My autumn was absolutely out-of-control-busy. We had a houseful of guests in August, spent two or three weeks in Texas in both September and November, took another cruise in the Caribbean earlier this month (with our son and his wife, staying an extra few days in Panama before flying back), and are now still in Texas once again. Whenever being gone-from-home a long time, we have to take our elderly dog and the canary to stay with our daughter; having returned right before our granddaughter's birthday, we naturally stayed for that, and for Christmas....
When we got back "stateside," my husband came down with a cold -- probably caught on the plane. I did everything i know to avoid catching it too, knowing that adequate sleep and good nutrition are far more central to staying healthy than anything else. Over the last week, i've had at least two nine-hour nights! So far so good ... until yesterday....
Yesterday, Christmas Eve, we covered a lot of ground. The preceeding week we were crazy-busy, repainting the bedrooms of both the grandchildren while they were staying with their other grandmother, and my fitbit racked up unprecedentedly-high mileage, if you look at consecutive days of movement. Yesterday, though, i topped 10,000 steps by a generous amount with all the last-minute arrangements, and i have two things to say: the kids loved their bedroom-makeovers, and ... OUCH.
Our society loves to glorify activity. The ultimate insult is calling people lazy, unmotivated couch-potatoes, whereas "go-getters" are praised, no matter how stupid or assholish. It's almost a badge of honor to have a heart-attack as a result of running marathons or being a "type A."
That shit will kill you. Not just in extreme doses, either. If you've never read the book "When the Body Says No," you might find it as interesting as i did.
After weeks of not being able to sit still enough when i needed it, of driving myself to do a lot in uncongenial climates, of constantly being alert in foreign places and in the presence of communication issues, of being "on" WAY too much, i finally crashed.
It's only a cold, but brother do i feel like death-warmed-over. All i want to do is lie with my feet up and drink hot beverages to lave my rough throat, not even watch the movies we traditionally enjoy at this time of year. My energy level is a 2, and i'm profoundly grateful to be able to leave the cooking of Christmas dinner to my husband and daughter.
If you've put on a few pounds during the last couple of seasons of biologically-driven tendency to fatten, with which Nature has gifted us, do think twice before you jump right into a regimen of exertion and deprivation. The diet-and-exercise industry has convinced America that now that "the holidays" are over it's a perfect time not to de-stress, but to get ourselves all revved up and WORK those oversized fat cells down! Motivate yourself to sweat away the blubber that Nature DESIGNED YOU TO CREATE, so that the stresses of winter (for all of us in the northern hemisphere) could be outlived! From day length to ambient temperature, our environment is conditioning our bodies to conserve energy and protect ourselves.
Do yourself a favor and wait one little month. Resist the flu and cold viruses with a well-rested, low-stress approach to life; don't frustrate your system by following too much junkfood with not enough food in general. Let your body as well as your bank-account recover from all the feverish activity of the last month or two. When day-length becomes perceptibly longer, THAT is the time to work WITH Nature to get more active. Cooperating with her, rather than trying to fight your physiology, is the best way to accomplish what you BOTH want.