Health Goals 2020: Just Keep Moving

in Natural Medicine3 months ago

A month back I felt like I was dying. Sure, I can be prone to exagerration, but I honestly thought if I didn't quit work I was going to have a heart attack. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, sleepless nights, out of breath - I felt really, really ill. I had completely hit the wall and thought I was totally almost in menopause - my bleeding was sporadic, I was short tempered (I had told my hair dresser to stop lecturing me and just cut my hair - gulp, what a biatch) and my legs were aching - from my feet to knees to hips, I felt in constant pain. I felt so unfit - but the thing is, I walk 5 km nearly ever day, go to yoga, and go surfing when I can, and eat so well - you can't fault my diet. And I rarely drink, less often now I'm older too. I know how to look after myself. The one thing that was really making me ill was work - high levels of cortisol and patterns of panic that started 5 years ago with a stress breakdown was making me barely keep afloat. Oh, I'd have my good days, of course - it's not all doom and gloom - but in the back of my mind I was thinking, if I don't quit work soon, I'm going to die.

Me, a year ago, feeling pretty relaxed fooling around on a road trip.

We're lucky enough to be in a situation where we can take a year's leave. We'll do some travelling and take stock, and see how we feel about going back when we return. Two more years of work should see us right, but if we didn't take this break, I'm not even sure our marriage would survive, and we have one of the lovliest marriages ever. This year was our big mental health goal - we need it to repair our hearts and minds, to just be. As far as our new year's resolution goes, we started it already on December 13th when we left work, not to return til Jan 28, 2021. How blessed we are.

Like many, we've set, and are living out, health goals that always get made around December and January. For us it's because it's the height of summer and we have holidays to be healthy. Yet it's also the lack of stress that makes it so much easy to feel good. My legs have stopped hurting and I no longer have heart flutters. Jamie says I am like a new person already - and I feel it, too. I don't feel the despair that I felt as little as two weeks ago, and feel fit again, just from feeling more relaxed. My bleeding has returned to normal and I'm sleeping like a baby every night.

However, I do want to be in peak fitness before we head overseas in March. I want to be able to hike and endure the long travel days of driving or flying without feeling exhausted, so I have two months to prepare. @artemislives wants me to run, but I ain't running - a fact she finds constantly amusing. I love that she cares about me, but I'll run only when zombies are chasing me. I'm not a large woman by any means but I do have big breasts and I just find it darn uncomfortable to run. Besides, it's hot and dry in Victoria and I don't want to be constantly swallowing flies and applying sunblock.

Health Goals also include the yoga pose supine couchasana

We signed up for Bikram yoga at a new studio in town, as it's only 50 bucks for unlimited classes for 30 days before having to pay the higher price. I have lots to say about this practice, and have written about it before, swearing I'd never go back, but after 10 classes there, I feel better. My knee no longer hurts. I have tendonitis in my elbow and Achilles heel still, but it's getting better. I have no idea why this yoga in particular works the way it does but the two years I did do it was the fittest I'd ever been. A month ago I went out for a surf and my legs could barely muster the strength I needed to throw the board around and to balance - two weeks of Bikram, and I'm strong and supple again. My hip flexors are less tight and my hips are far more flexible and I'm in less pain. The last two mornings I've surfed for over three hours each session. Sure, I come in with my legs like jelly, but I felt strong and good out there rather than an old woman. As I said, I feel younger. 90 minutes of yoga in a room heated to 40 odd degress celsius is extremely hard work (my heart pumps like crazy in there during the standing postures) and I sweat buckets, and there's part of me that agrees that maybe it's not good for me - but when I get out of the room, I feel fantastic. The other thing about this yoga is that you don't drink much - we go at night, which cuts into drinking hours, and when you have dripped your body weight in sweat, the last thing you'll do is dehydrate yourself further with a beer.

There's a girl in there, maybe late 20's, early 30's - she's super thin, almost anorexic in her appearance. She suffers rheumatoid arthritis, and in the change rooms was saying that she could barely eat any carbs or any foods that triggered pain for her. Her whole life was being dictated by pain. Since starting Bikram, the pain's gone. By day 5, she was eating walnuts. Day 6, she introduced tofu. She's gained 4 kilograms (most of us lose weight in that environment, but she's finally able to eat again) and is so, so grateful for this practice that has absolutely transformed her life. That's the kind of amazing stories one hears about this style of yoga.

Thus, as far as health goals go this year, it's pretty simple. Keep eating well. Keep up a yoga practice, preferably Bikram, but do yoga classes when we're travelling, surf as much as I can, walk every day - just keep doing what I love. As my Dad says, just keep moving. I'm also making sure I meditate every day - @plantstoplanks is starting the Abundance Challenge in the @naturalmedicine Discord server on Jan 10th and I'm going to start again with that as last time I got a little sidetracked with Christmas. It's good to keep a daily practice up and being in a group helps you be a little accountable. I might not run, but these practices keep me fit and healthy - both mentally and physically. There's no discernible way to measure this except with how I feel, and right now I'm feeling pretty darn awesome.


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I think one of my goals should be to try and make more time for yoga. I only do the odd evening of basic things with my daughter, but my arm had been improving already.

I hope you continue to improve. Looking forward to reading about your travels.

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I pray for your healing both mind and body 🙏

Put yourself first...As you seem to be doing...Keep focused on that as it's all that really matters... :)

Tomorrow isn't promised - Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default

So true. Thanks sccchwweeetheart. Life's painfully short huh? Xxxx


(It's redeemable you know...Just warning you) 🤣

I can relate the work making you sick after 16 years teaching, I saw so many people get sick because of work.

Glad that you're able to take a year off. Sounds like you're on the mend, and keeping moving is a nice way of summarising how to keep healthy - I'm sure Tai Chi and Dancing would fit right in there alongside Yoga too.

Running's my thing, and circuits combined with whatever random dance a butt toning videos I find online (butt toning videos are perfect for developing running muscles, got that advice from a guy in a sauna).

Walking too, walking's the best.

I hope somehow you don't have to go back to work at all, but if you do I guess 24 months isn't too long to hang on for!

Happy 2020, keep on moving!

Aw thanks man. You of all people GET it, having slogged away at such an apparently noble profession before quitting to save your soul. Would LOVE you to write a post for the challenge.

Headed to UK March /April.. whilst not keen to jog with you, I could stretch to a dance.. or maybe just a pint, although the pound to dollar isnt as good as last time we were there in 2015!!!

Is that you on top of there? Wow. Looks like fun.

Thank you for sharing this. My girl Audie and I think that she may have RA as well and we don't know much about it. The part about the girl in your class having trouble from eating carbs is new information for us. She has been hurting all the time. Also, she is interested in meditation and wants me to teach her TM. I don't know anything about yoga, but if it helps maybe we should get into it. We have made some loose dieting goals that we have failed on today, but after reading this I think that we will become more successful. I love her very much and I hate seeing her in pain, which she is in most of the time.

Note: I am very glad that you are enjoying your vacation. Stress is a killer, no doubt. Positive outlook does a lot of good, but even the most positively charged person needs a little recharge sometimes. Hell, it may last you for a long time. I bet you have an incredible battery life when you are charged up. Shit, you even do well when you are drained!! lol. Happy New Year and I hope that the fires go out over there. HOOOSHHH That was me, blowing out the fire, or at least trying... Cheers

I am so glad you will be able to reduce the stress for over a whole year! When I got really sick in 1999, stress work was one of the first things I had to do, and it made a big difference.

My goal: lose this weight! Already started back at the gym...

Moving more is on my short list of things to focus on this year too. The last couple of years, I've picked up some bad habits hanging out on discord.

Oh gosh yeah. I seriously have forearm tendonitis from typing. Maybe we can power walk and Discord?? Xx 😉

Yes, work can do that, or even just the environment someone's in.
Before we left for Thailand, I was having all kinds of 'little' ailments.
From throbbing pain in my neck and lower back when I'd get up too fast or do something else funny/quickly to feeling sick a lot (stomach). When we were in Thailand, I felt none of that. Back now and it's started again. Ugh.
So it's great you can take the time off. You need to take care of yourself first. And you never know what will come up (Steem to 4 dollars again maybe?). It's for the same reasons that I dropped some of my side jobs. It was getting too much, and I felt there was no time to really go for what I want. So dropping that, and the security it brought, was scary as could be, but I think it's a good thing in the end.

So where will you be going when you go abroad? Let me know if you plan to visit Ireland!
Anyhow, good luck with everything and enjoy your time out of work. <3

Yoga is on my list of things to start doing again because I've been so creaky lately and horseback riding is extra incentive to get my core right! Where all are you traveling besides the UK? That sounds like so much fun!!

Hi it's @trucklife-family here,

I am so happy that you are taking time for you and that you know how to listen to your body and that you actually heed it's warnings. Can't wait to show you where I live xxx

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Woza! I never knew your work was taking you that deep into being stressed out that you felt like you would die if you don't leave!
So happy you decided to take that year leave and you are already feeling the effects!
Sounds like 2020 is going to be a wonderful year for you off trekking over seas!
Have a great one! Looking forward to seeing posts from your travels!

Wishing you happiness, prosperity and a wonderful sabbatical in 2020! ✌

THANK YOU! And you!

I'd only run if I were being chased by zombies too! Although I used to run and felt as invigorated afterwards as you do after Bikram, which sounds like another thing I would only do if a zombie made me do it.
That said, this is an inspiring post. We CAN heal ourselves, the trick is to find the stuff that works for each of us.
Enjoy your year "off", although I'm sure steem will benefit greatly from your awesome work.

I am not sure if I can steem much and travel... but I will try!!!

Haha, Bikram is an in incredible practice! I hope you write about your goals too as i love how you write! Happy New Year!!! Xxx

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