I was sitting on an exercise ball at a makeshift desk in the bedroom I rented for five months at a friend's house. I was paying her $500 a month while I tried to gather myself enough to move on with my life. I was newly seperated and paying my ex $1,000 a month while we waited for our house to sell.
I had a long road ahead, but my first priority was getting my health back. I think our house had mold from the basement flooding, so I had allergy symptoms every day. The people who owned the home before us also had a dog. I'm allergic to dogs, so perhaps there was doggy dander in the carpets. To cope with my allergy symptoms I was taking NSAID's almost every day for about 10 years.
I was also getting drunk three nights a week coping with our marriage and the house. The combination of NSAID's and alcohol meant that my liver, thyroid, and various other organs needed tending to.
My roommate laughed at the sight of me sitting on that ball working at my computer, but one of the things I'm most proud of is my posture. I get compliments from attorneys all the time about the way I sit at depositions. I can sit with perfect posture for most of an entire day. It's also possible they just like boobs, and good posture makes them perky.
I never wanted rounded shoulders and a humpback like my mom and grandmom, so I've always exercised, resistance training, cardio, tried to stay in shape and stay slim, only now my thyroid was out of whack. I was exercising with no results. In fact, I was gaining weight and losing energy every day.
Thankfully, the body heals itself if you let it. You don't need doctors, drugs, medication. You need self-knowledge, awareness, and good information.
After I went to the doctor and had a battery of blood tests done, I discovered where I was defficient in vitamins. I stopped taking all over-the-counter allergy meds, all meds, period, and I stopped drinking alcohol. It's taken the last five years of trial and error, stumbling and falling backwards a few times, to finally have a set of habits that I've committed to, and I'm healthy and still healing from the inside out.
We spend 30 to 60 percent of our day working, 8 to 16-hour days. If you aren't taking care of yourself during those hours, then you are spending most of your time doing damage to yourself. There's nothing stopping you from starting at least one new healthy habit today. It's up to us to create our own healthy work environment:
1. Buy healthy food to pack for the week:
I eat almost the same thing every day because it's simpler that way. I take my vitamins and eat Greek yogurt every morning followed by an apple or banana. I take NO meds, EVER. I take vitamins that are designed to control and aid my thyroid function, promote cell repair, boost energy, and support a healthy heart, brain and body.
I pack cut-up veggies or soup, protein like nuts, hard-boiled eggs, chicken salad, and something to munch on if I have a craving, like popcorn or cinammon rice chex....all gluten-free.
Sometimes I stumble and buy a big fatty sandwich, and I enjoy every bite.
2. Stand up while working at your computer:
I know we've heard this a million times, but it's the No. 1 thing we should all be doing. There are a multitude of reasons why sitting all day will kill you or decrease your quality of life.
3. Walk around during breaks a depositions:
Eat your snacks and lunch while standing up if you can, pace the conference room or walk around the offices. If you have time, take a quick stroll around the block outside. Just move as often as possible. You don't need to sprint or sweat. Just move and stay active.
4. Motivate yourself to stay healthy:
Read about health, diet and exercise. Watch exercise videos online and follow trainers who are motivating. It doesn't matter if you are 90 pounds or 400 pounds. The motivation has to start from somewhere. If you're not self-motivated, then follow people who are. Learn from their example and create a routine for yourself.
5. If you live in a cold climate, join a gym:
Even if you're just walking for 10 minutes, at the gym you'll have that option if you can't stand the cold. You don't have to run a marathon or become a body-builder. You just have to stay active even in cold weather to keep your resistance and immune system healthy.
6. Buy mood-enhancing light if you live in a colder climate:
I have a Happy Light and I use it when I'm editing at the computer or reading. I also turn it on after my alarm goes off in the morning to wake me up. We don't get enough light during cold winters which can affect your mood and create an imbalance or defficiency in various vitamins and minerals. I also take cod liver oil capsules which contain vitamins A and D because of vitamin D deficiency that runs in my family.
7. Hire a trainer or life coach:
If you're completely lost and overwhelmed and don't know where to start, then hire help, at least in the beginning.
When I moved to my apartment after my seperation I was feeling lost, lonely, and completely unmotivated. I just needed some outside reassurance and connection. Friends were not helping in the personal development category, so I went to my gym and bought eight sessions with a personal trainer. This wasn't about learning technique. I had been working out my entire life. It was about learning how to ask for help, and realizing there was no shame in it.