The weeks leading up to the end of the year are always special to me. Not only do we celebrate Christmas, but we also celebrate my birthday. As we were with my family over the holiday, we were talking about growing up and what I was like as a kid. I had health issues from the time I was born, but no one could really figure out what was wrong. I would just scream and scream. Sometimes I would cry so hard that I would pass out! As I grew older, I started experiencing pain all over, from migraines, to my body literally just aching all of the time. As I got into my teenage years, it kept getting worse and worse. I was told by my doctors that I essentially just had some bad genes, and there was not much, aside from medications, that could help. The thing was, I would try medication after medication, and while they would help for a little while, each one would eventually stop working.
By the time I was in college, I hit my rock bottom. I was prescribed 13 medications a day, and I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. That was when I dove deep into my diet and lifestyle. As I started making small and sustainable changes, I started feeling better, and I began to realize that 99% of my symptoms were caused by my poor diet and lifestyle.
This past week I turned 28. I feel 100 times better than I did when I was a teenager! I have more energy than I have ever had before. I owe it all to taking better care of my body. I now make decisions about what I do and what I put in my body based on how I want to feel. Here are 3 things that have helped me feel better even as I get older:
- I manage my blood sugar and hormones by eating regular meals throughout the day. I never skip meals! For years, my weight yo-yoed, and I could not figure out why. It was because I was grazing and often skipping meals. Now I eat 4-5 small meals a day. I also eat my vegetables first, followed by protein, and then fat and carbs. This helps my body best balance my blood sugar levels. When I snack and eat random things throughout the day, I experience fluctuations in my sugars which results in my weight yo-yoing and also feeling moody and tired.
- I prioritize sleep.I am that girl when I am out that counts backward on my fingers to figure out when I need to be on my way home.. If I go to bed at this time and have to wake up at this time, how many hours of sleep am I going to get? I strive to get at least 7 hours a night and wake up at the same time every day. I find that an early wake up makes the biggest difference in my energy and mood.
- I intentionally move my body every single day. I have done this for 2 years straight -even on my wedding day! I hop on my elliptical every single morning as soon as I wake up. Some days it is for 30 minutes; other days it is only for 5 minutes. I have found that continuing to keep this practice even when I do not have time keeps me in the routine of doing it. Now it is just second nature. Even if it is just for 5 minutes, I feel good starting my day knowing I accomplished something. I love the way moving my body makes me feel so much that I do resistance training 5 days a week during my lunch break. While just being in the routine feels amazing in itself, resistance training is such a great stress reliever. It helps remove negative energy from the body.