Should You Stick to Your Diet When You're Under the Weather?
By Tina Haupert
I never get sick. I haven't been sick-in-bed sick since high school. During cold season, I rarely even come down with a case of the sniffles. It's a good thing too because I am a big baby when I'm feeling down—and my healthy habits go out the window.
Last week I came down with the plague—OK, that's my illness drama queen talking. I've been trying to slim down before my 30th birthday with my Lose the Dough challenge, and I was worried I'd trade regular exercise, fruits, and veggies for a whole lot of junk food on the couch. Was it realistic to stick to my usual healthy lifestyle when I felt so terrible? At my last Lose the Dough check-in, I was down 2.2 pounds, so I wanted to keep up the momentum, but I didn't really have the motivation I needed to keep on track.
In the end, it came down to my level of sickness. The first couple of days, I was really out of commission, so I didn't push myself to exercise and I lightened up my diet expectations. I needed to slow down, relax, and let my body rest so that it could recover. But I didn't let myself get totally off track—and incorporating healthy habits back into my routine made me feel a lot better. As soon as my fever broke, I reverted back to eating more nutritious foods (which was easy, since they were what my body craved), and I made sure to get outside for a few brisk walks. At that point, I was only suffering from a mild cold, so I was honest with myself about my motivation. I didn't want to use my cold as an excuse to skip the gym or eat junk food, so I got up and got moving!