps relieve the pain and soreness. Interesting!

Honestly on the fitness front, I wasn’t very motivated during week 2. It was a struggle to roll out of bed most mornings… just in a bit of a slump. While in the habit forming stages of this level of fitness, I’m finding the accountability and guidance found in class to be very helpful for success. Not having that during week 2 contributed to the slump. For week 3, I was back on track with classes and am back to feeling motivated. Mornings are my best time to fit in exercise. If I think about it too long, sometimes it doesn’t happen. So, I try to fling the covers off with a determined grunt and launch myself out of bed. Once my body is up, the inspiration and joy of the morning kick in and I’m good to go.

This transformation course is called Body back. But I do think we could add “sleep back” and “sanity back” to the title! In her book called “ReFresh”, Shona Murray writes the following, summed up from several medical journals and articles:

“Nonwork-related exercise redirects nervous energy and gives it a physical outlet. This kind of exercise produces in us a healthy kind of tiredness that is conducive to sleep, not the mental tiredness that leaves us unable to sleep.”

“Moderate physical exercise helps to expel unhelpful chemicals from our system and stimulates the production of helpful chemicals. It not only strengthens the body; it also strengthens the brain. Exercise triggers the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus and the release of neurotrophic growth factors – a kind of brain fertilizer that helps the brain grow, maintain new connections and stay healthy. Exercise and proper rest patterns generate about a 20 percent energy increase in an average day, while exercising three to five times a week is about as affective as an antidepressants for mild to moderate depression. It lowers stress and anxiety levels and increases problem-solving abilities.”

These are some pretty compelling reasons, beyond just physical strength and appearance, to get my body moving!