Friday, August 23, 2013

Refeed Day

Total steps yesterday:  20,820
Exercise plans for today:  Hold a heavy book while reading

There's a concept in body building, particularly in the paleo/primal lifestyle, of refeed days.  Other people call them "cheat days", but it's basically a way to give your body a break from any strict diet you follow (note:  when I use the term "diet" on this blog, it refers to the day to day manner in which one chooses to eat, NOT a calorie cutting fad-ish short term attempt to lose weight).  In theory, refeed days can help in continued efforts to lose weight / lose body fat by sending a signal to your body that it's not starving, that there are actually plenty of nutrients for it to use, and that it's okay to let go of the extra fat stores the body likes to hold on to for times of famine.

And other blah blah blah-ness related to the theory that our bodies operate exactly as they did in the paleo period and that that's the best and only way to live.  I don't really subscribe to the whole idea, but I do think it can help a lot, both physically and mentally, to take days in which one eats what one wants and doesn't worry too much about hard exercise.  One great thing about pregnancy is that it's made me more relaxed about taking rest days, both in terms of rest from exercise and from 100% eating right (or even 80% eating right, since that's more what my diet is like on the average day).

So today is a rest day, and I'm just finishing a small piece of chocolate cake that I impulse bought at the grocery store.  The funny thing about days like this is I actually sort of feel terrible at the moment.  Not emotionally terrible - I have no guilt about eating the cake.  But I feel a little sick to my stomach from the sugar rush.  It reminded me of something said on another blog, about how you should pay attention to how food makes you feel.  If you can identify that, say, eating a piece of chocolate cake at noon makes you feel sick the rest of the day, you'll do it less often.  Maybe you'll never do it (I don't have that kind of willpower, obviously).  James and I talk about how we used to get "Taco Belly" - the horrible sick feeling in your gut after eating Taco Bell.  Anytime it's tempting to swing through that drive through (since I still love the taste of crunch wrap supremes), I can think about Taco Belly and know that it's a bad idea.

I'm grateful that the last year and a half of eating well and exercising semi-regularly has made me good at listening to my body.  I think that will help in the next six months of pregnancy.  I know I'll have the days when I eat too much, but as long as I'm overall feeling okay, then I'm confident in what my body is doing.  I haven't always been, and I'm still working on it every day, but it's a good feeling at the moment.

And now I need a post-cake nap.

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