For a long time, I’ve struggled to be healthier. I vow to clean up my act and fail miserably when faced with stress, boredom, frustration, whatever. With each misstep, I fell further off track, and the resulting guilt and shame kept me stuck in habits that weren’t productive. While comforting in the moment, they were only making the problem worse.
So much worse, in fact, that I told a nurse last week my shoes weighed 20 pounds and then gave her the death stare when she chuckled. They’re Chuck Taylors with orthotics. They weigh at least 20 pounds and I’m not taking them off for my annual weigh-in. And, I think I have some lead fish weights in my jacket pockets. The patient is always right and please note the extra weight in my chart.
With my week off for the holidays, I am focusing all my energy on making the healthy changes I’ve struggled with for the past year. I’m also writing them down here and planning to post regular updates to leverage the power of peer pressure to make positive changes stick. I really need to get my life in order. I have so much to be happy about and just one walrus-sized failure barking in my face. It’s time to shrink the walrus.
• Be a vegan, but not an asshole. I want my everyday life to be vegan, but I still want to have date night with my husband (and what’s a date night without cheese or ranch dressing?), accept food gifts, and be a good houseguest. I don’t want to be militant, I just want to be as good a vegan I can be without venturing into asshole territory.
• Do a little bit of yoga daily. The bigger you are, the harder it is to do yoga comfortably. The poses I mastered a year ago are no longer possible and that makes me want to punch yoga in the face. But, it’s not yoga’s fault and I have to keep at it. Twenty minutes a day never killed anyone.
• Meditate daily. There are some great (okay, goofy) guided meditations available online. Stress is my biggest barrier to getting healthy, so I’m making it a priority. I need to get my stress under control.
• Work out or walk the dogs every day (preferably both). This is a no-brainer. I need to exercise more than three times a week.
• Keep a mindful eating journal. This is a struggle for me. I hate food journals. They feel like punishment. But, this is about tracking how my body feels and trying to generate a connection between feeling well and eating well. Right now, I associate baked Cheetos with feelings of wellbeing, even though they actually make me feel like I might die. Carrots make me feel much better, but my brain doesn’t really believe it yet.
• Make a hot dinner every night. Ben’s really on board with this one, even if it is one of my experimental vegan recipes.
• Limit tv. I’m aiming for a daily dose of People’s Court and Judge Judy only. I’m on vacation and I need my fix. Ben and I have also committed to just one hour of tv on weeknights. Note to AMC: This was a bad week to start your Breaking Bad marathon. Why was I not consulted on this?
• Do my damn physical therapy. I need to get my plantar fasciitis under control. The constant foot pain really hinders my exercise routine, so it’s time to buckle down and just do the damn stretches. If, after a month or so of daily stretching, it still doesn’t feel better, I’ll talk to the doc about surgery. But, I need to put in the work before going that far.
That looks like a lot, right? I know, I know. But, I’m off work this week and it shouldn’t be too daunting if I’m not watching tv all day. Ben also wrote down some goals for himself and we’ve vowed to cheer each other on and provide as many hugs and high-fives required for us both to get on track. He thinks I can make these changes; I just need to believe it myself.