Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Even fitness junkies suffer from bad habits sometimes

I know many people look to me as beacon of knowledge and wisdom when it comes fitness, but I must confess that I am only human too.

I know, I know...I'm being delusional., but I am also able to recognize that I have some flaws.  Okay, many.  Quite frankly, I have some bad habits that prevent from reaching my  full fitness potential.  I know this revelation might be shocking for some you.

I thought I'd openly share my bad habits in order to put myself into perspective and hold myself accountable.  Here are some of my worst offending habits:

I emotionally eat:  Many people suffer from this problem, and I am no exception.  Although I'd like to think I have been doing well with cleaning up my eating habits, when my chips are down, my food intake goes up.  Exercise has always been a good way for me to cope with stress, but sometimes my emotions and overly active hormones tell me that food is even better.  The only thing that differentiates many of us emotional eaters is our caloric preferences.  What's my weapon of choice?  I have a few, actually, ranging from cheeseburgers, sushi (not the healthy kind), cheese fries, sugary coffeehouse concoctions, crab rangoons, tortilla chips and dip, copious amounts of cheese, Thai food, bread and creamy soups, and croissants.  Actually, I could have listed more, but these were the first items that popped into my mind.  So, what are about you?

I have terrible sleep habits:  By the time this blog post goes up, it will likely be past 1am Central Time.  I am not sure where this stemmed from, but as long as I have been in college, I have had poor sleeping habits.  I just love staying up til the wee hours of the morning.! After all, I'm the quintessential night owl. Yes, I occasionally sleep-in until noon, but for the most part, if I go to bed at 3am, I will probably be up at 8am later that morning.  While some people suffer from lack of concentration and sluggish energy levels, I know my sleep habits are consistently bad when I start suffering from sleep paralysis.  Yup, I once thought I woke up in the middle of an alien abduction.  Then again, I should probably also cut back on watching the X-Files on Netflix.

I eat late-night: Speaking of emotionally eating and poor sleeping, when you combine the two, you have what Taco Bell's marketing department calls the Fourth Meal.  I try to refrain from eating junkier food during twilight, but lack of sleep and emotional distress sure like to work up my appetite.  I have read studies from the Mayo Clinic that have claimed that late-night eating isn't as bad for your metabolism as previously thought (granted, quality of food and overall daily caloric intake still matter), but I can tell you that late-night munchies aren't helping with the sleep thing.  Now that, my friends, hurts your metabolism.

I workout late:  Well, on the plus side, I have read that us night owls supposedly have higher levels of intelligence than the early bird crowd.  Still, as you can see from my previous habits, my biological schedule is all kinds of wack.  If you are wondering what is the latest time I have ever started a workout, my answer is 12:30am.  Twice.  Once in the last 3 months and another time while I was a member of a 24-hour gym.  What a novel idea!  On average, I exercise anytime between 7-10pm.

I don't cross-train enough:  As much as I gush about the benefits of cross-training, I don't always practice what I preach.  When I get on kick, I forget about all my other workouts.  My most recent kick is the Physique 57 set, both volumes 1&2.  There are some (many) days I don't want to do anything else.  Well, there goes my cardio, heavy lifting, and flexibility gains down the flusher.

Now that I have confessed to my bad behavior, it is time to start holding myself accountable and working on improving it.  How can I ever become a fitness icon if I don't practice and live a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle?

Alright kiddies, enjoy your Hump Day and I will catch you later.  Cheers!

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