The Importance of Making Margin

At first, this post may not seem to have a lot to do with nutrition and weight loss, but stick with me. Not only do I hope you see that connection, but that you may also take with it a few other pieces for other aspects of life.

I’ve been crazed lately…and knew I needed to find a better work/life balance.

So, I bought a book. “Breathe” by Priscilla Shirer. Ah-Mazing, btw.

The first day I read about how the margins on the paper exist because without them, where would we take notes? Ask questions? Reflect?  If we didn’t have boundaries, would we know when to stop?  Without the margins, we would be cramming too much into space with no room for anything else.

I read how God created the Sabbath and dedicated an entire day to it because it was THAT IMPORTANT.

I wanted to read on but I was late for the gym. #nomargins

I am a crossfitter and love it.  And I hate it.  It’s hard but awesome.  It hurts but feels great.  It’s a community yet you have to push yourself.

As I looked at the “Workout of the Day,” I strategized about how I would attack the first 21 Power Cleans we would be doing. I decided I would do them in 3 sets of 7.  7 in a row, rest for a few seconds, do 7 more, rest briefly again and then do 7 more…because I knew to do 21 unbroken with the weight I was using would have been impossible….and it was only the FIRST part of a longer workout.

I built margin, or rest, into my workout without even thinking about it.  There was no way I was doing 21 in a row with the weight I had on the bar.

I planned for the rest. I knew I needed it. So I didn’t feel bad when I rested because….it was part of the plan.

In Crossfit, or with an intense strength training workout, you have to build in rest, even if it is for 10 seconds so that you can continue to lift the heavy weights.  It’s one of the most basic concepts in the gym.

I once did a challenge at my gym to see how many pushups we could do in 5 minutes.  I am pretty good at push-ups so I went all out.  I was going to crush this.

I pushed myself, rapidly, getting as many in as I could, as quickly as I could.  And after 25 in a row, I couldn’t do anymore, and I was only 90 seconds into the 5 minutes. I stopped, rested, and yet I couldn’t do more than 5 more for the remaining 3 ½ minutes.  I was done. I gave it all I could and my body couldn’t give any more for the long haul.  I hated every second that went by that I couldn’t lift my body.  It stressed me out because I wanted to keep going.  I finished in the middle of the pack.  

I like to win.

So, the following week I did the same challenge and this time changed my strategy.  I did 5 in a row, rested for 10 seconds, and did 5 more. I did that throughout the entire 5 minutes, although my rest extended a bit throughout the workout.  Want to guess how many I did?

50.

I won that week.

When I built in the planned rest, I didn’t feel guilty when I stopped.  But the first time I did it, I was so mad at myself for resting.  I felt defeated and weak.

The second time, I had more than enough energy to do more than 5 but I didn’t.  I stopped at 5.  My body, in return, because I rested, performed so much better.

When it is part of the plan, we can execute without guilt.  We can achieve more.  We can feel successful.  We can achieve balance.

Building rest into my strategy allowed me to do more in the same amount of time

SO, this makes me think about many aspects of my life.  I have to build in rest. I have to build in margin.  I time block my time but NEVER build in rest.  Yet, if I perform better in the gym when I rest, a reasonable hypothesis is that I will perform better at work and at home when I rest.

How does this relate to nutrition? WE have to build in margin with our meals.  Building in a time when you will purposely take a break from thinking about what, when and how much you will eat, will give your body and soul much needed rest.  Once a week, schedule an “appreciation meal” where you can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT.

This allows you to “write in the margins” with food that you LOVE but often makes you feel guilty for eating.  There is no guilt in resting when it is scheduled, and it allows you to keep working your plan the rest of the week with more energy and success.

The best part is, when you adopt the lifestyle of eating the right nutrients, in the right frequency in the right portions, your body’s metabolism continues to boost higher and higher so those “appreciation meals” not only allow you to feel a sense of rest, but also don’t impact your progress at all…NO GUILT REST.  What’s better than that?!?!

When will you schedule your appreciation meal in?

Carrie

 

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