Sunday, February 22, 2015

the same old story (how we doom ourselves by trying to be more healthy)

I need to move more during the day.  My pain and other signs point to this.  So when things got very bad last week, I just set up my desk to stand all day.  For two days in a row.  HEALTHYX2! 

Except for the crippling back and knee pain I left behind when I stopped working retail and being on my feet for 8 hours a day.  "I should stop doing this!" I thought to myself.  "It might be worse for me than sitting all the time."

Except that it's not.  There's lots of science saying the sitting is always very bad and usually worse than not-sitting.  So then I wondered if maybe I should try to work my way up.

And I suddenly wondered if this is a pattern many of us use to doom ourselves in terms of improving our health.  There is a thing that is healthy to do, so we decide to do it.  We do it full bore (without working our way up to it in a reasonable manner), and it hurts, and we simplistically decide it's bad for us because it causes pain, and so we will never do it again.  (Rarely do I take that step back and try to figure out if there's another way to do it that's less stupid.  I'm busy and don't have time to do things that don't work.  Blahblahexcusesmumblegetdistractedandmoveon.)  This is not the first time I've gone through the pattern. 

Well, duh.  Overdoing things causes pain.   Yes, and?  This is not rocket science.  I really should know that the answer is to do things smarter and not harder.  Especially since I started dealing with the chronic pain and working with pain therapists, I should know that I have to start super small and very, very, very slowly work my way up, backing off if I cause bad pain.  Same with changes to diet.  Change one thing for a month.  Then you can think of changing another.  Don't try to change all the things or I end up changing none of the things because I am too overwhelmed and it is too much because I chose to be stupid instead of sensible.

The problem is that I am impatient.  I want to BE THERE doing ALL THE THINGS right NOW, and it hurts, and so then I don't want to do anything, and I end up worse off than I was before.  I am dooming myself. 

Do we all do this?  Is it a way we hurt ourselves?  By being ignorant and silly and not thinking things through?  I suppose it could just be me.  But I doubt it.

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