First, I've gone to a strictly gluten free diet. I had been mostly gluten free for a couple of years but I would fall off the wagon at least once a week. My friend A's coconut cake, Chinese food, something yummy at dinner...I cheated a lot. Several months ago a friend was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I've eaten many meals with this friend and had a general idea about her health habits and complaints and I don't think we are that different in our eating and healthy lifestyles. I realized that whether I have a real issue gluten or just feel better when I don't eat gluten, it's important for me to stick to it. Since I quit gluten all together I have not had any sore throats, stuffy nose or gassy stomach pains.
I've also stopped my daily intake of alcohol and just so you know, I LOVE wine. There is almost nothing I looked forward to more than a glass of wine. Sometimes I caught myself watching the clock...is it 5 yet? Some days I was really good, I filled my glass to the exact 5 ounce fill line and stopped after that one glass. But most days I snuck another splash here and there. I'd finish my glass while making dinner and then want more with my meal. And on weekends I could easily have 2 or 3 glasses every day...because it's the weekend! I found myself feeling bad about the amount I was drinking. When I drink more I don't sleep as well and I definitely feel it the next day. A couple of glasses will give me a headache for sure. And even when I have the best intentions, once the wine starts flowing it's really hard to put a cork in that bottle. I decided that I would only drink on very special occasions but my daily wine had to go. I drink sparkling water in a wine glass now. It was not easy, especially the first week, but it's been 3 weeks now and I am AMAZED at how much better I feel. No foggy head. No headaches. I'm sleeping better, my overall mood is better. And, not insignificantly, my perimenopause symptoms from which I have suffered for the last 8 months (I'm only 43, kinda young for hot flashes!) HAVE DISAPPEARED. Not one hot flash since I stopped drinking. And, for the record, I have had wine. Once at a party. With my in laws while they visited. But not every day. Not even every week.
I'm also sharing one of my favorite recent ICADs so there is a little art in here, too. This is day 8.
Micron pen on an index card. Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.
Click here to see my other ICAD's for 2013
I've mentioned recently that I started a bootcamp. I have been in an exercise rut. Time constraints, a young dog that needs lots of long walks/runs, my yoga practice and a desire to cut back on my monthly expenses all contribute to the fact that for the first time in my adult life I don't belong to a gym (oh, how I miss spinning!) I go to Bikram Yoga once or twice a week but the rest of my exercise needs have been met outdoors with my dog. In theory it's great, but running too often results in recurring injuries for me. While I love walking but some days I need a more intense workout. On a whim I decided to try a bootcamp. Good God, it's hard but I love it. I joined the 6 week session during week 4 and I've been doing it for a little over a week. Because I am paying for it I am forcing myself to go as often as possible. I've gone 5 times now. I love being pushed after such a long time of feeling blah about my workouts. I have 2 1/2 more weeks to go. Although some of the people seem to be regulars going back all the time, I like the idea of challenging my body and then backing off. Too much of a good thing is not always good and our bodies get used to the same exercise. It's good to mix it up. Ideally I'd like to join 2 or 3 sessions a year. For my birthday and Christmas I'll be asking for bootcamp gift certificates!
I'm writing all this down here to share with you because of the three things I listed above, giving up gluten, giving up daily alcohol and starting a more intense exercise program have all, at different times, sounded utterly impossible to me. And yet, I have done them all and feel so much better.
Can you do one thing that you know will be hard but will make you feel better?
This post is called part 1 because I have also embarked on IF. Not Illustration Friday, which I need to get back to...but intermittent fasting. It's too soon for me to write about it so stay tuned...
Learn more about the super fun challenge of creating one index card a day for June and July but clicking below. Join anytime.