Today I am nursing my first hangover in a long long time - possibly the first since Christmas. Hangovers are funny things; they seem to make me think that I deserve induglence, when it is only too much indulgence that has caused me to feel like this in the first place! However, I do enjoy the odd sensations that they bring: my body feels crooked and sore, my head is splitting, my eyes are heavy, my stomach is groaning yet I crave odd and potent foods, the world is louder and brighter and more obscene. It's a sort of ritual, and getting through the day with a constant awareness of a wonderful night before is a pleasant if painful experience.
Since I started training for my race, my alcohol consumption has dwindled to a bare bare minimum; sometimes only one pint a week. When I compare this with my previous weekly intake, I find it surprising how I have hardly noticed the change. What I have become aware of is how often I used to drink 'just because': because it was a Friday or a Saturday, because I was in the pub, because it's in my cupboard and I was having a night in. I never considered whether I actually wanted it or not! I've always hated being drunk; the feeling of drunkeness, the loss of capacity, the horrific way so many decent people act when drunk (maybe I'm that horrific too!?), all of it. And so before I started training, I drank regularly, but never (or very rarely) to excess. So needless to say, when I go near alcohol now, it leaves some sure traces in my head and I feel wretched for a long while afterwards. Pah.
It makes me wonder when I think back a couple of years, starting when I lived in Germany and was slurping up numerous cocktails several times a week. How on earth did my body cope with that? Back then I was quite a lot more petite than I am now, and it hit me HARD. It's sort of shameful, thinking of the utter disrespect that people so often subject their bodies to; it's surprising they put up with us without inflicting more than just a queasy headachey day-after-the-night-before.
And so, inspired by this post from Suburban Yogini, I will make a small tribute to this body of mine, as it is the least I can do to recognize the awesome way it works so hard every day to let me live the way I choose to!
5 Awesome Things About My Body:
1. Apart from an unproblematic milk intolerance, I have no allergies, which means I can eat anything I fancy without worrying about feeling ill afterwards (my worst nightmare would be coeliacs disease!)
2. I have really nice skin, and always have had. Even as a teenager I never had more than a couple of spots at any one time.
3. I am a pear, not an apple. If I gain weight it all goes to my bum and thighs, which is always easier to handle than excess fat around the waist. It also means I have a lower risk of heart disease, apparently.
4. It needs exercise, and complains when it doesn't get any. So I enjoy exercising, and I don't need to think about it too much as I can feel my still body moaning at me!
5. It shows its progress - through continuing to run and do yoga over the past few years, I have noticed some real changes in my stamina and my strength. Once I couldn't run 100 metres without needing a lie down, now I can (usually!) run 10 miles without feeling like I've died. The same goes for yoga, but in smaller measure; my core is still pretty weak, but my legs are much stronger, and my balance is great. I sit contently in the knowledge that once I face the tough core yoga positions enough, I'll be able to do them more comfortably too!
And as a little added extra...it looks amazing in the new outfit I've bought for a wedding at the weekend! I can't wait! Photos to follow! :-)
What's awesome about your body? I'd love to hear what other people have to say!