Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What Really Matters, Part 2: Health

Another area I realized needed a make-over/decluttering was in my approach to my physical and mental health.

  1. keep up with preventive health care
  2. eat in a way that is nourishing, increases energy, and maintains health
  3. exercise regularly for strength, energy, and mental health
  4. manage my anxiety
  5. restorative sleep
Goal 1: make appointments for dentist (I'm pretty sure I'm overdue) and gyn. Switch to new gyn to manage issues (I'd been going to an NP who was fine for an annual exam & rx for my birth control, but couldn't really answer any of my more complex questions and didn't seem up to date on recent guidelines)
Goal 2: sensible intake of carbohydrates, and always with protein/fat. Continue large quantities of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods. Limit sugars & processed foods in daily life. Drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily---even on weekends! Limit alcohol---do not resume daily drinking!
Goal 3: continue HIIT, buy a 10-class pack for barre and plan to go 2-3 times/month. go back to bodypump on Saturdays (took a break to do barre). run 2-3 times/month and work on speed.
Goal 4: meditation. journal. Limit social media and distractions and strive for mindfulness. resume therapy sessions when therapist returns from mat leave.
Goal 5: discuss prescription sleep aids with doctor. head up to bed before 10pm. quiet night time routine. DO NOT check email before bed!!!!!!!!!

This is even harder because, as astute readers will recognize, I have tried and failed at a lot of these steps multiple times in the past few years. Particularly in regards to goal 2 and 4. Part of it is just continuing to try, hoping that it'll be like quitting smoking, where you need to give it several tries before it finally sticks. But of course, I am also going to employ new strategies to increase the likelihood. For example, G agreed to give up the weekday drinking with me, and its way easier without having an enabler with his constant "I'm having a beer, you want one?" "I was going to open that new wine, you want to try it?" took SO MUCH self control to say no. and I have no self control left at 9 pm. For water, I do great at work because I have a 750 ml water bottle I refill twice and make myself finish it before I leave. At home, I use a glass and I lose count or we go out and I forget...duh...use the 500 ml water bottle I already have at home & make myself drink 3 of those before I'm allowed any wine!

In terms of the food, I worded this very carefully to not include ANY mention of weight or body shape because there I am so over navigating that minefield of emotions and self-criticism. I am at a healthy weight and am overall quite healthy. I don't need to make changes to my diet to achieve or treat anything. I want to eat in a way that feels good---doesn't leave me bloated or sluggish---and sets a good example of balanced eating to my kids. I love food of all kinds and want to enjoy it, and be able to have treats and celebrations without guilt or overthinking. On the other hand I know that eating, for example, a bowl of crackers for a snack does nothing but make me hungrier, and that shouldn't be part of my daily routine (2/3 nuts + 1/3 crackers=perfect). I tried switching my processed non-dairy creamer for almond milk, and my morning coffee became a sad sad affair, even after keeping with it for 2 months. So I will allow that one major exception in my life, because enjoying morning coffee is essential to my life!

I still haven't figured out the meditation. I tried to wake up 15 minutes early this morning to start. B woke up 20 minutes before he usually does, so that 15 minutes was spent making him eggs and listening to his chatter. I have tried doing it at bedtime, but I can't if G comes up with me---and he's been trying to get more sleep, so he is doing this more often. Lunchtime? Leave work 10 minutes later? I'll have to experiment with this. I REALLY REALLY want to make it happen. I have drunk the kool-aid and I truly believe it can be helpful for me, but I haven't stuck with it long enough to tell.

I am overall doing better with the social media. I don't have any clear "rules" because I break them anyways (not an upholder) but I know that spending less time in other peoples' lives and more time actually getting things done and enjoying my own makes me feel infinitely better, so its a good incentive. On that note, back to my grant.... I'll post the 3rd part of this series tomorrow.


  1. LOL on the water. I can tell you exactly how much I drink: 1 6oz cup of coffee in the morning. 1 6 oz cup of water at AM break and PM break. 1 12 oz cup at lunch. Another.... 6-12 oz when I get home. Any more and I have to pee constantly. I seriously wonder what my creatinine is by the end of every week.

    1. oh yeah, I can do this because I work at my desk and can pee whenever I please. Ah to pee as I please, one of the biggest perks of my job!

    2. Haha, I had never though of that (outside of being glad I don't have a blue-collar job) but it is a huge perk!

  2. You should also ensure to celebrate what you do achieve! There is a lot of positive it what you do already. I know that we always focus on what we haven't achieved yet and it is good to keep working at it!
    I have kids six and three and find meditation hard to fit in as well. I had the exact same issue - when I wake up early one of them does too. At night I also struggle to do any meditation(or I can do Reiki on myself) when my husband comes up to relax as well.
    It won't last forever. One day we will be dragging the kids out of bed and will have a bit more time for ourselves!!

  3. If you want to talk about prescription meds for insomnia, I'm your girl :)

    1. would love to get your input---I'm meeting with my doctor today, wonder what she'll say!

  4. Ana, feel free to email me at gwinne (at) yahoo (dot) com.