I don’t know about you but I am loving that the weather seems to finally be turning to spring. My family and I have been enjoying the longer days outdoors between basketball practice and all other activities. I have started taking midday walks again and enjoying some much needed me time.
Recently, I made a commitment to myself to take better care of my physical health. For those of you who don’t know, three years ago, I had a total thyroidectomy. Life without a thyroid has been truly interesting. I thought I struggled while being hypothyroid with a thyroid, but it is a completely different struggle when you are hypo without a thyroid.
I never knew the importance of this butterfly-shaped organ, until I no longer had one.
Needless to say, I struggled to lose weight when I had a thyroid, but the struggle became even harder once I had surgery to have it removed. Despite my efforts years ago (diet and exercise changes), I gained 30 lbs following my surgery.
I read and researched my options, consulted my doctor, switched up my medication and nothing helped. Not to mention the fatigue, dry skin and hair, hair changes and loss (my eyebrows are disappearing more and more every day), cold/warm fluctuations, and occasional constipation, being without a thyroid has taken me on quite a journey.
So last year, I quit.
I stopped exercising and dieting and just started living. I was so obsessed with the scale and exercise that it consumed my life. I took a necessary step back. I just became more aware of what I ate and when I ate, and believe it or not I have lost more weight since I stopped obsessing over losing weight. I am almost back to my pre-surgery weight and I am thrilled.
This has encouraged me to set some new goals and start taking better care of physical health. However, I will not make the mistakes of the past. I will no longer obsess over my diet and pressure myself to go to the gym. Instead, I am committed to consciously making better food choices, taking walks and also enjoying time with my kids. I have started teaching my girls how to play basketball, as well as playing tag and other games with them outside. You’d be surprised just how many steps you get and how much activity comes from playing with your kids.
Exercise doesn’t have to look like exercise to count as exercise.
That was a mouthful, but here’s the point, be creative and have fun. Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t go to the gym or you can’t do a traditional workout in your home. Instead look for creative ways to be active.
For instance, now when my daughters ask to go outside instead of sitting on the porch watching them, I am taking them around the block or joining in on their activities. I don’t always feel like it, but I have reminded that my physical health is just as important as mental health and vice versa.
I recently joined a 90 day fit challenge with a few friends. It’s no pressure, no strict rules, just a group of women joined together to motivate each other to achieve our goals. Having accountability partners is great for this process, just make sure to surround yourself with the right circle of friends.
So for #TakeCareTuesday, I want you to find ways to take care of your physical health.
Self-care is about the total body, not just the mental component. Many of us think of self-care as doing something nice for yourself, going out and having me time, reading a book, etc. Yes, all of that feels good, and all of that is good, but I want you to look at your physical self-care.
What foods are you eating? What are you putting in your body? Are you even stopping and having meals or grabbing snacks on the go? Are you taking the time to sit and enjoy your food or are you constantly in go mode? I have recently committed to taking time to make healthy choices. Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. You can get great quality food on a budget. Honestly, there really are no excuses these days to not adopting a healthier lifestyle.
How about your activity level? Are you active? Are you getting enough steps in a day or moving around enough? Are you finding time for 30 minutes of some type of heart-pumping activity be it traditional cardio, dancing, or playing with your kids?
It’s time to take time to care for you.
In your pursuit to physical health and wellbeing do not become obsessed with the scale, weight loss, and restricting your diet instead aim for a lifestyle change and gradually you will see changes within your body and when you look in the mirror.
You didn’t get this away overnight so it is unrealistic to expect a complete body makeover in 30 days. Although you won’t see complete changes, by being intentional about your health you will start to see slow changes day-to-day.
Be patient. Trust the process. Most of all, enjoy life.
For tips and other ways to take care of yourself, read “10 Ways To Take Better Care of Yourself Now.”
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Until Next Time,