Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever


We’ve heard that old adage off and on throughout our lives but speaking only for myself I chalked it up to old wives tales. About half-way through this past hellish week I decided to trust the old wives and just stop counting calories and just feed my body.

Lemme s’plain.

Sunday I woke up with no voice and a cough that was tossing my already injured back into spasms. Monday would not be much better. By Tuesday I was constantly draining to the point I couldn’t go five minutes without reaching for tissue. My eyes were watering, my nose was running and I was in fact miserable. God forbid I would cough or sneeze; I felt at many times throughout the week I might possibly explode. In addition to a constant sinus pressure headache I had intermittent bouts with fever and the muscle aches that followed – not to mention a couple of stomach issues that just compounded on the initial misery.

For the time I was awake I was coughing and curled up in a painful ball either on the couch or in bed. I never lay down on the couch unless I don’t feel well and this past week found me prone wherever I happened to land. I would sleep for a few hours and then awake to horrible coughing jags, which would start the whole process all over again.

I was as miserable as I have been in a very long time. I couldn’t do anything more than just sit in a groaning heap. I couldn’t moderate Hal’s chat, which I usually never miss. I couldn’t blog about Idol, though I did try. I got about a paragraph in and just gave up entirely. It was to the point I couldn’t even get on the computer – I figured my Twitter buddies must have figured that I died. Fortunately, that became my goal fairly on in this horrible week that I would manage to live through the day.

Not dying, we’ve come to find out, is a pretty good goal. Think about it – it’s a goal you’re going to meet all but one day of your life. That’s a pretty good run.

By about Tuesday I finally broke down and just ate for comfort. I had tried to stay on my calorie restrictive plan for the first couple of days but when I couldn’t even go into the kitchen and prepare anything for me to eat I broke down and had the hubby get me some chili from Wendys. I didn’t go completely off the wagon, but it was more calories than I was supposed to eat that day.

The next day I tried once more to follow my calorie restrictions but by that evening I was like, “What am I doing?” My body was working hard to battle this – what I lovingly called the plague – and here I was trying to worry about losing weight? I know how to eat “normally” in that I would eat about 2000-2200 calories rather than my limited 1200-1500, so why not just eat when I’m hungry, let the plague run its course and then when I’m better and stronger I go back to fighting the good fight?

I didn’t go off the wagon really until today when the hubby brought home some cookies, and after my hellish week I indulged in my drug of choice (sugar).

Surprisingly I don’t feel any better emotionally.

Physically I am finally coming out of the worst of it. I have a deep hacking cough still which pretty much paralyzes me whenever it hits. At this point I’m just fighting off my propensity to come down with bronchitis and pleurisy. (Although I think it’s too late for the pleurisy… given my entire torso – particularly in my upper back between my shoulder blades – feels like it’s caught in a fiery vice grip every time I cough.)

Either way I feel really positive about my decision to roll with the punches… to “float” as it were… and to allow myself to accommodate life rather than try to fight it. I doubt I’ll see a loss this next Monday but I kinda don’t need to. As long as I manage to get healthy so that I can resume my activities I’ll feel a significant win.

And truth is, I feel like that anyway. I feel nurtured in a way I normally don’t allow myself to be. I ate to nourish my body, rather than punish myself. And I didn’t punish myself for not being perfect when there was really no way I could have been and been healthy about it.

Instead of trading one obsession for another, I allowed myself to be “normal.”

It felt really right.

So as this plague begins to subside I know I’ll be stronger, both physically and emotionally, for it.

In a weird way, it made me glad to be sick.

Life’s lessons come every day… sometimes you just have to be still long enough to catch them.

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