07 January 2014

My Body

[Continuing to come clean with a few areas of my life. Today I'm chatting about my body and some healthy habits I'd like to adopt this year.]

Recently on Instagram I saw a post from Jessi at Naptime Diaries where she mentioned that self-care was a big goal of hers for 2014.

As soon as I read those two words (or is it one since it has a hyphen?) I knew I was adding self-care to my list.

For so long I've measured my health on the look and size of my body -- the number on the scale, the number on the tag of my jeans. But there is so much that is lost when only using this one measurement.

That being said, there are so many factors that make me want to work on self-care this year. I'm all kinds of unhealthy.

I drink very little water. I eat very few fruits and vegetables. I hate exercising (and have no idea where I would find the time). I eat too much sugar and processed food. I have zero will power. If there's anything "bad" in the house my strategy is to eat it all in one day so it doesn't continue to tempt me. I bite my nails. I get too much sleep (don't hate me). I go to bed with my makeup on every single night. I barely have the energy to brush my teeth some nights, much less floss.

I am saying all of this to you today as a way to accept it and move forward.

At the end of December I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and put on medicine. While the dosage is still being figured out, I am holding out great hope that this will go a long way in helping me feel better. For as long as I can remember, I've been tired.  Just perpetually sleepy. I can literally take a nap at any moment. Yet come bedtime, I'm wide awake, tossing and turning, mind racing. This major fatigue, along with a few other symptoms, led me to go in for blood work, and sure enough...a malfunctioning thyroid. Please pray with me that my doctor can get my little thyroid back into shape. I don't want to sleep my life away (or spend my waking hours angry because I can't go back to bed).

Now I know this is a lofty goal. I would love to get healthier, take better care of myself, loose some weight -- but I am definitely not going to be following any sort of diet fad. [If it has a name, or a hashtag, blog, website, book, whatever, I am not going to do it. Just my personal belief.] But I am going to try to be more intentional with what I put in and on my body. This body is the only one I have and a lot of people depend on her. I owe it to her to give her the best.

I'd love to know: what do you do to take care of yourself? Any tips you have for an unhealthy girl like me?


  1. Self-care! What a great way to think about it. :) I have been trying to be better at self-care since I graduated from grad school. This has meant going on walks (it still counts as exercise! It's better than sitting! And it's peaceful and relaxing) and eating better.

    I think the biggest thing for me was getting over the feeling that I had to make huge changes and big commitments to certain eating/workout regimes. My mantra was "incremental change." My first day of walking It took me 17 minutes to walk a mile. Now it takes much less time and I feel better about myself because I have been able to maintain "incremental change."

    I still sleep with makeup on sometimes, but I also notice I totally get zits from that... like the next day. So that's been a motivation for me to wash my face (or not wear makeup, haha!) and moisturize more.

    I still bite my nails. Yikes. Sometimes I can go for longer though if I use NailEnvy clear polish, which strengthens my nails so they don't bend and tear as easily. Also it's clear so I can paint my nails really quick and no one will notice if it's a little sloppy.

    Water: I keep one of those cute reusable cups with a straw at my desk and at my bedside table and constantly refill it when it's empty.

    I just don't buy Oreos any more because I will eat the entire package. I'll buy pints of ice cream instead of a half gallon, even if it's more expensive, so I won't be tempted to eat the whole thing.

    I used MyFitnessPal this summer to track what I eat, which resulted in me cutting out a lot of sugary food. After going a long time eating those things very infrequently, even a mocha tasted almost disgustingly sweet to me. In other words, you body adjusts and doesn't crave sugar as much if you cut back on it.

    I still hardly ever floss. Meh. What can you do?

    Thanks for sharing, Laura!

  2. Hey Laura, I hope you've been doing well! I've been enjoying catching up on your blog now and then.

    I've gone through a lot of those same things and am slowly starting to develop new and better habits (learning how to cook better and exercising enough are the two hardest for me though!). It's definitely not easy! For me, the biggest thing has been educating myself about food and nutrition. And the more I learn, the more gross and unappetizing those processed, sugary, microwaved-meals seem. I had a lot of stomach issues a few years ago, and visiting doctors didn't do me any good and it took me awhile to figure out what was causing it. Stress, frozen processed lunches and dinners, fast food, diet sodas for breakfast, and very few fresh fruits and veggies didn't help. Now that I've made significant changes in my diet, almost all my previous problems have gone away.

    I've done a lot of research by getting stacks of books at the library, watching documentaries, and reading blogs. I don't agree with everything that I watch and read, but I've gotten a lot of different perspectives and have learned more about how food can harm or heal our bodies (and feel the difference when I make small changes). I've come to the conclusion that it just makes more sense to eat fresh fruits and veggies - they're from the earth and they were made for us to eat, unlike all the processed junk filling our grocery store shelves. I've grown some of my own in containers and in our backyard, and have been slowly changing my picky eating habits. I'd be happy to share with you some of my favorite resources if you're interested.

    Have a great rest of the week!

    Caroline Leemis

  3. This sounds like an amazing goal, and is an inspiration to me as well. I also have the tiredness issue. I'm pretty much always sleepy. Although, I don't have trouble falling asleep, but I do get a rush of energy around bedtime which makes me stay up late.

    I've actually noticed this more since staying home. (Maybe the adrenaline of always being on the go masked it?) But, I've been trying to drink more water and eat more good foods. Not even buying bad foods helps, although it did leave me scavenging for chocolate chips (the only sweets in the house) tonight.

    I asked for a month's membership to the YMCA for Christmas, this will give me a chance to try it out and get active while it's freezing cold. I am waiting to start until later in January when the rush dies down, but I hope it gets me getting active again. I know I need to do it, although I truly dread it. I thought I'd have more time while home but, ha, that's funny.

    Anyhow - I totally turned this on myself. Thank you for sharing this goal. You are truly an inspiration to me.

  4. Several years ago, I started bringing a reusable water bottle with me to work, with the goal of drinking four bottles worth each day. It has been one of the best things I've done for my health! I have a couple of bottles I like, so if I forget to wash one at night, I'm not without a clean one in the morning. In addition to the benefit of the water, I've also benefited from more movement during the workday, both to refill the bottle and to - um - respond to the effects of drinking so much water. :)

    As for fitting in more exercise, I often walk the Reynolda trails at lunch. Not only is it a great mental break in the middle of the day, it doesn't take away from time at home in the mornings or evenings. If you'd like to join me one day, I'd love to have your company!

    Good luck with all your 2014 goals!


Thank you for coming along for the ride with me. Your comments make my day!