Healthy Living

Focus on Health

January 8, 2018

I like to treat each new year like a blank slate, a new beginning. I like to treat my birthday and the first day of school as opportunities for fresh starts, too, because I need more than one major fresh start per year!

The turning of the calendar page provides a great opportunity to reflect and perhaps evaluate where we are in life. I shared the struggle that 2017 was for me and I could’ve written a book had I given more specific examples of the myriad of other situations that played a part in the struggle! I’m thrilled that we are in a new year; I’m thrilled for the opportunity for a do-over, definitely not a replay.

In my evaluation of last year, one of the key areas I have decided to give loads attention towards is my own health, physical and mental. I’m no spring chicken. I turned 41 last year. Forty One! And I have been falling apart ever since.

So here are my grand plans for taking control of my health:

Go to the Doctor – I laughed as I typed that, but it’s true. I need to go to the doctor, and the dentist, if I’m going to lay all my cards on the table! I have prescriptions that need to be updated. I haven’t had a Pap Smear (TMI) in almost 5 years. I did have a mammogram last year so that should count for something, right? I have an issue with one of my feet for which I was given a referral to a podiatrist over a year ago that has now expired. I need to get a referral for a mental health provider – no surprise there. I spent many afternoons with a counselor when we lived in TX and I miss those sessions of working through my myriad issues! There is no shame seeking out help for our unseen issues.

Battle the Bulge, aka Shed a Few Pounds – This one isn’t all that grand and definitely nothing new if you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes. I think I’ve started dieting every Monday for the past 30 years. Who’s with me? I’m currently a few days into a round of 21 Day Fix, after taking almost 21 days off from any sort of exercise at the end of the year. Like seriously, my step goal slowly decreased from about 12,000 to 6,000 between the last day of school and 2 days ago! I think my real weight goal for this year should be something like weigh less on December 15, 2018 than I did on December 15, 2017! That would help me compensate for all my holiday binge eating so that my year end weight isn’t such an obnoxiously honest number.

Take my Meds Consistently – About those prescriptions whose refills have expired…One of them is a low dose antidepressant that I haven’t taken consistently for quite some time. Actually, poison control can tell you the exact date that I quit even attempting to take it daily. After a workout, I was super sore from a few days of squats and lunges, so in my mind I was thinking about taking 800mg of Ibuprofen as I opened the bottle of antidepressant and took 600mg of it instead of the prescribed 150mg. Note: According to poison control, had I taken one more pill I would’ve technically overdosed! Talk about a weird day.

Sleep – When I’m sleeping single in the queen bed, I tend to stay up until at least midnight every night. Even if I don’t stay up until midnight, I wake up at midnight to turn the TV off. I need to focus on going to bed earlier so that I can get out of bed and not immediately feel like I need a nap or need a cup of coffee at 4pm to get me through the night!

Saying NO – My life, characteristically, has been full of activities and commitments that rob me of emotional energy. At this phase in my life, I have no additional emotional energy to give – like negative. Yet, I stay committed to these things out of obligation, guilt or feeling like I am burdening someone else if I don’t show up. In an effort to preserve my near empty well of emotional energy, I’m going to take some time to step away from some of these extras that, in and of themselves, aren’t bad. In fact, they should be good and wonderful, but at this point in my life, they simply aren’t! Some day I will be at a different phase of life and some of these may be added back into the fold, but for now, “my name is NO.” (cue Meghan Trainor)

None of these is really that outlandish or life changing. Just minor details that I need to be more passionate about making them natural, habitual parts of my every day life.

What are you planning to do this year to take care of yourself? Do you have health related issues you need to address? Make that doctor appointment, no matter how long you have to wait on hold for the next available representative or maybe that’s just something we deal with at military clinics. Get up, lace up your athletic shoes and take a walk! Let’s take care of ourselves, our bodies, better this year.