Well, today is actually Day Two…but it’s just begun, and I’m actually going to be talking about Day One (yesterday).
I’m sitting in my kitchen, snowed in with a couple of kids who’ve been paroled from school for the day due to the same snow that’s preventing me from getting out of my driveway to go to work. There are two of your three strikes…the third is a crushing headache that’s keeping me from functioning at a normal level. One part migraine, one part sinus infection, and about a million parts sleep loss and stress…it’s been brewing for a while but didn’t really hit me full-strength until yesterday. So, while I wait for my medication to kick in, I thought I’d write a quick summary of my week so far.
I’m not much of a believer in New Year’s Resolutions, but I can’t deny that the beginning of a year is a pretty decent time to re-evaluate where you are, where you’re headed, and how you plan to get there. For me, it’s been an opportunity to take stock and realize, with nauseating dismay, just how far I’ve strayed from the healthy lifestyle I had been living. Last year brought a lot of changes and stresses that I won’t go into right now, and I pretty much let myself be totally derailed. I kept telling myself I’d do better once I wasn’t so stressed – but that’s a complete cop-out and a massive self-sabotage to boot. Stress never goes away, it only changes form, ebbs, and flows. If you use stress as a reason not to succeed, you guarantee failure, and that’s what I’ve been doing.
I have a host of reasons to be healthy. The usual suspects – my family, whom I adore; my own self-respect and self-value, etc. I also have a few that are a mite less common – an autoimmune condition that is only going to be worse if I ply my body with sugar and other simple carbs and the chemical-laden crap we know as processed food. Excess weight will make the pain and reduced functional capacity worse. I’m also perimenopausal – which I attribute in large part to the erratic quality of my nutrition and activity levels over the past couple of years. So…it’s only going to get more important, every day, to take proper care of myself.
So I’m renewing my focus on the great trinity of healthy living: proper nutrition, healthy levels of activity, and sufficient, good-quality sleep.
Yesterday was Day One. It was…interesting, as Day One of any new habit-building process always is. I did really well for the majority of the day in terms of nutrition. I did have a lapse mid-morning when I mindlessly plucked a mini-Reese’s cup from a co-worker’s candy dish and ate it, not even thinking about what I was doing. The fact that I could do that without it even occurring to me that it was a problem is a good indicator of how far I’ve gotten, mentally, from where I once was. Still, it was only one, and I realized eventually that I shouldn’t have done it and made a note to be more alert and conscious of what I was doing – which is totally the point. One mini-Reese’s isn’t going to hurt anyone – but mindlessly eating anything is a huge, giant, blood-red flag of danger…or should be.
After that, I did beautifully, up to a point. My water intake, although forced, was adequate. I ate according to plan…during the day. Unfortunately, the headache that had set in early yesterday morning only got worse and worse, and by mid-afternoon I was having a hard time staying upright. My wonderful husband took pity on me yesterday evening and went to get dinner from KFC. This was good, because cooking would have been excruciating, but also bad, because naturally I ate KFC for dinner. Not on the plan. Not even in the same universe as the plan. So that was a deviation, but I’m not beating myself up too much for a couple of reasons – I wasn’t capable of doing much else, and (shockingly) when I put all the information into the food tracker, I wasn’t as far over my limits as I’d expected. I was about 300 calories over – not great, but not as bad as I’d expected – and well within limits on fat, carbs and protein. So all in all, not a total train wreck, just a minor fender-bender.
Now, I am well aware that nutritionally speaking, KFC is not okay regardless of what my number totals were for the day. Nutrition honestly can’t be reduced to numbers in a column, no matter how much we’d like to try. Dinner was a wash, nutritionally, and I acknowledge that. But under the circumstances, it could have been worse, and I’m not wasting time or energy on feeling guilty. Guilt is the most worthless emotion there is, in my opinion.
Activity yesterday sucked, though. Mostly because of the headache, partly because I was extremely stiff and achy. I’ve noticed a distinct connection between the arthritis flares and my hormone levels, and right now things are bad. I’m also off the Enbrel, pending resolution of an insurance issue that I have been assured is only a miscommunication and will be cleared up – but meanwhile, I’m unmedicated and definitely feeling the effects. So I didn’t feel well, and I didn’t move much. That is something that I have to get a handle on – I am going to have more days when I don’t feel well than when I do, and I have to get into the mindset of exercise as a panacea to those issues, rather than something that will exacerbate them. I’m working on that.
Today, I’ve tried to start the day off right. I woke up at 4 a.m. unable to go back to sleep because of sinus problems. I got up, did some heat/ice therapy, and then went downstairs to hit the WiiFit. The body test came out great, way better than I’d have expected – I was 28 today, which was sort of awesome – and I did about 20 minutes of yoga. Not a lot, but all I could manage before the headache started to get worse and I figured I should lay off. I’m hoping to be able to do a lot more by tonight, when hopefully the headache will have abated. If not, well, 20 minutes is a start. I need to remember to log that on Sparkpeople.
I did discover that some of the nutrional information is waaayyy wrong on the nutrition tracker at Sparkpeople, so I’m trying to input my own information wherever I can, when I know it. That’s going to be a long process but it’ll be worth it.
Tracking is something sort of new. I haven’t done it much in the past, because I’ve used meal plans where I know exactly what the values of the foods are. I think, though, that since I’ve drifted so far from the right mindset, tracking will help me to stay focused and be really regimented until I get back into proper habits. It’s not so much that I need the information as just that I need the focus that will come from spending significant time each day inputting that information. It’ll keep my head where it needs to be.
Today, I’m going to devote to the third facet of the trinity – sleep. I’ve been horribly sleep-deprived for weeks now, from the stresses of holidays and putting the house on the market and getting college arrangments made for ED and various other things. Today’s 4 a.m. wake-up was an example of another reason – my sinuses tend to get really bad in the early morning, and once they wake me up, my mind kicks in and I can’t get back to sleep. I plan to get back to progressive relaxation techniques and meditation to try to combat that hamster-brain effect. Today, though, the medication is definitely going to take care of any wakefulness…so maybe I can at least get my body some rest.
In fact, I can feel the medication kicking in right now. Combined with the snow that just…keeps…falling, it’s making me very sleepy, so I think this is it for this post. Hopefully, Day Two is going to go much better than Day One.