I've been waking up exhausted. This isn't the grogginess you have upon waking while your body begins to move. Instead, it's the headache that feels like a hangover even though I haven't touched alcohol. The fatigue has followed me through the day like a little shadow, creeping into my moods and begging me to quit. You see I've been training extra hard to compete at Adult Nationals Figure Skating competition (#59 on my list) and this morning I wondered if my dream was worth it if I felt this horrible. When I told my coach how I was feeling her first instinct was that I wasn't eating enough and that I was lacking nutrients. We discussed diet, and though I'm not certain how I will find the time to eat as much as my body is begging to consume, I know that it's the only way to succeed without having a physical and mental break-down.
Lately, I've been thinking about nutrition and the way people treat their bodies. As I sat waiting for an appointment, I looked around the waiting room and almost everyone near me was either over weight, out of shape, or exhausted. How in a country of such extreme wealth (and no matter what is happening with the economic crisis we have more in this country than almost anywhere else) have we become so sick and tired?
My mother gave me a great gift when I was a child. She taught me to read labels, forced nutrition on me, and I grew up knowing the difference between energy that comes from healthy eating and the quick rush of sugar or caffeine. The knowledge she gave me, made me eat healthy throughout my adult life, but still I falter as my busy schedule interferes with eating enough good nutrition.
Just like an athlete who needs to pack their body full of nutrients that repair and build strong cells, a person pursuing their dreams needs good nutrition and healthy exercise. Too many times I've seen Americans walking in foreign countries on their trip of a lifetime complaining that they are exhausted and they simply need to sit down. If you want the most out of life, if you desire to have all your dreams come true there is one factor you can't leave out of the formula for your life - you have to give your body the right fuel.
Quick nutrition tips:
Eat five to six small meals per day instead of three large ones.
At each meal combine lean protein, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.
Eat at least six to nine servings of vegetables per day.
Make certain you fuel your body with enough of the right calories.
Read a book like You: The Owners Manual by Dr. Oz to understand the science of your body.
Cut out all foods and drinks with high fructose, corn syrup, and trans fats or hydrogenated oils.
Quit soda and refined sugar. (I think this is the most important one of all. If you only knew how detrimental both of these things are to feeling healthy.)
Last of all, eat like you are training for an athletic event - the event being making your dreams come true.