I have four papers and an article due in the next 10 days, so obviously I’m going to write a blog post. (Now that I have less free time than I’ve had in years, I, of course, have all the ideas.)
Over the past few years, it’s been no secret that my mental health has been priority. I’ve been literally trying to stay alive. My physical health has largely been pushed to the back burner.
But now that I’m feeling more stable, I’m ready to start making changes to feel better. And I’ve had a lot of signs and reminders lately.
This weekend, I saw Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour. (I was at the one where she fell when she was literally talking about balance. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a whole arena collectively gasp like that.) She gave us wellness workbooks, and we had to score ourselves in various domain of health: emotional, nutrition, physical movement.
Some of the questions in the nutrition section included: do you eat enough vegetables? Do you drink enough water? Nope and nope. Over these past few years, I’ve told myself that my diet isn’t that bad, that I still eat better than the average American. Well, yes, but that’s not saying much.
As I took a Sunday mid-afternoon nap, I wondered why I was so tired. “Well, Theodora,” I said to myself, “all you’ve had to eat today is carbs, so…”
It was such an a-ha moment of no shit you don’t have much energy because you’re not fueling your body right.
I saw something interesting on Tina Muir’s Instagram last week: “A ‘sweet tooth’ is not necessarily what it seems. For years, I was so addicted to sugar, I HAD to have dessert, even if it meant walking to a store half mile from where I was at 9pm. Really, that wasnâ€™t a sweet tooth craving, it was my body screaming at me for more calories.”
Man, did that resonate. (Disclaimer here that Tina isn’t an RD, but it’s an interesting point.) I have had such cravings for sweets the past few months. It’s rare I don’t have ice cream in my fridge. (But, y’all, So Delicious Oatmeal Cookie Oat Milk ice cream is THE SHIT.) I’ve drastically changed my drinking habits: I rarely have more than one drink, when I used to consider two drinks a light night. And I’ve heard that when you cut back on drinking you have craaaazy sugar cravings. So I’ve been trying to focus on one change at a time, but enough is enough with the sugar.
Plus, I’ve just been feeling pretty unbalanced since starting school. I’m working and going to school full-time, and so I have more going on in my life than I have in years, and it’s an adjustment.
So here’s the small changes I’m going to make. Bonus: this all helps mental health too.
- Make sure to get at least four glasses of water per day. (I’m starting realistically.)
- I’ve cut out refined sugars for Lent. Dark chocolate doesn’t count, though. Jesus would understand.
- More vegetables. I’m going back to my meal delivery service for a bit (with this link, you get $50 off after being a customer for four weeks. BFD, I know.) I’ve also bought some Vega All-in-One to get some extra nutrition in.
- Committing to at least one CircuitWorks class per week. Basically, it’s a local OTF wannabe. But it’s close and on ClassPass, so win. My goal is two times per week but I’m starting realistically.