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Posts Tagged ‘health’

The weight

April 28th, 2014 6 comments

APOP_infographicThere’s a very personal topic that we all like to talk about all the time.

Our weight.

Let’s face it, we are, as a society, somewhat obsessed with a person’s weight. Our own weight. Other people’s weight. Models’ weights. Children’s weights.

And, you know, that’s okay if means we’re trying to make ourselves healthier as a population. It’s not okay if we’re tearing each other down and making unreasonable expectations of ourselves and others. It’s also not okay, if we’re standing in the way of helping each other make positive changes for ourselves.

An example that has stuck with me for years. While talking with a friend, I mentioned seeing a mutual acquaintance out at the track when I was going for a walk. Their response?

“What are they doing out there?! It’s not like they need to lose any weight!”

It stumped me. It threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how to respond in that moment, but later it made me mad. The REASON this person didn’t “need to lose any weight” is because they go to the track diligently. They maintain a great weight versus “letting themselves go” and having to backtrack later. In hindsight, I wish I’d said something to the effect of, “I think its great they’re out there! It’s inspiring!”

But I missed my opportunity.

I’ve run into that attitude more times than I can count over the last several years… occasionally directed straight at me.

See, I’m naturally built “slender.” But it does NOT mean I’m not susceptible to gaining weight. In fact, over the last ten years, I’ve watched myself slowly gain around 40 pounds. Now, for my height, I’m actually still right in the middle of “healthy” for my weight. I could TECHNICALLY gain over 10 more pounds before I’d be considered overweight.

But I don’t even want to think about that. I don’t even want to know that. I’d rather focus on losing about 10 pounds to be back down on the lower end of “healthy” weight. I’d feel better. I’d be more confident in my appearance. I could stop wearing a corset when I wear tighter fitting clothes.

Here’s the deal, though. When I talk about wanting to lose a few pounds, I often get “the death stare.” You know the one… the one that says, “Shut up. You have no right to even talk about that. You’re just fine the way you are.” And it’s always from other women. Always.

And I just don’t GET that! Now, if I was still what I weighed in high school — a weight in which health insurance didn’t even want to cover me because, “it’s just not possible to be healthy and weigh that little” (I actually had to get a doctor’s note to prove I wasn’t anorexic and was actually quite healthy, just super active!) — then I’d totally understand that glare. I’d hope that glare would actually be more like a look of deep concern for if I had an eating disorder. But when I, today, say, “I’d like to lose about 10 lbs.” I’d hope I’d instead get, “You can totally do it!” instead of, “What for?”

Why can’t we cheer each other on? Why can’t we encourage each other to be healthier in general instead of either letting there be jealousy or judgement?

Next time you see someone going for a jog that “doesn’t need it” or you hear someone say, “I’d like to lose a couple pounds,” don’t roll your eyes or sigh in annoyance. Instead be encouraging! Maybe, just maybe, their determination will be addictive and set a positive example.

Manzanita, Oregon

Sticker shock

March 4th, 2013 4 comments

108: Eye examLast week, I went to the eye doctor. It had been too long since I got my eyes checked, and I was officially out of contact lenses. So I was forced to go.

I’ve worn glasses since 2nd grade. I can still remember that eye exam by the school nurse. I still remember knowing when I left her office that my parents would be getting a call. I still remember my first pair of glasses.

I wore glasses up into college. I’m super “ACK!” about anything with my eyes. I’m still thankful for the guy’s patience at the eye doctor when I got contact lenses for the first time. It took me over an hour to get the first pair in, back out and back in afterwards. He was SO patient with me, and he sure didn’t have to be!

Since then, I’ve not looked back. (No pun intended.) I’ve been an exclusively contacts girl for around 15 years. My husband is not a fan of my old glasses that I wear to bed each night after taking out my contacts. An old prescription, I really shouldn’t wear them at all, but I just haven’t seen the need for glasses.

Until I started noticing more and more people rocking glasses… many of which wear contact lenses 90% of the time. I started wishing I had a new pair of glasses, with the proper prescription. So, my husband and I agreed that this would be the year I got new glasses.

I warned him they’d be expensive. I am super, super nearsighted. Like. Ridiculous. I warned the people at the eye doctor and they laughed it off until they did my exam.

Yup. Super nearsighted. My lenses would be really thick. Yes, yes they would be. I knew this as well.

What I didn’t know what how expensive glasses have become in the last 15 years. We got a tax refund on Wednesday. I spent all of it on Thursday on glasses. I was glad my husband and I were both sitting down when the total was read to us. The frames alone were more than my entire glasses were years ago! Then with the type of lenses I need due to my eye sight… YIKES!

But, my eyesight hasn’t changed any in the last 12 years, and I don’t anticipate it being an issue any time soon. So I should be in these glasses for, well, probably another 15 years! So, its a good investment, and you can’t put a price on your ability to see.

Mind. Blown.

November 10th, 2012 1 comment

366: Happy BirthdayToday is my birthday. I had two wishes:

1. To feel good. I’ve been battling allergies that developed into a cold all week. My couch has been my favorite location in general. Getting out of the house was always welcome, but by the time we were heading home from just eating out, I was in pure misery. I wished for my PJs and couch.

2. For my Aggies to win. It was a stretch. Battling #1 Alabama. Everyone kept saying we had a good chance for a win, but I dared not get my hopes up too high.

What happened? I GOT BOTH MY WISHES!!

I woke up today feeling GOOD. I’m still a little congested, but I no longer have that crappy, icky feeling. I feel… well… GOOD. I got dressed up a wedding we were attending, and my only rough part was near the end of the ceremony when I desperately wanted to go blow my  nose.

After the wedding, we joined up with the rest of my local Aggies to watch the game. We got there at half time.

I think I aged more than a year in this day. I was literally shaking from head to toe through the last quarter. SHAKING. I wanted this win so bad, but it was still too much time left. As it ended, I was just numb. We did it. WE WON.

Then my Aggies sang Happy Birthday to me. And I am pretty sure I was beaming.

My husband and I are headed downtown to go out for awhile soon. Head over to the bar where I work (but took the night off) to celebrate. 32. I am 32. Whew. I gotta admit, I always thought my 30s would be the best decade and I can honestly say, so far so good! Looking forward to the year to come!!

WHOOP!!

 

Lazy, restful evening

December 6th, 2011 2 comments

Yesterday evening I did something I rarely do.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Oh I looked at Facebook periodically. And I did get some postcards addressed to be mailed. But past that? Nothing. And it was wonderful!

I’ve been fighting the last bits of a cold I’ve had since before Thanksgiving. I’m past this sicky point, but I’m smack dab in that it-just-won’t-go-away-why-is-there-so-much-snot point. And blowing my nose has earned me a strained muscle and/or inflamed ribs on one side. It’s a big case of “Ow!” when I sneeze or blow my nose now. I ask people to hug me very gently right now!

But life doesn’t stop going at full speed for a lingering cold and sore ribs. So I’ve plugged along despite it all. I’ve needed a nothing night. No laundry. No dishes. No straightening here and there. No Christmas decorating. Just me, the TV, the recliner and periodic naps. Hubby is learning new music for a fill-in gig this weekend and he followed my lead. He’d practice awhile, then he’d nap. Back and forth.

Again: It. Was. Wonderful.

Rest is, in my opinion, the body’s best medicine for all things, but rest is always the first thing sacrificed for one thing or another. A Christmas wish for all my readers: An evening like I just had. An evening doing nothing but resting. Do it. You’re body will thank you.

Categories: general-post, health, sick Tags: , ,

The sleep thing

September 1st, 2011 4 comments

004: SleepI’ve been on a different sleep cycle than most people much of my life. I remember even in elementary school staring at my classmates in shock that they’d go to bed by 8 or 9 pm. A random memory from 5th grade was asking someone, “You mean… you don’t watch M*A*S*H at 10:30 after the news before going to bed!?” What was WRONG with these people!?

Then high school came, and taking difficult courses meant boatloads on homework on top of all my extracurricular activities. It was in those years that I was introduced to After MidNite with Blair Garner. Blair and his team became my late-night friends. On nights they had particularly appealing in-studio guests, I’d finish my homework and lay in bed awake listening to the radio until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any more. It was in those days that my sleep time began to inch back later and later.

College days… well… college is a time of no-sleep for most academics. I pulled many all-nighters, opting to catch afternoon naps in the library or on a bench somewhere on campus in the sun. Sleep is something I got when I could get it.

It was as I neared the end of college days that I started staying up at all hours talking to the guy who would later become my husband. Just buddies, we found a kindred night-owl spirit in each other. When all else failed, we’d call one another to catch up on our days at 1 or 2 AM. As the years passed and friendship turned to more, it wasn’t unusual for me to stay up until 4 AM only to get up at 7 AM to make it to work by 8 (okay, fine, I usually strolled in closer to 8:30.) Then I’d catch a quick nap with my head on my desk behind the desktop computer mid-afternoon. Another nap early evening and we’d start all over again.

I share all of this to make my point that my sleep schedule has always been a bit off, but its been within the last four and a half years that its take a turn for the ridiculous time and time again.

It really started in the first year of our marriage when I was getting used to being a musician’s widow. A little freaked out (perhaps) about spending days on end home alone, I’d not sleep until the sun came up and I could hear our apartment complex come to life again. It was my little security blanket — knowledge there was people up and around, and it was somehow okay to slip into the vulnerable state of sleep.

Later, my schedule became thrown more with worries. Financial troubles loomed over my head. How would I pay the rent? What about the truck payment? Could we even eat this month? Those worries took a toll on me in many ways, but the biggest issue was probably the sleepless nights staring at the ceiling. Trying desperately to come up with a solution, knowing that the lack of sleep wasn’t helping me any but not knowing how else to cope.

Those worries eventually lead to us selling our second vehicle, and suddenly my sleep schedule became dictated heavily by my husband’s work schedule. Late night bus calls meant driving wherever the bus he was meeting was parked. Or if he came home at 6 AM, it meant just staying up to go get him, because going to sleep at 4 or 5 didn’t make sense just to get back up.

This, coupled with my picking up work at night myself (that gets me home around 4:30 or 5, and finally to bed around 6 or 7), my sleep schedule has officially gone nocturnal. (Its not the first time this has happened, mind you, but this is the longest its ever lasted.) Even on nights when I am home all evening, I’ll stay up until 7, go to bed, and then lay awake until 8 or 9! Usually its the brain that won’t turn off… thankfully, finances aren’t what keep me up much any more. It’s more writing ideas, photography ideas, or just thinking about the day. Thinking about my friends and my family. I’ll even say my nightly prayers more than once in that time period. I eventually turn to any number of games on my phone just to shut the brain off and allow sleep to take over.

I’ve grown frustrated with myself. I want to sleep closer to my more comfortable routine of bed by 5 (MAYBE 6), up around noon. I wouldn’t even be opposed to drifting off to sleep when its still dark out!

I figure I have two options. One is to just stay up one night into the next day. Pull an old all-nighter. I’ve done this before with success. Stay up over 24 hours, then go to bed actually around midnight, sleep well over 8 hours to catch up, then ta-da! I fall back into my old sleep rhythm the next night.

The other option is to short my sleep on the backside a few days. Get up “early” several days, forcing my body to want to go to sleep earlier to compensate. The problem with this one is that my husband usually ends up dealing with sleep-deprived-and-super-grumpy me for a few days. It does eventually work! But I also end up having to apologize a lot to my husband for being unduly crappy and whiney.

What will I end up doing? I don’t know. Looking at my schedule the next few months, it might not even be worth adjusting it too much until November anyway. However, I think I’d feel a bit better if I did… I don’t feel like pulling the all-nighter act again, so perhaps on a particularly long run for my husband coming up, I’ll do the short-my-sleep method. That way I regain control, and my husband isn’t here to hear my complaints. Win/win!

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I got this topic idea from Me You Health’s Daily Challenge. Today’s Well-Being prompt was: Identify a problem that has been worrying you, then write it down and brainstorm 2 solutions.

Categories: health Tags: , ,

Eating healthy is fun!

June 2nd, 2011 1 comment

Whole wheat french toast with fresh fruit.

I’ve mentioned many times lately that I am on a health kick right now. One of the biggest changes I’ve made is in what I eat.

A suspected milk allergy (I’ve not been tested… I’m just currently experimenting and testing myself) has taken me away from cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, coffee creamer, etc. Things that I loooooooooove to have, but that my body seems to be say nuh-uh to having.

I’ve switched over to vanilla flavored almond milk. It happens to have fewer calories and more calcium that regular milk! And guess what? It’s DELICIOUS. Now I use it in my coffee instead of creamer, and its just as good! And, again, fewer calories and no sinus flare-up from what I am assuming is an allergy!

I am all about fresh fruit… which is fun to eat all its own! I love making myself a little fruit salad at night. Or I put fruit on my cereal (often with a little cinnamon on top.) The other day, I made whole wheat french toast, and I buried it in fresh fruit. Who needs sugary syrup, when the fruit juices soak in instead?

Fresh veggies is my other big favorite. I am all about big salads, with the more goodies on it the better. I can make a bag of spinach leaves last over a week by putting a minimum of those with heaps of mushrooms, carrots, boiled egg, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes on top!  Its refreshing on a top summer day. Low on calories. High in the YUMMY factor!

I’ve also started making a pasta dish using my fresh veggies. A little olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, a few fresh spinach leaves, salt, pepper, and a splash of white wine all sauteed together and poured over spaghetti noodles (either organic or atleast whole wheat, of course).  Sometimes I add some tuna, salmon, shrimp or chicken (go grab a rotisserie chicken at the store and tear it up to add in!). Sometimes I just go veggies. Either way, you end up with something you expect to find in some fancy restaurant.

It’s all SO delicious. Relatively cheap (if you can make your ingredients stretch over several days, the extra cost of the fresh vegetables and fruits is still cheaper than eating out). Makes you feel fantastic. Its FUN. And its all in the name of being healthy.

I’m no medical expect. I’m no fitness guru. I just like to read what is recommended by those people and find what works for me. Do you have any fun, fresh and healthy recipes you particular love? Please share!

PS – I do still love my beer and the occasional side of french fries. But I’m keeping those to a serious minimum. :)