Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Well wouldn't you know that after writing a blog about taking my body for granted, I'd get sick. I've been lax with my water aerobics due to the cold weather and haven't tracked my food as much as I should. Add to that mountains of stress and voila - a weakened body that picks up illness. It just goes to show that you really have to watch what you do and listen to your body carefully.
If you don't think you know how or are out of tune with your body, just start with baby steps. Do one new thing per week. First drinking water and keeping track of it. (Yes, I'm counting that as one thing because if you don't keep track, you won't know the amount of water you've consumed.) Second, exercise at least 10 minutes per day and track it. Third, work on your sleeping habits. Try for 7 hours per night at first and increase it when you can. (Again, try to keep track.) You may have noticed that I didn't start with food. If you don't get the water, exercise and rest in line, the food won't be in line either. As you pay closer attention to what you eat, try to track it on the food tracker. Pay attention to food content. It is key to health.
You may also want to do a personal daily feedback for a month. This is something that I did years ago when I found that I was getting sick all the time. It was suggested by my doctor. Every day for a month, I wrote several times a day on an inexpensive calendar. (You can run one off at SP or online) I included how much I slept, the weather, stress factors, eating habits, exercise, where I was in my menstrual cycle, allergy factors, how I felt physically/mentally etc. After a while a pattern started to emerge. It was like a solar eclipse. When certain factors lined up/happened at the same time, boom! - I got sick. I was delighted when I first joined Spark People and noticed that I can track all of these things, right here! The information really helps me to know what is going on with my body.
So, as I continue to recuperate, let this be a reminder that I shouldn't take my body and my health for granted!
Saturday, January 09, 2010
How many times have I been so involved in activities that I've ignored my body? In this season of hustle, bustle, colds and flu, I often find myself taking my body and my health for granted. I can remember once saying to my doctor, in a joking fashion, just give me an antibiotic so I can carry on at my usual breakneck pace. Hello? Is that what I really want to do? Well, at the time I'm embarrassed to say, the answer was yes! I just wanted my body to work efficiently with very little input from me.
I only get to go through this life once, so why am I taking my body and my health for granted? The body is an incredible thing. It's workings are nothing short of miraculous. If you don't believe me, try watching a film about birth - from the time of conception to the actual birth. It's amazing. Sometimes we forget everything that is involved in keeping our bodies in good running condition. The body requires fuel, water, exercise and rest. Whenever one of these is out of balance, it throws everything off. Too much or too little can affect the whole way the body functions. But on a daily basis, how many of us stop to think about that? I know that I don't.
We expect our bodies to function on command with very little thought about how what we chose to do affects the efficiency of the way our bodies naturally operate. How many of us think about cells growing/repairing, hearts beating, lungs breathing in and out, muscles working and brains functioning? There are probably not many of us who do this on a regular basis. So tomorrow morning when you get up, take a moment to be grateful for the body that you have. Take a moment to plan your day, taking into consideration the things that your body needs to function at top performance and then do it. Remember that your body is a precious gift and treat it accordingly.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
As those who have read my blogs and Spark page in the past year may know, I'm on a journey for the health of my whole self. This includes mind, body and spirit. My first year on Spark People was devoted to gaining a healthy body and to my emotional well being. I'm making some great progress with both but something was still missing. This past August, hubby and I decided to make the commitment to go to church on a weekly basis. So far, we've only missed two Sundays. More importantly, we have an added dimension to our relationship with each other as well as with some friends and people in our community. I can't speak for him, but for me this spiritual nourishment has filled a void in me that I didn't even realize was there. It's funny how that happens.
I've always been connected to my God throughout my life and I've considered myself a spiritual person. What was missing then? Lots! For one thing, the fellowship of my church community. In this day and age of technology I was becoming isolated. How can I get the human contact, love and support that I so desperately need if I sit on my butt by myself? I took the step to join Spark People and to go to a gym to work out. This really helped me to branch out. With Spark People I can pretty much get support 24/7 by just going online. There are nights when they have been a real lifeline for me. The water aerobics classes and gym workouts became a social event as well as a workout; which was great. I've made many new friends with both. I've also started a specialized therapy for people with PTSD to help me overcome my fears. This was a huge step for me! Now with the additional dimension of a spiritual community, I'm finally starting to address the rest of my needs.
I remember the wonderful churches that I attended as a young person on up to my late thirties. Then somehow I got a little lost. I became a workaholic, obsessed with my career and the balance between mind, body and spirit took a big hit. I stopped exercising, doing mindful eating and slept only 5-6 hours a night. The weight piled on and I hated myself. I had very little life outside of my career and my family. I became so isolated and lonely, that work, family and food were IT for me. I still had an open line of communication with God and I found myself constantly asking for his intervention. Somehow, I just wasn't hearing him or I was missing the messages he was sending me. In retrospect, this was really sad. I ended up retiring on a disability. Outside of my family and food, I had very little to show for a lifetime of hard work. Somewhere along the line I had lost the inner me and I had managed to put myself at the bottom of the list.
As I said previously, my journey to health involves the health of the total self. I can't just concentrate on one area and neglect the rest. That's like trying to fix the engine in your car with a bandaid. I've had to do soul searching and decide where I want to go with my life and growth. Believe me, it was no small undertaking! I found so many things that I want to work on but doing so all at once would be overwhelming. So, I've done it slowly over time. I've finally reached the point where I'm open to gaining more spiritual nourishment outside of myself and my home. It is starting to feel really, really good.
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