I think we can all agree on one thing: being sick sucks.
Personally, I hate getting a cold (and not just a couple sniffles with a cough, I’m talking about sinuses all jacked up, you can’t hear out of both ears, and you’re lucky to go 10 minutes without coughing or sneezing… and don’t forget your eyes watering and nose running like a faucet!).
I was recently asked how to deal with getting a cold while training and making sure you keep on your diet. My initial response was: listen to your body, rest, drink plenty of water, take Emergen-C®, and continue eating your meals as best as you can. A few days later, what happens? I get sick. Awesome.
I woke up on Tuesday morning with a scratchy throat and didn’t think anything of it. I dragged my butt to the gym and put myself through a pretty intense leg workout followed by some light cardio. I went home, enjoyed my daily breakfast (oatmeal, blueberries, egg whites, and coffee), and drove myself to work. As my day progressed, I felt my throat getting sorer. You’ve got to be kidding me?
So, my water-pounding and green tea-chugging day began. By the end of it, I guzzled nearly two gallons of water and at least four cups of green tea. Despite having no appetite, I still ate the meals I packed – chicken with green beans, protein shake with rice cakes and peanut butter, and fat-free cottage cheese. By the time I left work, I needed some soup! My throat needed it! I was wondering what type I’d get and I really was in no mood to spend a ton of time figuring out which would be best for my diet.
To my surprise, I stumbled upon Progresso’s Light Chicken Vegetable Rotini. In one serving, it had:
- 70 calories
- 15 calories from fat
- 1.5g fat
- 10g carbs
- 1g dietary fiber
- 2g sugar
- 5g protein
And there were two servings in the can. I looked over the ingredients and realized I could pronounce everything on there and was familiar with it all, too. WOW! Can this be? I purchased it and took it home and ate the entire can (of course, after emptying the contents in a microwaveable-safe bowl and heating it up) – all 140 calories, 3g fat, 20g carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar, and 10g protein of it! Because, for me, it wasn’t enough protein, I decided to cook myself a couple of egg whites, which brought me up to 20g of protein and only an extra 50 calories, which I could definitely spare for that meal – still less than 200 calories!
Thankfully I already worked out in the morning so I just planted my mouth-breathing self on the couch next to a box of tissues and watched Lifetime movies.
Day two was the most brutal day. I called in to work (not a bad thing, per say!) and took myself to the doctor where she prescribed me with some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I’m not gonna lie, I was definitely dressed in my workout attire and was thisclose to going to the gym, but then I thought of all the innocent, defenseless people working out who weren’t sick. If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people bringing themselves to work or the gym while they are sick and hacking up a lung and sneezing every two seconds. I certainly did not want to be that person so I parked it on the couch for the remainder of the day and got two naps out of it!
All in all, when you’re sick listen to your body! If you do not feel well enough to go to the gym, don’t go. Or, if you’re contagious, don’t go! Some people might say sweating it out is good for you and while I don’t necessarily have an opinion on that, I’d just much rather take a day to rest and come back with more strength and a better mentality to have a kick-ass workout!
I personally believe the best way to get over being sick is to try your best to stick to your regular schedule. I continued eating the same way, but I did increase my fluids, which is what I needed anyway. Obviously, I skipped a day in the gym and I’m glad I did because I know my body thanked me. My first workout back in the gym, I didn’t kill myself because I knew I still wasn’t 100 percent. Instead, I did the routine I planned, but just did it lighter than normal. I did sit in the sauna for a while, and maybe it’s a mental thing, but I felt a lot better after!
What are some ways that help you get through being sick? Share them with me in the comment engine below!