Monday, May 23, 2016

Getting to Work

The weekends go by so fast, don't they? During the week, I make a mental list of all the things I am going to accomplish over the weekend and it seems like only a small fraction gets done.  Especially this past weekend, I felt so horrible that I finally went to the urgent care.  I was certain I had bronchitis or pneumonia, I was coughing so hard and so much that I could barely catch my breath.  The nurse practitioner said my lungs are clear, to my surprise, and diagnosed it as a sinus infection.  To be honest, I knew they wouldn't give me anything if it was bronchitis so the sinus infection got me some antibiotics and an inhaler.  I still don't feel any effect but hope the medicine kicks in soon.  My whole body aches!
Whenever I am sick, I eat low-nutrition foods.  I know I'm trying to soothe myself in an ineffective way, especially eating dairy which makes you cough more.  But I can look at it and see what did I feel I was lacking that I thought food could fill? Comfort, rest, sympathy.  Food did not fulfill any of those wants.  Now the key is to realize this in the moment so I can avoid the whole comfort eating altogether.  With this infection I allowed myself to stop trying to work on stuff, and whenever I go on autopilot my menu gets scary.  The fact that I want to go on autopilot should be a big red flag in itself, and should make me reflect on why I feel like I want to be numb or lazy.  It might not stop me every time, especially during hormonal shifts, but it can help me not eat emotionally more of the time, and I think that would be a huge deal in the long run.  And little changes can add up to big results over time.  And with a mindful eating strategy,  it won't be a restrictive, non-sustainable thing that will make me yo-yo, there's no wrong way, it's all about learning what the triggers are and how to get what you need without eating for comfort.  
One of the things that scares me about all the yo-yoing is that my blood pressure has been creeping back up.  The diastolic (bottom number) was normal but the top one was high (159).  While I know having an infection can increase that reading, and I had had some caffeine as well, I know there is a huge family history ( both sides) of heart disease and I don't want to help it out.  I don't have my annual physical until November so I have a few goals in mind to work on to help get my numbers back to normal. 1. Cut back on processed sugars, which I tend to eat emotionally or before my monthly.  Keeping mindful of what my real need is will help.  2. Eat more healthy fats.  3. Cut back on cheese, it's a subpar protein source, even for a vegetarian.  4. Get 60 minutes of cardio in every day at least 4 days a week.  60 minutes can reverse plaque buildup in your arteries and while I don't know what mine look like, I consider this a preventative measure.  It will also help me stave off depression and anxiety that comes every fall and winter.  5. Do more activities that calm, soothe, and relax me such as reading, meditating or snuggling with my husband or taking a hot bath.  I have neglected these things in favor of playing games on my phone or endlessly scrolling through Facebook, which numbs me.  Still relaxing, but checking out.  
I know I won't be perfect but it helps to have a plan to stop or reverse my high blood pressure.  The last thing I want is to be put back on blood pressure medicine.  And worrying about my heart all the time is not what I call relaxing or fun.  So with the school year almost done for my sons, I will have an extra hour in the morning to get that cardio in.  And by the time they go back to school I should be in the habit of doing it, so hopefully it wi t be a big deal to get up a little earlier to get it done.  This is not to loose weight, perse, but I know that might be a nice side effect.  I just hate wondering when I'll have a heart attack instead of if I will.  I have the power to change my story, it'd be absurd not to.  Now I have a good amount of tools for the job.  Time to get some work done!

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