Wellness: An Odyssey, Or How I'm Trying To Get My Shit Together Post-Grad, Part 1
I typed the title and already got tired. Seriously, I already considered quitting. I have Moana open in the tag to the right. It would be so easy.
What is it about post-grad that's making me revert to my high school (ok, fine, elementary school) self? There is not a candy bar around me I won't eat. There isn't a bag of pretzels that will stand a chance against me at 1 AM. I sleep with a giant stuffed Stitch.
I thought that after graduation I would be even more organized - having all the free time I so longed for during college. I have free time, but I don't. And it keeps being an excuse for me to not workout.
But alas, I am absolutely and entirely out of balance. I used to eat ridiculously healthy (one time, I went four whole months plant-based - without dairy obviously, or processed sugar, or gluten. I felt like a god - until I got so sick with tonsillitis I had to go to the hospital). I exercised every day. I had ab muscles I didn't know I could ever have. I meditated every day. Some days - twice a day. And not some sketchy five-minute meditation, I'm talking month long half-hour Headspace streaks, bitches.
And then I graduated. I've been living between Europe and New York, and my body is in a three-month back and forth cycle which consists of me having no proper sleep schedule, or healthy diet, or stable exercise regime.
I feel so out of control. I bought a little fold-out notebook the cover of which read "I promise to be more organized" and then I lost it. Almost immediately.
Today, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Enough!"
I say this to myself every night. And then in the morning, I want a croissant with Nutella.
Maybe this time is different? Maybe. I've started writing this, so I hope it will keep me in check. Don't laugh at me. Or do - actually. This should be good.
Saturday, October 7
Maybe starting this when I'm sick isn't the best idea.
I think I dozed off when doing Headspace. But I did it anyway.
I got a head cold on a flight from hell. (Try not to fly on a Polish airline. They actually had to borrow a plane from Spain for some reason. So maybe don't fly on a Spanish airline? None of the screens on the seats worked, the spotlight lamps were all on the whole time courtesy of broken 19th Century armrest remotes, and they had those aisle screens that played a very blurry Spiderman with Tobey Maguire on a loop for eight hours. When I asked for a gin and tonic - as one does on an international flight - they told me I had to buy a bottle of gin and bottle of tonic from Duty-Free. Maybe I'm spoiled regarding flights, but if I'm paying so much money, don't I at least deserve gin and a just-out-of-the-theater movie? Anyway, they had good legroom. Whatever).
I must have been so stressed that my immune system crashed. This happens when I'm really sad or angry. It usually leads to the hospital or almost to the hospital, but this time it's not that bad. I just feel like I've been dropped out of the plane. Which honestly, might have been better.
I had a giant breakfast with avocado and turkey and sauteed kale and it was wonderful. I know what you're thinking. This basic bitch already said "avocado". It is what it is. I might as well call this whole series Things I Eat With Avocadoes.
I love a giant breakfast, because then, even if I forget to eat lunch, I'm okay till dinner. Even better is to make a wholesome bowl that's full of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Feelin' good, like I'm on the right track. I sauteed the kale with garlic. Hack - instead of squeezing a little lemon on your sauteed kale, add a tiny bit of freshly-squeezed orange juice.
By the way, this all seems delicious, but I can't taste anything, the joke's on me. Everything tastes the same way.
I did some exercises laying down. Mostly legs lifts and such. Laying down is good right now. I also did a "cold yoga" flow for fifteen minutes which consisted of one downward dog and dozing off in child's pose. I feel dead. I slept 11 hours, but I still feel dead.
I did a blueberry antioxidant facemask and fell asleep with it on. My face has broken out after the horrid airplane air, so I'm dealing with that too. Giving up and living underground for the rest of my life seems like the best option right now.
Monday, November 13
You're probably thinking...wait, what? It was just October 7!
Can we just ignore that? Pretend I totally stuck to monitoring what I eat?
At least I'm being honest. And I'll catch you up on what's been happening.
I went to the doctor and I am deficient in Vitamin D. I'm always deficient in Vitamin D. Probably because I hate the sun, I hate going outside when it's sunny, I slather myself with sunscreen even if I have to walk to the gym because I want my skin to be as baby-smooth and wrinkle-free as my mom's at 46. She looks fabulous.
Anyway, I'm not surprised but this is an excuse for me to add another Vitamin to my obsession with supplements and vitamins which came to a brief pause when I was in Prague (too lazy there).
Vitamin D is super important to your body - it actually functions like a hormone, and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it. Some of the symptoms of having a vitamin D deficiency is fatigue, getting sick often, depression, hair loss. All of which I have. Except for depression. Thank God (ok, not god god, but like, my own brain for not being depressed). I do feel like I'm completely non-hormonal and I always have delayed periods (sometimes for months) even though nothing is wrong with my lady parts.
My doctor also recommended I take magnesium because she said that my constant chocolate cravings may be my body's way of letting me know I need more magnesium. It makes sense. I sleep badly and my heart is really unstable, as in, it's a total bitch and will start beating at 120 bpm at 3am for no reason (ok, maybe a "reason" is "suppressed panic" according to the doctor, and that's why I have dreams about scary pig men and bears who want to eat my sugar free Jell-o vanilla pudding).
As an alternative to going outside for Vitamin D (it's cold! never!) I've been taking the Nutri-Rich Vitamin D and Magnesium alongside my daily women's multivitamin for about two weeks, and I'm pretty sure that I feel calmer and I've been eating less chocolate. That's not to say I haven't been eating a lot of chocolate, just that I've been okay switching to "healthy" chocolate and not waking up at night thinking about warm double chocolate muffins (if that hasn't happened to you, you're lying). Are the results visible immediately? No. But there is a less icky feeling to general existence, and I do think I can attribute some of that to be getting back to my vitamins again.
Speaking of chocolate muffins, if you're a chocolate addict but you're trying not to get diabetes at the tender age of 25, you've probably already looked at alternatives for the Snickers PMS stash. I have too. I still always go back to real chocolate (if you can call Dark Milky Way real chocolate? I'm pretty sure there's nothing "real" about it). I've also convinced myself that I love me some organic/fair trade/super expensive 80% dark chocolate. I almost believe it at this point. My favorite "healthy day" alternative to bad-for-you chocolate has been Loving Earth. It tastes like chocolate, but it's somehow creamier. And the ingredients are great. I've only tried two chocolates out of their variety, and I hope I can eat my way through it soon. I'll keep you updated on that. Also, see the photo? By the time it was taken, those boxes were empty. I'm good at eating. I wish it was my career. Just eating.
I hope that by the time I have to get pregnant (couple years away, phew) I will be more mindful and healthy. The problem is that I have all this knowledge and I only put it to use when I'm feeling so very wonderful in the couple weeks around ovulation. I'm energetic and motivated to make great choices! But then the hormones spike and I am a slug with slug needs and a slug lifestyle (eating chocolate - don't dispute me on this).
P.S. Have you ever watched What The Health? If you haven't - don't. It's a waste of your time. It's a ridiculously overexaggerated documentary produced by Joaquin Phoenix that makes it seem like the cure for everything is a plant-based diet (It's not. I've tried it for months with the help of a nutritionist, as I've mentioned before, and all I got from it was nice abs and tonsillitis and a bunch of vitamin deficiencies). They also make doctors seem like morons who know nothing about nutrition. They also take some stone cold facts such as the fact that cholesterol is bad for you and fail to mention that there are two types of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the "good" cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream. (higher levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a lower risk of heart disease) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is the bad cholesterol we know kills.
What The Health? is in the realm of 9/11 documentaries that say that Bush did it. There are some facts and they get some things right, absolutely, but you're better off learning about nutrition from real nutritionists and not fear-mongering conspiracy theorists. And if you choose to eat meat and fish, choose them wisely.
P.P.S They also essentially said fish kills babies. And that sugar is not bad for you.
P.P.P.S. They weren't wrong about dairy though, milk is absolutely disgusting and you should never put it in your body.
To be continued...