It’s a dramatic title, I know. But I am ill this week.
I came down with a bad cold and/or acute bronchitis over 10 days ago. In fact, I began developing whatever this is over the holidays but it has just gotten worse. Finally, after a visit to a CVS minute clinic a week ago (which was not helpful) and an another visit to an immediate care (a part of my physician’s office) yesterday, I am happily consuming several medications (plus some interesting home remedies) which, I hope, will ease my misery…and soon.
The start of a new year should be positive, energizing, hopeful. Well, 2016 did not exactly start that way. All my January plans have been postponed. I have missed several important events. And I have been moving rather slowly in getting other important stuff done.
Feeling like sh*t has given me plenty of time for thinking, however. While I laid in bed angry and in pain from excessive coughing, I began contemplating this notion that health (mental, physical, and otherwise) should be our number one priority. Yet, ironically, it often isn’t. Many of us spend so much time focused on other things … until we get sick, that is.
I hate being sick. I am grateful that, on average, I am a fairly healthy person and I don’t get sick very often. And, of course, my little cold cannot really compare to someone’s serious condition. However, when I don’t feel well, I don’t feel well. It just sucks. It’s not a reflection of how “strong” or “weak” we are, and there’s definitely no shame in it. It doesn’t really matter how big or small the issue is. It’s still uncomfortable. I am sure you can relate. At least I hope you can.
So, in the effort to learn something from these two weeks of half-functioning, I decided to choose healthier living as another resolution for 2016. I am not some “health freak” and I don’t necessarily see myself becoming one, but I figured some simple, easy to implement “healthy habits” would help me stay healthy or, at the very least, make me feel better the next time I get sick (i.e. at least I can say I had put the effort in preventing the illness!)
Did I also mention that I have gained a few extra pounds? Yes, yes, the holidays…
Here are some of the simple things I thought about implementing in order to live healthier:
- Eat plain oatmeal daily. This is really good for our body…it also curbs our hunger. (If you need to sweeten it, try adding some honey.)
- Stay away from the sweets and fried foods. My rule is: if you want something sweet, have a piece of chocolate. If you want something fatty, do it only once a week.
- Walk more in general, and walk my dog for longer distances — rain or shine. We walk about a mile daily, but I am sure we can do better. It would be handy to get that battery for my Activité watch, too, and (again) start to get 10,000 steps daily.
- Drink a lot of water, consistently (8-12 cups!) And tea, too!
- Work out … there’s a particular, 15 min exercise I learned from Tim Ferris that I plan to embark upon once my bronchitis subsides. The goal is not to get ripped; the goal is to create a habit of exercising.
- Get at least 7 hours of quality sleep. I have found that reading an actual, physical book before bed and staying away from the blue light of tv’s, phones, computers, and tablets is really helpful in assuring a better quality sleep.
- Make the effort to eat more vegetables and wild-caught fish, and less meat and poultry. It’s better for me. I love a good steak as well as a lamb chop or veal medallions, but I am torn knowing how poorly our food industry, on average, treats animals. That can’t be good for our health … unless I am farming my own animals, which isn’t likely to happen. Ever.
- Eat smaller portions. I am notorious at waiting until I am absolutely starved to eat…then, of course, I binge. I have to stop doing this. It’ll be hard, but I’ll try.
- Take vitamins. I take vitamins…just not every day.
- Forgive myself every time I fall off track … and get back to it right away. If I have one cookie, doesn’t mean I need to have an entire bag. Likewise, if some days I don’t manage to walk 10,000 steps, I can make it up the next day. The key is to keep pushing.
What do you think? Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear them.
I base these steps on my previous experience from 2010, when I lost about 50 pounds and brought myself to a much better health…not to mention the positive mental impact that change has had on me. So, I trust it will work this time, too.
Maybe in 6 months I’ll upload a picture of myself with a six-pack. Maybe not. Or, I may, again, go out on a rant about being sick and how I only have one wish: to feel better. In any event, I hope we can all remember how important our health is. Without it, no goal really matters…because we are not likely to accomplish anything, or even feel truly happy, unless we can get out of the bed and feel reasonably well.
Here’s to your health and happiness!