It’s time I gave myself a reboot. Not just getting back to taking care of my mental health, but taking care of my physical health too. It is all tied up, and I know it is something I should not ignore.
So I recently put myself on a pre-diet diet, that is I started to cut out the yummy things. No more chocolate doughnuts – in fact, no more chocolate or sweet biscuits, etc. Smaller portions of food, time-restricted eating so no grazing away after dinner in front of the TV.
That was hard as I have a shocking sweet tooth.
Then alcohol. Alcohol stacks on the weight and really, people like me shouldn’t really drink that much anyway. The last thing an impulsive person with emotional control issues should do is drink – well drink a lot anyway.
I had got into bad habits, I admit it. They say you shouldn’t drink alone, but I live alone and feel threatened in environments where other people are drunk so …ah, that was my excuse anyway.
After two weeks of those simple changes, I started to feel a LOT better. I was fresher, calmer, I was able to sleep better, I felt fitter and stronger and had a lot more energy and vigour. I dropped 5kgs and was really pleased with myself.
Now I’m on the proper diet, with calorie counting and meal plans, etc.
I am loving it. Not just the delicious food, but the fact that it enables me to get back into cooking fresh food again. I get to play in the kitchen with healthy and delicious results. My fridge is packed with leafy green things. Nuts, seeds and canned oily fish, frozen fish, full-fat yoghurt and thick creamy milk and butter are a part of my new diet, and it all tastes so good.
Funnily even though my calorie intake is about a third of what it was, I am not hungry in the slightest – in fact I feel great and struggle to eat this much food. Healthier food seems to “spread out” the energy or whatever it does and keep me fuller for more extended periods. I’m continuing with time-restricted eating and am actually sleeping better.
I wake up with plenty of energy and go for a walk with the dog straight away, before breakfast and before coffee. In fact, I am back to doing a couple of turns around the town (at least) a day – and the weight? Well, that is falling off.
Four days ago I could not see my feet, and from the side, I looked about 9 months pregnant. My belly stuck out way more than my boobs. Now I can look at my feet, and my stomach is back where it belongs – I no longer look as though I am about to give birth and I can walk instead of waddling around.
I’m being really strict with myself on sleep hygiene because insomnia has been a problem for most of my life, well I am putting routine and structure throughout the day now, to be honest.
I’m using a diary with daily to-do lists as well as my DBT diary cards to track my moods, urges and skill usage. I find that really helpful. I can see patterns and any triggers are noted so I can see what skills are the most beneficial to use in a given situation.
Spending at least 10 minutes and often more meditating is part of my new routine. This was the number one thing my doc wanted me to do. It does help, there is no denying it, but it is also not easy. Meditation I can imagine would be difficult for most people, but for those of us with million an hour brains that need to solve all the problems on the planet at once, or who get locked in a perpetual cycle of negative, self-destructive thoughts, it is particularly tricky.
Another thing I’m doing is not wandering around dressed in dirty or paint-spattered clothing trying to hide. I am making a point of putting on a nicer pair of pants, a prettier top, a little lippy and mascara and sometimes, I tie up my hair with colourful scarves.
I even wore jewellery one-day last week, and I am painting my nails.
How girly is that? Or is it just showing respect to myself? Perhaps. Either way, I am deliberately working hard to reboot me.