Saturday, May 3, 2014

Physical Wellness - Getting Back on Track

Me and my beautiful daughter Rachael - September '13
Okay folks. Along time ago, I posted about the things one should do to be well - physically. (See Wellness Part I - Physical.) Isn't it funny how good we are at giving out advice, but fail to do ourselves the very things we are advising!

I have been very good about taking my medication, pretty good about getting the sleep I need, and terrible about everything else. 

I recently saw a picture of myself, and I was heavier than I have ever been. Well, that is about to change. I intend to follow my own advice, and I want to take you along with me. Once a week, I'll share with you my struggles and my progress. 

Here are the things I will commit to (taken from the original post): 
  1. Obviously, take medication (if any) as prescribed by your doctor; and don't deviate from it without your doctor's permission.
  2. Take any supplements your doctor has recommended. For example, my GP has me taking Calcium w/vitamin D and a multi-vitamin; and my psychiatrist has added 2 - 3 fish oil capsules per day. I also temporarily take iron supplements, as I'm slightly anemic.
  3. Get 7.5 - 8 hours sleep each night; and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  4. Drink about 2 liters of water per day - more if you are exercising hard, are on medication, and / or you are spending a lot of time in hot weather or dry climates.
  5. Exercise 4 - 5 times per week employing the fitness triad: aerobic (e.g., walking, running, swimming, biking), strength training (e.g., free weights), and flexibility training (e.g., yoga, stretching). (Obviously again, check with your physician before starting any exercise program.) Aerobic exercise in particular releases feel-good endorphins in your brain, strength training builds body confidence and strength, and flexibility helps prevent injury and reduces stress.
  6. Eat properly. It has been my personal experience that the following serve me best mentally {and physically}:
  • Eat (5) portioned mini-meals per day, approximately every 2 - 3 hours. 
  • Each meal should contain (1) lean protein portion, (1) complex carbohydrate portion, and at least one vegetable portionSome example of portions: protein is the size of a deck of cards; a carb, the size of a light bulb or tennis ball; and a slice of cheese is the size of a domino. 
  • Eat at least (5) vegetables and eat (4) fruits per day.
  • Limit simple sugar (white bread, white rice,white pasta, bottled juice from store, table sugar, etc.)
  • Limit butter and saturated fats. This is old news, I know; but it is true. Olive oil, olive oil, olive oil is good for the brain. Use it, damn it!
  • Do not drink diet sodas and avoid sugar substitute. {The latter is my idea - I just don't trust 'em.}
  • Limit caffeine and don't have caffeine after 2 or 3 PM. {As a chemical addict, this is the hardest of all for me!} Note that I didn't say eliminate, just limit. This is especially important for those suffering from anxiety.
  • Do not drink alcohol - obvious for an alcoholic / drug addict, but critical too for someone with depression and anxiety - especially when on medication. 
  • See, and for some more examples of proper eating.

Today is the baseline day.  I weighed in at 180. Well, off I go to get started - see you next Saturday!


traci stewart said...

Way to go!! I'll do it with you!!

pink.hi-tops said...

Thanks, Traci! :)