Lifestyle Change

Listening to My Body

My body has been trying to tell me it isn’t balanced. My waist has slowly grown over the summer. My energy has started decreasing and I just haven’t quite felt like myself. It has taken me a little while, okay several months, for me to listen to the message my body was clearly sending! My doctor sent me for labs. After reviewing the labs we determined my body is definitely not creating the important hormones like it used to. My labs indicated I have a lot of stress. The bloodwork doesn’t lie. I need to figure out a way to reduce stress.

A couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to have the PULS testing done at a special rate. The PULS test is a simple blood test that can identify undetected heart disease through 9 clinically significant biomarkers. I do have high blood pressure and am middle aged so participating in this test seemed like a no brainer! I was scared to get the results but figured that knowledge is power.  I received the results  and they are and aren’t quite what I expected. I expected to be in the normal range-which I was, I expected to see I have too much stress, and I expected to see that my visceral fat was high. I didn’t expect to see my heart age is 15 years older than my chronological age. That was a real eye opener.

The good news is 80% of heart disease can be eliminated through life style change. 80%-that seems like a no brainer. Why aren’t more people making simple adjustments to their lives to decrease their chances of heart disease? It won’t be easy and I will have to be committed to my own success but I am worth it!

Lifestyle Changes and Healthy Choices

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I do not purport to be a doctor. I am not licensed to practice medicine. These are ideas I have discussed with knowledgeable people.

Here are five simple lifestyle changes I am going to make:

  1. I have started taking this fish oil. It contains pure Norwegian Arctic Cod oil (Omega 3), Pomegranate Seed oil (Omega 5) and Pollock Fish oil (Omega 7). I am going to take a double dose for a month to see if I can increase my LDL and reduce inflammation. After a month I will take the normal dose. To purchase leave a message at here and somebody will be in touch with you shortly. This fish oil is $66 for a month supply and can be reduced to $55 with a three month commitment.
  2. I will continue the morning walks with my dogs. We currently walk for 19 minutes. Ideally I will bump this up to 30 minutes but that will be down the road. I don’t want to try to do too much and then not be able to make any improvements.
  3. I am going to add weight bearing exercise back into the routine at least 3 times a week. Three times seems doable. I was doing this earlier in the year and slipped out of the habit.
  4. I am going to focus on losing the fat in my mid section. Notice I didn’t say weight. My main focus will be on measurement. My waist has grown several inches over the summer and I need to reduce it.
    1. I am cutting out sugar. This will be the hardest thing for me. Sugar is in almost every single processed product. Sugar causes lots of inflammation in the body. I am an avid label reader so I will just have to leave them on the shelf.
    2. I am leaving all processed flour behind. This isn’t too hard as I have a gluten allergy. Adios to my GF pasta. Hello zoodles and spaghetti squash.
    3. Goodbye starchy potatoes. I know you raise my blood sugar and you just aren’t good for my body.

Reduce the stress in my life. I am not sure where to start with this.

Please help me- what do you do to intentionally reduce stress in your life?

 

Plan Your Best Morning Ritual!

Can you imagine waking up on Monday, or any other work day morning, and not have to rush out the door? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a morning ritual that allowed you to do something you totally enjoyed before heading out the door?

Prince
Prince-cause of the morning ritual upgrade!

Last October we brought a new dog to our home. He was a morning dog from an earlier time zone-ugh. (Just ask my kids-they will tell you to not wake up mom unless there is blood.) Every morning, before my alarm goes off, he will gently touch me with a front paw. If I roll over and ignore him he will make a little rolling sound, not quite a growl and not quite a bark, just a, “Come on already. Invite me up to scratch my ears,” noise. Sometimes I will keep my eyes closed and he will lay back down. At that point I start to worry that he needs to go out and there is absolutely no going back to sleep. After months of gritting my teeth, being sleep deprived and incredibly grumpy I decided to embrace the early morning wake ups. This is how I created a joyful morning ritual. If this former night owl can do it, you can do it too by following these steps.

Step 1. Imagine two or three things that would bring you joy in the morning and set a positive tone for the rest of the day. I decided I would walk the dogs then drink my Trimmy Lite coffee and invest in myself by reading or watching something that improves my life. Eventually I would also like to add time to write and post on social media but I need to work up to that. It is taking a while to adjust my natural circadian rhythm.

Step 2. Figure out how much time it takes to accomplish each joyful morning ritual. Remember to add in preparation time and clean up time. I knew it took me approximately 40 minutes to put harnesses on the dogs, walk them and return home. I planned on another 20 minutes to make my coffee and invest in myself. Ultimately I would also like to spend at least 30 minutes writing and posting on social media.

Step 3. Add the times together. My joyful morning ritual would take an hour. Adjust your morning alarm to allow for your new morning rituals.

Step 4. This is one of the most important steps. Adjust the time you go to bed. Ask yourself how much sleep you need to wake up feeling rested. Using reverse engineering to determine your new bed time by counting backwards the amount of sleep needed from your wake up time. As an added bonus set an evening alarm to remind you to head to bed. I have two evening alarms set on my phone: one to let me know when to start winding down and the second to remind me to brush my teeth and wash my face. I have also added a few extra minutes where I can read a book. I have found reading a book allows for better rest than if I read on an electronic device.

Step 5. Consistently use self-discipline and you will have an outstanding morning ritual that will start your day off on a positive note.

Step 6. Adjust your routine as needed. I thought I could easily get up one and a half hours earlier than normal but it just wasn’t working for me. I reviewed my morning routine and determined what I could comfortably handle each morning. I eliminated one activity and will add it back to my morning ritual at a later point in time.

Instead of being grumpy and exhausted I am finding I have a lot more enthusiasm and energy every day by incorporating this new joyful morning ritual. What things would you include in your morning ritual?