Spend time taking care of yourself, its the best investment you can make!

Dear Readers,

I do a lot of talking about self-care to my coaching clients. The idea normally involves a bubble bath, a cheesy movie or a chocolate treat. Today I am talking about the self-care you can do for yourself that helps your health. Doing something that makes you FEEL good matters. I used to run until I hurt my back so for now I walk. Most recently, I walked 1.82 miles with my husband (proud of you honey!) and that felt good for lots of reasons but mostly because he walked with me and was proud of himself for doing so.

But back to taking care of yourself, so in my journey to feeling better, I tried doing a lot of things. First, I stopped exercising at all, which has the double whammy of not being good for you and making you feel bad (no good).

Second, I went to see a doctor who told me, “you are getting old this is normal” – All due respect to your medical training, doctor but I am 38 and not even close to done working on what I can and can NOT do with this body of mine, thank you. (annoying, and a more than a little condescending, so also not good)

Third, I went to a chiropractor who asked me what do you do all day? Do you sit? Do you stand? Do you stretch? What do you do for exercise? After a few minutes, he was able to tell what was wrong and how to go about fixing it. HALLELUJAH! Now, I don’t want to give the impression that it is a magic wand, and I am all better. Like anything else in life, it’s not that easy. The chiropractor told me that in a few weeks I could go back to walking (I have done so!!!) and in a few months I can go back to running (patience, Iago!) but the biggest thing he shared with me is that I am in CHARGE of stretching, standing and walking and incorporating more movement in my day (hold on, time to stretch) and the people who are the most successful with maintaining health are the ones that manage their own care. WHAT A CONCEPT! Seems simple right?

Wrong. We are creatures of habit, so I have had to break the habit of constantly sitting, and every 30 minutes a timer goes off so I remember to stretch. After a few weeks of doing this, I am happy to report, I almost don’t need the timer… my body is adapting and the lack of pain is helping to solidify the habit. You will note that I said, “almost” because it is not worth it to me to “forget” that stretch so crucial to keeping me aligned and out of pain.

If you are the type to need some science to back up the fact that its bad to sit all the time, here is an article or two for you to peruse.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/killer-chairs-how-desk-jobs-ruin-your-health/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3021985/work-smart/the-science-of-posture-why-sitting-up-straight-makes-you-happier-and-more-product

If you don’t sit at your job and this doesn’t apply to you, great! Likely you know someone who does and this could perhaps benefit them, and help them avoid the issues I experienced.

So back to you, dear reader, what do you do for self-care? What do you do to maintain your health mental and physical? What habits do you need to break? What habits do you need to build? What can you do TODAY to make your life better?

Think about it…….

Sometimes you gotta say… Stop

Well kids, its been a week of not feeling too great so I gave myself a pass on exercising. I think my body does this when I take on too much so I will stop and listen and give in to the tired and oh yeah, stop and take care of myself.

I have been trying all sorts of remedies, including rest and hot tea but the most important thing is rest.

So as a result, something had to give. I did not exercise this week and I do not feel bad about it.

I did follow the diet, with one exception when I was feeling the worst, I gave in and ate pizza.

A big part of this is the fact that I added up the times I have worked out this year and in exactly 60 days its been 21.

Last year at this time, I had not worked out at all, so that is a ratio I can live with for now.

Tomorrow, I will renew my work out schedule.  For those that are inspired by my regime, I can only hope that you kept on yours without me pushing you. If not, I invite you to excise the guilt and exercise tomorrow with me.

Think about it!

 

Flying in the teeth of failure!

My teeth are in bad shape. They have been for years. I am ashamed by how they look in pictures, often I even close my lips to not expose my teeth. I have been told that I have genetics working against me, but its not all the progenitors fault, I share some of the blame too. For many years I was lax about my dental hygiene but in the last year or so,  I have been making efforts to improve the state of my health which includes my teeth.

After flossing, brushing, and mouth washing for months I walked into my dentist’s office yesterday very optimistic about what he is going to tell me. Perfect! I can really tell that you have been doing everything you should, and because of that, I don’t need to do any work on you. In retrospect, I realize this was a bit naive.  I sit in the chair and I brace myself, but still hoping for good news and then he tells me you need a crown, and he points out all the plaque and build up on my teeth though I have been working at this goal for a while. Needless to say, this was VERY disappointing news and at first all I could focus on is the result and what has happened and why did I waste all that time brushing and flossing and I am working myself up into quite a frothy milkshake, and then I realize its useless to complain about a bad result if you are doing all you know how to do to bring about a good one.

I calmed myself down, and decided it was time to learn what I was doing wrong.

So I ask the dentist to watch me floss and brush and I show them exactly how I am doing it and they show me how I am missing angles on this tooth after tooth and I have to slow down because my teeth are not even, I also need to angle my brush differently, and possibly get a different brand of electric toothbrush. I am very honest about my frustration and feeling that what I have been doing is fruitless and they show me X-rays so I can compare and its decidedly better. Can you imagine if I hadn’t been doing everything I have been doing? How much worse could it be?  He added, “This is an old problem, so no matter how much you brushed and flossed, you still would have needed a crown today.”  This makes me feel much better and I am re-energized in my goal to have better teeth. I can’t control genetics but I can be certain to floss, brush and rinse three times a day.

Here’s the closing thought, If you try and don’t succeed, you haven’t failed, it just means you haven’t succeeded yet and you need to adjust the game plan. Maybe get a new coach, or accountability partner. Now, go brush your teeth! Trust me!