Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thoughts on A Thursday Personal Lifestyle Changes


Everyone makes them, some make them more frequently than others. We all try things to see if it will fit us or our way of life, will it work with my health issues, will it make me feel better about myself, will it ... just what will it do for me? Yes, I am right there in that group. I make changes all the damn time. And I will readily admit I do it for selfish reasons. I do it for me. To make me feel better about myself.

From the time I was 22 I colored my hair, I mostly stayed with the red tones to bring out the natural reds that were already there, but then when the bolder colors became popular, I was right there sporting not only a new wild color but a radical new cut to go along with it. My favorite color in the late 90's and early 2000, that isn't available any longer was called Purple Onyx, it was the most awesome deep dark purple with black undertones. Yep, that was my favorite ... sigh. In the past few years, I went with a deep burgundy wine and even though I thought it was awesome at the time, it just wasn't Purple Onyx, LOL!

I wore acrylic nails and they were long LONG I tell you! Crazy colors, nail art all over each of them and I made sure to redo them at least every 7 to 10 days. Thank the Gods I am a licensed cosmetologist or those habits would have cost me a small fortune! I used to wear tips and then add extra length to them by using one of the forms used for creating sculptured nails. Yeah, I was one of those crazy people. But, working in a nail salon, doing nails all day, people wanted to see a "living canvas" for nail art designs back then. So I was more than happy to oblige.

Last year I sat down and did some very deep soul searching, from that I made the most radical changes I've ever made in my life. I stopped coloring my hair and have gone completely gray, I'm so proud of the white "halo" as Jimmy calls it that is beginning to frame my face. I'm letting my hair grow out, well so far I am. We'll see how well I do once the temperature rises and I have to figure out how to keep it off my face and neck in the heat and humidity. I've mostly stopped wearing artificial nails and only put them on when we are going someplace special or I've grown tired of the way my natural nails look. You see, I'm a nail biter, that's the ONE habit I've not been able to overcome. When I'm stressed, or nervous or just plain tired I bite my nails. I've even been known to chew the acrylic off if I'm upset enough.

My biggest issue at least to me is my health and weight. Up until March of this year, I hadn't had any type of health insurance since I worked for Marshall's in 2009. So doctor visits and regular checkups just didn't happen. I've self-diagnosed Fibromyalgia and have been living with and treating those symptoms for almost 2 years. However, it's also possible I have thyroid issues and I know I'm in line to be diagnosed with diabetes since both my parents were diabetic before they passed away. Tanya has Hashimoto's and that led to her having hypothyroidism which is also genetic.

With Jimmy's new job we now have great insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield and after the beginning of May I'll be looking for a doctor so I can start the process of finding out exactly what is going on with me and then healing or treating that issue. I have a laundry list of things to talk to a new doctor about and while I know I won't be able to thoroughly cover every one of them in the first visit, I'm hoping I can at least get him or her to determine which one(s) they feel would be the more important to work on right away. I'm tired of not feeling good, I'm tired of hurting all the damn time, and I'm tired of not being able to lose weight no matter what I try. And try I do. I eat healthier now than I ever have in my entire life! But, eating healthy doesn't make much difference if you can't exercise and it is very difficult for me to even walk to the mailbox each day without my legs hurting.

Last August and September I was using a product called Thrive and it really made a difference in the way I felt each day. It's a 3 step process that combines a daily dose of two capsules, a dermal patch, and a shake, add in with that a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. I also was eating differently too, lower fats, less carbs and more fruit and vegetables with lean meats. I stopped using it because I couldn't process the justification of the cost, it isn't cheap. But, since I have been not using it I can tell the difference in my daily activity limits. When I was using the 3 steps every day as recommended I noticed an increase in my ability to move more pain-free. I could walk up the front steps without pausing after each step, I wasn't out of breath after walking up to the mailbox and back and I was sleeping much better at night without having to take Tylenol PM or more recently Melatonin. Like anything that is good for you and worth having Thrive costs ... about $150.00 each month. Is it worth it? To me it is and I'd like to try to work it back into the budget so I can begin again.

This is also about the time I figured out I needed to remove gluten from my diet as it is a hindrance with both thyroid disease and fibromyalgia. I'm also guessing gluten can be a factor with the management of diabetes as well, so eliminating all things gluten just seemed to be a healthy choice. Except, I fell off that wagon. Pasta and bread are my drug ... and no matter how many different gluten-free choices of pasta or bread I tried they just didn't satisfy. Either the texture was wrong or the flavor was off. The sauces and spices I could work with ... my battle is with the pasta and bread ...sigh. And it is an ongoing, ever-changing, always challenging daily fight for me.

So, once again I'm working on personal changes for me and my healthy being. I've done it before. I can do it again, it's going to be a little more difficult and a different situation, this time around. But with the other changes happening around me, it's way past time I get "me" in line and shaped up.