My relationship with food has always been a struggle. As I’ve said before, I was born, raised, and still live in Georgia, USA. In the south, we celebrate and comfort with unhealthy food. Those foods taste fantastic! I feel guilty eating those foods. That sentence makes me roll my eyes at myself as I type it. More on why in a future post. When life went sideways in June, I started taking care of everybody but myself. Two weeks ago, I told myself: “Alright, let’s try to take better care of you, too, please?” I began to make myself a priority, again, too.
Over the years, taking care of myself, being healthy, and well has changed as my body and journey with my condition has done so. I knew when I started wanting to be as healthy as possible in 2021, I would need some help. Wanting to change the narrative, for myself, around what it meant to be healthy and well, I started to research. Afterwards talking to my doctor, the only physical therapist I remember (an expert on me and my journey with CP), and my high school English teacher who now is a nutritionist and personal trainer (she also has a daughter with CP as well). I went back to, what I refer to, as my basics two weeks ago, again.
Below in no order are my basics:
- Real food on a regular basis: I often forget to eat when I’m stressed. That means headaches from blood sugar drops. Yeah, those have been a thing since I was a teenager. Plenty of lean protein/ fruits/vegetables and complex carbs. No crash or fad diets. This is a lifestyle not a diet. It also means no foods are off limits just making better choices most of the time.
- Plenty of fluids: little to no carbonation. Ice tea with not much sugar, coffee (a nonnegotiable) but pay attention to my caffeine intake. Again, headaches if I don’t.
- Exercise daily so movement is easier. The warmer I get my muscles the less spikes in my tone (CP thing).
- Do NOT forget my vitamins. Take those daily.
- Feel what I need to feel and quit pushing down my feelings so much. Let Together do what it does. Let my chosen family in and love me. Sing out my feelings as often as I need to.
- Take deep breaths all the way to the bottom of my lungs (exercise helps me be able to do this) so I can not have bronchitis or pneumonia. I know I can’t prevent everything sickness wise but I can prevent a lot.
- Lots of rest and plenty of sleep less tone spikes and CP spells (small seizures) this way
- Don’t work too hard. Listen to my body