Pleasure & Pain Post Valentines:
We hate to face the days after Valentines and when we think of Lent, we think of fasting, sacrifice, self-denial and lots of other un-pleasantries that are synonymous with penance and not pleasure. Now, of course this is true but perhaps this period could represent something different, something more positive. It could represent change. Change is difficult, altering well trodden routines and habits are hard. But what better starting point than Lent to commit to turning over a new leaf? You don’t need to fast and flail in a self enforced bind. Eat healthily and feel good. Perhaps change the chocolate for chia seeds, the wine for water, the full Irish for a feast of porridge. 6 weeks later you might find that the sacrifice wasn’t a sacrifice after all, it was empowering.
You faith in yourself could be restored as you take back control over habits that controlled you. Your body will have responded in kind. It seems like an eternity to be without that cheese toastie but as you regain your health then that yen for those heavy foods declines, your body starts to feel light again, you start to feel fit and that magic mix of energy starts to emerge.
The first steps are always the hardest so be clear on what you want and lay your plan out in bite size chunks. Break it down, your diet, the gym, sleep. Figure out what’s driving you toward that pre bed snack and stop yourself in your tracks. Start slow on the treadmill and build. High reps and low reps in the gym, get your body used to strain and don’t overload. Sleep is key. Rest is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. If you get less than that, and your body will react in ways that lead even the most determined to temptation. After you’re done showing love for that special person close to you this Valentines, show yourself some love too and start the change.