One theme within the goals circling my brain for the coming year is to get healthier. I witnessed my grandma’s health decline over the past year and in the end pancreatic cancer over took her in December. My other grandmother, my Nonna, who was hit my a car while riding her bike in October, has been steadily recovering because of her strength and her health (and sheer determination). These two experiences have reaffirmed the value of health. I’m not all that unhealthy, but there is definitely a lot more I could be doing to improve my health.
I complain a lot about little ailments; extremely dry/itchy skin on Monday, a headache on Tuesday, a belly ache on Wednesday, and hangnail on Thursday, hair loss on Friday and so on. Jon told me he thinks I might be a hypochondriac*. There is some truth to his statement. A few weeks ago, I woke up and tried to sit up four times, but kept getting dizzy and needing to lay back down. My conclusion; brain tumor. In reality it was probably just a case of dehydration or a cold symptom. I never went to the doctor but I am pretty sure I’m ok. Another reason I want to improve my health, is I’m in tune with body enough to know when something isn’t right and a trip to the doctor is warranted. Please note, I really hate going the to the doctor as well. Webmd is this hypochondriac’s best friend. (Until my one of my actual besties finishes Med school, Just kidding, sort of.)
There are two aspects in which I plan to improve my health. One of them is exercise. Truthfully, exercise is something I stopped doing about 2 years ago and I want to get back into it. But I don’t want to do it with the intention to lose weight (Although I need to do that in order to get healthier; my switch from chasing two-year-olds around to sitting at a desk all day has not helped around my mid-section) I don’t want to exercise to lose weight because in the past I’ve become obsessed and I hate to place so much stock in the scale’s number. I want to exercise so I can be strong and healthy. I want to be able to do a decent number of sit ups today without being unable to laugh because of the abdominal pain tomorrow. I want to be able to run three-five straight miles without fainting or throwing up at the end. I would love to be capable of keeping up with my very athletic, very fit, brother on a sibling run or during a family baseball game etc. I want to be able to help my dad move large items of furniture fearlessly and with some degree of ease. I want enough energy to chase Texie around the backyard for more than 6-8 minutes. I want exercising to be about what I’m going to gain, not what I’m going to lose. I want exercise to become part of my lifestyle, not a fad, but a lasting change. Don’t worry, I won’t be writing any posts just about my daily exercises, but I will occasionally update about how it’s going and what’s been working for me.
The other aspect is my eating habits, or diet per say. I’m not a terrible eater. I don’t eat fast food or meat and I’m not picky. My current diet consists of a large amount of vegetables and fruit, however, it also consists of an insane amount of take-out, unhealthy portions of sugary cereal/other sweets and too many processed foods. I want to concentrate on eating whole healthy (hopefully organic and/or local) foods cooked by me or my loved ones. To my diet, I’d like to add more nutritionally rich grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley, more leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard, and more sources of protein like tofu, Greek yogurt, and nuts. I’d like to cut out things like my daily guilty pleasure of cereals like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Graham Squares, and Wegman’s Blueberry Muffin Squares. Ice-cream, chocolates, prepackaged trail mix, cookies, skittles (all candy), and donuts really need to be eliminated, if not completely, at least minimized to one or two indulgences a week as opposed to the three or four (of each) I currently indulge in per day. One concrete way, I plan to see this to fruition is to try one or two new “healthy” recipes per week. Either I’ll make them up myself based on a variety of recipes or I’ll use a recipe from the surplus of cookbooks I own, but regardless, I do plan to share them here. I also want to limit take-out and restaurant going to 2-3 times a month as opposed to the 2-3 times a week that’s been happening lately.
These healthier lifestyle goals are all part of my quest to be a better version of myself. I’m recording them here so I can hold myself accountable. In the past, I’ve made similar resolutions but for other more narcissistic reasons, and I’ve achieved the goals, only to revert back to my old ways. This time, it’s not about that and I hope this definitive difference is what will make these changes last.
*I don’t think I have clinical hypochondria, and I’m not implying that (for those who are sensitive to people wrongly self-diagnosing with psychological illnesses). I’m referring to the widely-used-some-what-comical-definitely-not-clinical definition of hypochondriach.