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  • Self - Improvement

    Why Are You Working Yourself To The Bone?

    beast mode, exhaustion

    The past 3 weeks have been intense for me. My fiancé was out of the country for work so I had more than enough personal time to choose how I wanted to fill it. How did I fill it exactly? Give me one sec. Let me just go grab my stack of To-Do lists from my Pull It Together Planner …Oy.

    If these past 3 weeks have taught me anything about how I’m approaching a life well-balanced, I have learned 1) I quickly give myself permission to operate in “beast mode” when ample time is in front of me, and 2) I wear myself down to complete exhaustion before I reflect on how I even got there in the first place.

     

    When in “Beast Mode,” I find myself becoming:

    • Fixated
    • Obsessive
    • Focused
    • Selfish
    • Driven
    • Scheduled
    • Consistent

     

    When my body shuts down and enters my “Exhaustion” phase, the adjectives that come to mind are:

    • Self-awareness
    • Recovery
    • Lenience
    • Laziness
    • Guilt
    • Indulgence
    • Shame

     

    Digging Into Beast Mode

    beast mode, exhaustion

     

    When my brain and body shifts into Beast Mode, the mental theme that obsessively circulates is:

    Dial it up! Hold it there! Push through! Don’t stop!”

    To better illustrate what this looks like, here is a chronological outline of what my “Beast” day looks like:

     

    04:45am Alarm / wake-up

    • 1 Espresso

    06-07:30 Work Project

    • 1 Espresso
    • 12 oz water

    08-5 pm Job

    • 1-2 Black Coffees
    • 36 oz water

    5:30 – 6:30 moderate / vigorous exercise

    7:30 Dinner

    • 12 oz water

    8-10p Work Project (+/- 30 mins of TV)

    10:30 Sleep


    Breakdown =


    • 0.5 hours non-task oriented rest and relaxation (R&R)
    • 1 hour exercise
    • +3.5 hours Work Project
    • 4 coffees
    • 6 hours of Sleep
    • 60+ oz of water
    • Usual daily caloric intake (net) = 1300-1500 calories

     

    Exhaustion Mode

    beast mode, exhaustion

    After 2 weeks of “Beast Mode,” I quickly collapsed into “Exhaustion Mode”:

     

    5:15am Alarm/ wake-up

    • 1 Espresso

    6-7:30: Work Project

    • 2 Coffees
    • 12 oz water

    8-5p: Job

    • 2-3 Coffees
    • 36 oz water

    5:30 – 8p Errands / Grocery Shopping

    • Snacking (dried fruit / fruit nut bars / nut butters)

    8p Dinner

    • 12 oz water

    8:30 – 10:30 TV


    Breakdown =


    • 0 hours of exercise / intentional movement
    • 2 hours non-tasked oriented R & R
    • 5-6 coffees
    • 2 + snacks
    • 7 hours sleep
    • 60+ oz water
    • Daily caloric intake = 1700-1900 + calories

     

    Here’s what I’ve discovered.

     

    1. The Beast – Exhaustion cycle was extremely taxing: emotionally, mindfully, physically, energetically, and nutritiously.
    2. The obsessiveness to stay task-oriented was reckless and negligent and was completely dismissive to the integrity and health of my body.
    3. Eventually, my body had had enough and physically gave up on me.
      1. This forced me to STOP and reflect on my behavior.

    I started thinking;

    Rather than living a life of “Gas-Brake-Gas-Brake-Gas-Brake,” wouldn’t it make more sense to be consciously consistent? To lower my driving speed for a longer period of time and patiently decelerate when I need a little break?

     

    These past 3 weeks have been an eye opener for me. When given a plethora of unspoiled free time, I had convinced myself that I would keep everything balanced by devoting more time to my hobbies, work projects, exercise, food prep etc. Unfortunately, I let this go unchecked and with a “non-stop” attitude. While my intention was genuine, I let myself off the hook and never checked in with how I was doing along the way. By living my day to day life without intention, I became negligent of my health, wellness, and mindfulness.

    I convinced myself that working myself to the ground every day would be progressive and productive…”

    Hang on, what?! Since when did sleeping < 7 hours a day, consuming 6 black coffees to stay energized, and swapping intentional daily movement for mindless munching help my health?

    How can I honestly say and do these things while claiming to live a healthy and well-balanced life?

     

    Sometimes it takes your body physically shutting down on you in order to PAUSE AND LISTEN TO WHAT IT NEEDS.

     

    In order to stay healthy and to maintain forward momentum, it’s imperative that we slow.our.roll.

    beast mode, exhaustion

    A helpful starting point is to build in 1-2 days  / week of intentional time spent AVOIDING task completion…

    (*Gasp!!!*)

    For me, this looks like:

    • Phone on mute, laptop closed, and Netflix for 1-2 hours BY MYSELF
    • Light walk outside with just my music. No “multi-tasking” and calling friends/ family to catch-up. And NO responding to texts / phone calls via my i-watch while walking / jogging!
    • Food prep while watching Bravo to keep the fridge stocked with nutrient dense, minimally processed salads and snacks
    • My glasses, wine, bathrobe, and fun/light reading material in bed
    • Meditation App episode with the lights off and salt-lamp light on 🙂
    • Social scrolling on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram

     

     

    When left unsupervised and in full control of my free time, it’s not uncommon (for me at least) to unravel into a “Beast”- “Exhaustion” cycle. It is so important to keep our health optimized and balanced by PAUSING and LISTENING to what our bodies need. Whether you choose to unplug, untie your sneakers, or unwind with Netflix, be sure you take a day or two throughout the week to let yourself off the hook of “To-Do” lists, backlogged chores, errands etc. in order to simply recharge and recalibrate.

     

    If it’s tricky to catch those “Check-In” moments with your body prior to reaching the “Exhaustion” phase, focus your attention on the quality of your sleep and diet.

    • Are you grabbing more cookies / bagels in the break room?
    • Onto your 6th coffee of the day so you can keep your eyes open?
    • Programming 1-2 additional morning alarms so you don’t oversleep?

    Don’t just ignore these moments! Consider them as opportunities to PAUSE and listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

     

     

    So…if you’re going to be a “Beast…”

    …be “BEASTLY OBSESSED” with keeping your body energetically balanced, nutritiously fed, and mindfully moving.

     

     

    beast mode, exhaustion


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