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Life, Priorities, and Changing Them Both.

Life, Priorities, and Changing Them Both.

I have been getting in my own way for a very long time.  It’s often the case.  You find reasons NOT to do things, find things that are holding you back.  The fact of the matter is, the main reason that you’re not doing something, is yourself*.

priorityquoteI’ve always thought that if you want to include something in your life badly enough, you will take the time to make it happen.  One example is my knitting.  I take my knitting with me to school drop offs and pick ups.  I’ve often had people come up to me and say “I wish I had time to knit”.  They don’t realise that they do.  But it’s not a priority in their life.  Which is perfectly fine, we all have different things that are important to us.

Priorities can change, though.  Mine have, somewhat recently.  Looking after myself has not been a priority for quite a while.  I have been fooling myself, that merely surviving has been taking care of myself.  It hasn’t.  I haven’t for quite some time.

I have gained an excessive amount of weight over the past fifteen or so years.  Way more than I ever imagined I would.  I have been married for 12 years, and have an 8 year old son, and I’ve not really been able to, or made it a priority to get rid of it.  Along with the excess weight, I’ve gained a couple of health problems, including Plantar Faciitis, and heel spurs.  I’ve been fortunate that my blood pressure and cholesterol levels have continued to be in a healthy range.

I have spent a long time trying to “cope” or “accept” my body, but my public bravado of “love myself the way I am” was, and is for me, complete bullshit.  I don’t love being this way, I’ve never been able to really accept being this overweight.  When I was at a good, healthy weight, I was happy to call my self curvy and svelte.  I’ve never been “thin”, I’m happy not to be “thin”, but I’m miserable being overweight.  This has nothing to do with society’s definition, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about how I look, do my hair, or what clothes I choose to wear.  I’ve just been constantly uncomfortable, out of breath, depressed, and tired.

Well, it is now a priority.  I have started to, and will continue to, take care of myself. Just before my birthday I made the decision to change some things.  Well, quite a few things.

changequotesocratesAfter seeing my sister and best friend have some pretty great results with some changes they had made in their diet, I thought I’d give it a try.  There is no specific “name” to what I’m doing, but it’s close to “Low Carb, High Fat”.  (I’m not doing “Paleo”)  I have removed most grains from my diet, including wheat, rice, corn, and oats.  I have stopped using refined sugar, substituting where needed with other options, like xylitol and maple syrup, but I am trying to remove sweeteners altogether where possible. I have succeeded in weaning myself off having sugar in my tea, and, for the most part, my coffee.  I am making sure I eat protein at least twice a day.  I am including extra “good fats”, like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oils.  I am eating fruit, but it’s no more than 2 pieces every 3 days.  I am overloading on vegetables like zucchini, dark leafy greens, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.  I am eating cheese, yoghurt, cream, and other dairy.  I’m unable to substitute nuts, nut flour, nut oils/milks due to my son’s allergies, which makes some of the grain free variations a bit of a challenge. To some, it might seem like a huge sacrifice.  I must admit that the convenience of things like bread and pasta is missed, but I’ve never been one to shy away from cooking.  Plus I’m already used to boycotting certain foods/products due to dealing with my highly allergic son’s diet needs.

dancingI am also returning to dancing.  I’m starting slow.  I’ve been out on a few social nights with my sister, which has been SO much fun! I’m also trying to get to a class night at least once a week.  Doesn’t matter if it’s swing or rock’n’roll, the idea is to get out and about, meet the people who have started dancing over the last 10 years, and see how the scene has changed. The scene I remember is gone, which is sad.  But I am looking forward to exploring the new one.

What has taken me by complete surprise is that I am seeing a rather tremendous change already.  I have shed almost 5kg since my birthday, my sleeping has improved, and I find that I am waking up more alert.  The carpal tunnel discomfort that I get from time to time has decreased as well, which has been a welcome side effect.

This is the start of a long journey.  But it has been a good start.

Notes:

This is as it pertains to me.  I’m certainly not making judgements on anyone elses life.

Sensitive Topic – To Do With Black Dogs

Sensitive Topic – To Do With Black Dogs

“The Black Dog” is a term used to not say the word depression.  I’m not a fan, but there it is.  I’ve lived with a battle with depression and anxiety for over 10 years.  It’s probably been longer, but I didn’t identify with the word until I was almost 26.  I’ve been on and off medication over that time, the last time (until recently) was 5 years ago.  My decision to return to anti-depressants was not an easy one, I had been doing fairly well, or so I thought.

I found myself, sometimes, spending a whole day not really doing anything, nor having the desire to do anything.  Even doing things that I love, including playing with my son, held no joy for me.  I had become joyless and a little slothy, I was certainly no fun to be around.  I was also becoming mad or upset with just about everything and everyone.  Not always without reason, but still.  I am not an angry person.

So I made the decision to go back onto anti-depressants.  The first month was not great.  I remembered lethargy, nausea, and insomnia from the previous bout with meds, but it was so much worse for at least the first 2 weeks.  Only slightly improving in the following 2 weeks.  Once my GP & I made the decision to switch the time at which I take them (before bed, instead of with breakfast), I found I was improving.

I’m almost at the end of my second month now.  I am feeling SO much better.  I am laughing with my whole being again.  I am waking up and feeling like I can face the day with both feet on the ground.  I am feeling inspired again.  I am feeling more like myself.

As a side benefit, whether it has to do with the medication, or the fact that I’m eating more properly and drinking herbal tea instead of cordial or soft drink, I’ve lost about 7kgs.  Doesn’t seem like much, but as someone who struggles with weight, diet and exercise, I find this utterly brilliant!  I have a new set of headphones, a playlist ready to rock to, great walking shoes, and the desire to seize the feeling!  I am going to start my walking right after Easter.  SO PUMPED!

MORE WATER! Getting My Water Intake Up!

MORE WATER! Getting My Water Intake Up!

One of the things I’ve had a problem with is drinking my daily recommended water intake.  I’ve never really counted tea or other drinks, which would bring my water intake to about 300ml a day.  NOT GOOD.

Talking to one of my girlfriends, who has a water bottle that she takes with her everywhere, I was inspired to see what I could do to start being just that little bit healthier.

On one of my “OMG I have so many errands to get done in the space of four hours” days out, I found a nice water bottle made by Lock & Lock.  It was on sale for about $8, it’s BPA free and has a nice opening.  I ended up with a 700ml size, which is rather large… but I’m determined.  It’s lightweight, so won’t be a drag once it’s empty and I have to carry it around.

The dilemma that followed was actually filling it and drinking ALL.THAT.WATER .  The thought of it kind of squicked me out.  But the determination to do something good for myself out weighed the squick.  I started looking up information on infused water, and how I could do it at home without ending up with a big jug of gross.

Google search is magnificent for these things!  Suddenly I was wading through instructions and recipes, suggestions for combinations of fruit and herbs and lots of information!  I remembered I had some frozen raspberries in the freezer, and an infusing jug in the cupboard.  So I put about 1 cup of berries in the infuser and filled with water.  A couple of hours later, I had lovely pink tinted, softly flavoured water.  I filled my jug and finished it before I went to bed last night.  It was so EASY to drink!  I figured the berries would last a couple of days, and I could keep refilling the jug as I put it into my bottle.  I might just be onto a winner here!

I filled my bottle last night before bed, and I’m onto my 2nd one now (2:30pm).  It’s a lovely flavour and I am looking forward to trying all sorts of different combos!  Now I can drink ALL THE WATER!