Sunday, February 7, 2016

Getting my priorities straight





A few days ago I had a ligtning-bolt thought. There never seems to be enough time for all the things I want to get done. Then I realized something, I'm putting too much time into things that aren't really that important, and the really important things in my life are being ignored.

I spend too much of my precious time on my hair, makeup and nails. It's become a borderline obsession with me. Is my hair healthy? Is it the "right" shade of blond, should it be lighter or darker? If I wear it straight, is is straight enough or is that a bit of natural curl I see? If I wear it in "beachy" waves, is it too curly or not wavy enough? Is that a split end I see?! It's ridiculous how much time, energy and money I put into worrying and fussing over my hair, and I won't even go into my makeup and nails.

My thought that woke me up:

Does any of this stuff really matter when my body is at least 75 pounds overweight?

Maybe I should focus on my biggest problem, which has nothing to do with my hair, makeup or nails. My body is the first thing people see when they look at me. I doubt they notice the perfect hair, flawless makeup, and the perfectly manicured nails. Okay, I exaggerate a little  - those are my goals that I spend a lot of time trying to obtain, and never really reach. Which means it's pretty much a big waste of time.

It's the body that makes the biggest impression. Beyond what other people think of me, isn't the most important thing for myself is that I'm living a healthy lifestyle? That I feel physically healthy, and I have energy to get through the day. Packing around an extra 75 pounds doesn't feel good, and it's exhausting. Who cares about the hair, makeup and nails if I feel horrible because of my weight.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I work with mostly young men (early 30's) that are all physically fit. I'm a sixty-year old female who is terribly out of shape. I already don't "fit in" to the mold, but with the added weight, I'm even more of an outsider. I can't change my gender or my age, but I can sure do something about my weight.

I've made some very conscious changes this weekend, that I plan on carrying into my workweek:

1. A simpler hairstyle

This is going to be a struggle, but I don't need to look like I just stepped out of a salon when I go to work (I work in IT - software development). I haven't quite figured out an easy style that I don't hate, but I'm trying different things. So far a simple blowout seems the fastest and easiest. Surprisingly, it doesn't look as hideous as I thought it would.

2. Less makeup.

This one is easier for me - this make-up for older women article helped. Somehow I got carried away with eye shadows, eye liners, lots of mascara, and trying to get flawless looking skin. Seriously, it's 60-year old skin. It's never going to look flawless again, even with a lot of expensive products.

3. Bare nails

I've worn nail polish for most of my life. This will probably be the biggest challenge for me, although not worrying about a chip in my polish will be very freeing. I loved gel nails, but I gave them up after the cancer. Somehow soaking my nails in acetone for ten minutes every couple of weeks didn't seem to be a good idea. Most nail polishes contain toxic chemicals so I've already thought I should stop because of the cancer.

This is going to free up a lot of time (and money). You may be wondering what I'm going to do with all that free time.

New Priorities

1. Morning gym

For almost three years I went to the gym at least four times during the work week, at 5am. Then one day in 2012 I stopped. I don't even remember why, but I just stopped. The weight came back on (75 pounds) which made it even harder to get my big, fat butt out of bed in the morning and off to the gym.

2. 10,000 steps

I was diligent about this with my FitBit. Even at my highest weight, I would get in my 10,000 steps on most days. Then I stopped caring. Again, I don't know why. I'm also really disappointed that the Weight Watcher app no longer supports the Apple watch, my extravagant Christmas gift to myself. I love all the Apple watch features, but I miss syncing my activity.

3. Track my food in my Weight Watchers app AND stay within my Point limit

This is easier if I eat healthier, but when I eat poorly I don't want to see how bad I did. If I always track, it's an incentive to stay on the right track.

4. Weigh every day

This works for me. A lot of people disagree, but I need to do a daily checkin on myself. It's so easy to avoid the scale and gain five pounds (I just did that!).

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I downloaded the Habit List app on my phone. It's not fancy, but is just a list of habits that you set up yourself. You can set reminders and at the end of the day you can check off the things you completed. Then it tells you your "streak" of days of being successful, and it has a completion rate.  So far, it's really helpful in keeping me on track. Please note that "Update blog" is on the list, so I will be back tomorrow!