About Me

I'm a 30-something girl shaping my life to be what I've always wanted. I've been incredibly fortunate to have never dealt with any major mental health issues despite both parents having many. I can't believe the luck and take none of it for granted. I hope to reach out to others who may live the same life.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big changes

My my, I can't believe I haven't written a post in almost a year! I didn't think it had been quite that long. I felt hugely compelled to write today as it is the 1 year anniversary of losing someone that means a great deal to my family. My Grandpa. I miss him today more than any other day since now and hear in my head "You are my sunshine". The song that he, his wife and all his children sang before he left us. Grandpa, I miss hearing you call me "tweetie".

On a lighter note, I also want to write about changes I've made in my life. To any migraine sufferers, this part's for you (I do know what you're thinking, hang in there). First of all, I started a blog 3 days after my 30th (yes, I said it) birthday:

Oh blog, how I've been neglecting you. What better time than reaching a new decade in my life for a new entry.

A few years ago, I very clearly stated that "30 isn't old". A few weeks ago, I was dreading this milestone. Truthfully, I think I had it right the first time.

Now that I'm thinking more clearly and out of the flu stage that hit me on this wonderful birthday, I'm actually feeling energized by the thought of reaching this point in my life. I'm not old, I'm ONLY 30. There is so much to be done in life and so many ways to do it all.

With the new year always brings my birthday close behind. So this birthday is a good one to make resolutions. Only this time, I don't want to make a resolution for the year, I want to make many resolutions and goals for the decade. Sort of a "by the time I'm 40" thing.

Goal 1: Get physically healthier. In my teens, I was at the height of health, biking all the time, walking everywhere....ok. That's because we didn't have a car or a phone so the only way I could ease my social cravings for friends was to get my ass up and go see them. There was no texting then and certainly no reasonable cell phones. In my twenties, I let it all slide a little with access to "better" jobs, and therefore a better car, and therefore, less physical work to do what I needed to do. The freedom of moving in with my cousin/best friend/near sister certainly didn't help (love you girl!). Suddenly, we could go to the gas station at midnight and stock up on all the gummy worms and chocolate we wanted. Problem? Boyfriend drama. Solution? Cheeseball!

I'm not saying I'm gonna go all Lance Armstrong here, but I'm breaking it down into little goals. Not just weight goals, that's purely depressing. But more so, goals like eating healthier. Taking the candy out of my lunch bag and replacing it with an apple. Can I put caramel on it? Sure! It's still better than that candy bar, hands down. I just won't put it on there every single time. Making more time to walk the dog. My friends are always asking me to go with them during the warmer months and walk our dogs, and let's face it, the dog and I both need it. Not to mention he certainly needs that social interaction. Anyone who's had the glorious fortune of us bringing our dog over to their house (sorry for the constant whining and occasional lash to the eye) can tell you that.

Money pending, I swear that I will at least try the gym. I know I really do hate it, but I also hate walking and running in the elements if they are not up to my high standards that apply if I'm not doing something a little more fun like teaching a River Walk class. Simply running uphill against the wind on a busy road for the sheer exercise of it just doesn't do it for me. Hmmm...so maybe I need to combine it all and do my walks/runs on trails. Much more motivating. Or maybe a combination of gym and trails just to keep it interesting. Either way, it helps. Oh and I can't deny the benefits of Tae Bo. That proved to work well in college, and I have fond memories of working it out with my girl to that. Ahhh, college.

I will drink more water and less pop. I'm not gonna say NO pop, and I'm not only gonna drink water. I'm not a believer in completely depriving oneself of all the goods all the time. Because I never had a problem when these things were in moderation. I surely didn't have a ton of pop when I was a kid and I didn't die, but I loved it when I did. Thanks, Mom, for not being a pop fan!

Goal 2: Travel.

I stopped there. Mostly because I got distracted and busy and never picked it up again. So now, here it is in March and instead of finishing writing about it, I just decided to do it. I don't know why exactly but it just hit me that I had to say NOW. NOW I'm going to do it and that's that.

Since February 1st, I've done what I said and moreso. I did start at the gym. That day. I did stop drinking pop. That day. Have I had even one sip of it since? No. I stopped getting candy and chips at work as snacks. I save a lot of money and bring my own. So now I pack things like carrots, celery, grapes, cut up apples. And for fun, low sugar pudding. But I do look at the calories on the back when I used to think "who really does that?". The thing that makes it so easy to pack like this? I make sure that if we run out of the good stuff that I go to the store to buy that first. Just like I should be eating that first and supplementing with treats. AND I wash it and cut it up as soon as I can after the store so it's even easier to grab and go than chips. I MAKE it easy. In my fridge I currently have grapes (off the vine and in a container), celery (cut into packable chunks), cucumbers (cut up and in water to preserve), lettuce (ok, I slacked on that one!) and Green pepper (chopped into slivers to be put into sandwiches or just snacked on. And those are my first snacks.

Now, am I saying "look what I did, I lost 30 pounds in a month and now will run marathons"? Um, hell no. What did I not mention in my list of lunch foods? The fact that every day I also pack one Bliss chocolate square. This from the bag Sevon got me on Valentine's Day and it's a quarter full still :) I don't feel bad about it either, cuz it tastes even better now.

I did however lose some weight, I feel better, and most importantly (here's the good part) I have cut my migraines down.

When I say cut down, I mean almost eliminated. Since I changed so much at once, it's hard to say what EXACTLY would pinpoint this change, but the lifestyle change overall I believe is good regardless. Here are the facts.

December 31st to January 31st: 10 full days of migraines. Bad ones.

February 1st to March 9th: 3 full days of migraines and 2 minor episodes that went away EASILY with sleep.

If you get migraines you know...that doesn't usually happen. Usually if you try this, you wake up from the pain a short while later and are forced to either take something that will speed up your metabolism and keep you up all night or wake up and just deal with it. Neither is a good option at 2 a.m. when you have to get up and work and you can't skip.

The three full days I attribute to the typical menstrual migraine and I had it very soon after I had started. The others...nothing in the larger scheme of things.

My theories are these:

  • I cut my sugar intake
  • I get regular exercise
  • This new lifestyle plus more hours working has drastically cut my tv time
  • I am tired enough to sleep better
  • I take less medication (pain meds can cause lashback headaches)
  • I'm less stressed out (maybe?)
  • I'm drinking waaaaay more water
  • I cut my regular caffeine intake (pop) completely
  • I'm taking my vitamins
  • I'm getting my fruits and veggies more regularly
Since this blog is long enough, I'll keep you updated again later. And hopefully, I'll have even more good news. I dedicate this posting to my Grandpa. Life is about working hard to get what you want and he was the best example of that. Grandpa, you are the sunshine that keeps me remembering the important things.

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