Saturday, January 31, 2015

Health: It's more than just food.

I posted a shorter version of this to my Instagram feed, but thought I'd share it here for easy reference and reminder...

I called in sick the other day.

Last Wednesday, a colleague asked me if I was feeling alright because I looked like crap (I have rather blunt colleagues). I should have taken her concern to heart and asked myself if I really was alright, but I laughed it off and told her I was just fine.

But actually, I wasn't.

My diet was spot on, thankfully, so I was full of nutrients and my gut was as healthy as possible. I was still doing CrossFit as well, so I was getting plenty of physical activity. I was also socializing a tad bit more than usual, so my emotional health was great, too.


My stress levels were off the charts. And my sleep was nowhere near being a priority like before.

Between juggling four+ projects at work, planning lessons for four different classes (and four different grade levels), going to CrossFit four times a week and staying up late in the evenings, dealing with a few stressful "life" happenings... I was simply run down. I should have slowed down and taken the time to focus on me, but I didn't. I kept on truckin'.

Wednesday, I developed a painfully swollen throat and a cough. I "healed" the swelling and pain (more on my rather effective method later) but the dry cough remained and worsened.

That weekend I was weak beyond belief. I didn't visit my in-laws like I usually do but rather I stayed home and slept all Saturday afternoon and evening.

I continued trudging along with my week, eventually losing my voice Tuesday, with a tiny voice that came back Thursday. (It's extremely hard to be a teacher with no voice.)

All day Thursday, I was freezing. I could not get warm, no matter how many layers I put on or what I was doing. I made the mistake of going to CrossFit (remember, I wasn't "sick") and even through my sweat and extreme effort, I was chilled to the bone!

Friday morning, I woke up with a resonating "hell no" playing through my head. I called my school's principal and gave her the deets: I was trembling, my skin hurt, and I was hacking up green phlegm. It was bad. Needless to say, I didn't go into work that day.

I then slept until noon exactly, for a total of 13ish hours of sleep (minus the phone interruption). And, I felt "better".

No more chills or aches, no more fatigue, and no more phlegm. I was still coughing a bit, but it seemed to be limited at that.

Side note - Just a few short years ago I couldn't cross my legs because of the swelling in my knee joints. Thanks to a real food diet, I have gained a normal level of flexibility and no longer suffer constantly from stiff and aching joints.

So, I ate my last pre-prepped salad with a bag of plantain chips while correcting papers on the couch. I went to bed early that night and I plan on continuing to make sleep a priority. I will find a way to manage my stress and work load better, though I think being better rested will contribute to that some.

Bottom line is: listen to your body folks! I ignored the signs for a week, therefore my body came to a screeching halt! Don't make yours do the same thing.


  1. Totally Meg!!!! When I post a photo on IG later at night (after 9pm my time), I'm surprised to see that you like a photo of mine or comment on it shortly after because I know you're an hour ahead. You should be in bed at that time! Sleep is even more important than diet, and I think many of us, despite feeling amazing as a result of our dietary choices, don't get enough sleep. I make sure to be in bed before 10:30 weeknights, where I read then turn off the light.

    1. Yup, but with CrossFit I get home late the nights a week... I'm getting better though, and I've found that reading, even on my kindle, puts me to sleep right away! I'm often frustrated because I can't even finish a chapter without my eyes closing! :P