Taking the ‘body’ theme a step further from my last post, I’ve been feeling a lot better in my body recently. And when I say ‘in my body’, what I’m really talking about, is in my head.
But first of all, (and for the record), my recovery is still a work in progress and so, fear not, this post is not about trying to emulate Mrs Smug Blogger here. I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be back to my old Whinging Pom self by my next post.
In fact, you may not even have gauged this extraordinary shift in my outlook from my recent writing, because good news is hardly my style, and I’d be quite mortified to be known as one of those bloggers who makes her readers want to stick their finger down their throats because they’re so fucking perfect.
But for those of my faithful, who read my blog more than once a year, you’ll know that I began to suffer from some anxiety issues with the onset of middle-age, along with some mild depression. In the words of Adele, ‘shit happens’, and we all have our crosses to bear, and some of us just don’t carry them quite as easily as others. But when my skin flared up with Rosacea about six months ago – one of those physical markers that tell you that things aren’t quite right – vanity kicked in, forcing me finally to address my lifestyle and make some significant changes.
Fear not, my fellow alchies, I haven’t become tee-total or a complete fucking saint/martyr and given up the wine, although according to an article in Spectator Health this week, The Great Alcohol Cover Up, governments have been vastly exaggerating the safe levels of how much we can drink.
As I suspected…and SO much more on this in a later post.
And I haven’t followed any crazy, unrealistic diet either, or really lost any weight for that matter, but I am feeling better, and more importantly, feeling better equipped to cope with what is thrown my way – because let’s face it, all the new-age positivity in the world can’t change what fate has in store for us.
So here are the five things I’ve changed in my day-to-day life – not dramatically, but enough to make the difference I needed:
- I Removed several toxic relationships in my life that unbeknownst to me at the time had actually begun to affect my health. We make many friends and acquaintances during our lifetime, but we also change as we develop and sometimes we have to let go of relationships that become more of a challenge than a pleasure.
- I tweaked my diet. Led by the gazillion articles I digested on how to treat Rosacea (and much to the chagrin of the old man), I ordered every natural product I could find online to treat it. Long and short, the Apple Cider Vinegar did fuck all, but I’m definitely less bloated and nauseous since I began to take a serious look at the acid levels in my gut and my ‘flora’. I started taking daily probiotics as well as eating more green shit, which seems to have created a better balance. I’ve also (virtually) eliminated red meat, because although I’m an absolute caveman when it comes to roast lamb, I always felt lethargic and crap after it and it consumes unnecessary calories in my book. Finally, I found out what a standard glass of wine actually looks like (shock, horror!) and I am more careful now in terms of portion control – of both alcohol and food. Unhealthy pre-dinner snacks have been replaced by chopped up veggies and healthy dips and for breakfast I only have fruit and yoghurt.
- I slowed down my pace of life by doing and taking on less, AKA I learned to say ‘no’. I’m that person that can’t say ‘no’ and I pride myself on being an achiever. I used to kid myself that I function better when I’m busy, and maybe when I was younger I did, but not so much now. I had begun to resent all those activities and projects that took up my time and never gave me any sense of satisfaction. I ended up in the horrible position of not doing anything particularly well. I didn’t have the self-discipline or confidence to withdraw from those activities by myself but fate stepped in/I was pushed and situations changed, although admittedly it took every ounce of strength not to replace them with something else I didn’t really want to do. But I now have the luxury of extra time to focus on my ‘real’ job better, as well as my personal priorities, that include ‘me.’
- Don’t laugh but I’ve become a serious walker, not with the intention of losing weight or getting fit necessarily, but to clear my head each day and give myself time to think and review what’s going well in my life and what needs adjusting. ‘Walking’ cleanses my soul, helps eliminate the bad stuff that plagues my head and burns off about 300 calories/hour that I can use for wine later in the day.
- I’m sleeping better. I forgot to mention that I’ve also (virtually) removed caffeine from my diet, which has stopped a lot of those nasty menopausal hot flashes and sweating. I’m not that bore that orders water in a café – I still drink decaf tea and coffee – but I’m definitely sleeping better since I made the switch. It could also be because I’ve done numbers 1-4 above, of course. Did you know that ‘sleep’ is apparently the most important factor to longevity of life? I’ve also tried to get off the computer at least half an hour before bedtime and even managed to read a whole book!