For years, in various roles, I have counseled women on various things. My top five are—
- Drink water-not juice, not soda, not water with artificially sweetened powder thrown it. Drink more than you possibly think you could if you are pregnant.
- Exercise—not I walk the mall, I vacuum the house and chase after kids all day. I am talking about the kind of exercise where you really sweat and your heart rate goes up. And, once you get in the habit you will add weight-bearing on your own because you will feel good and want to!
- “Diets” are evil! They don’t work. Yes, I know your sister lost 80 lbs on the hot dog diet but now she is 100lb heavier since she was unable to stay on the stupid hot dog diet. Eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats. Eat a protein with your carb. Watch your sugar intake and be mindful of portions. If it is deep-fried—stay away.
- Prevention—Big topic, I know, but the main points usually are—wear your seat belt. Wear sunscreen. Know your cholesterol. Know your blood pressure. Know your medications. Stop smoking. Manage your diabetes. Decrease or cease your alcohol intake. Stop using illegal drugs. Separate from the abusive partner/husband . . .
- Be kind to yourself—And this is always the hardest one. We beat ourselves up for our failings. We see ourselves somehow responsible for every trouble of our husbands/partners, children, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else we can rescue. We often own problems that are not in any way ours or those we have zero power to effect any change. This is stress management, time management, life management, and spiritual management.
So about 2 years ago, I was pretty good at about all of the above and felt absolutely great. Then along came the last year of school. A horrid commute was made that much easier with a latte. A vanilla frosted donut helped me feel better about leaving the hospital after 20+ hours and missing another bedtime. If it was a really bad day—McDonald’s fries were in order. I really should have needed to show an ID for the amount of caffeine I consumed. If not at the hospital or office, I sat with books. I went to sleep with books. The only variation my heart rate saw were the occasional runs of PVC’s from being overtired paired with too much coffee. I personally owned every ounce of teen angst that lived in my house.
DONE! I hopped back on the elliptical today. Healthy eating is back. Heading to restorative yoga tomorrow night. I practiced breathing when talking with neglected teen daughter. Although, thankful for the opportunity to return to school and the support from lonely husband and neglected children, I wasn’t able to be healthy. There are two mountains—the first is to start and the second is to keep going. Hopefully, I can camp for a while on the second mountain.