Nobody likes change like a hairstylist and I'm all for a worthwhile crusade but my doctor just informed me what I suppose I already knew. All this change and charging forward has pushed my mind and body in the wrong direction.
I recently found out that my cholesterol levels were dangerously high and if I didn't make some major changes I would be at risk for a stroke. I was a wee bit surprised by this since I am within a normal-ish weight range, rarely stop moving, and eat pretty well (I've given up ice cream forever after all). I don't smoke and rarely drink, and I thought I was pretty healthy but somewhere my body has decided otherwise.
Between stress, lack of any real self care rituals for myself, and probably a bit of genetics thrown in, I had a wee wake up call. I'm not a worrier by nature (ask my kids and their hospital experiences with me) but my doctor was really concerned. And come to think of it my legs are always swollen, my body aches and I get wicked migraines (that I usually just force my way through). I thought it was just because I work so hard, sleep so little and stress too much. Ohhhhhhh...I get it now.
Some of the things that I've put on my "Do These Things Daily Or You'll Have FREAKIN' STROKE List":
1. Quit eating processed, refined, sugary junk and the bad fat stuff too. I know my husband is a chef (and I'm a damn good cook too) but temptations are everywhere and sometimes when you are super busy (like always) or super lazy (read: tired) you grab the wrong stuff. I think I eat pretty well until I am forced to write it down (see #5). Luckily I prefer real food over fake and thankfully I don't bake as much as I used to when we had the ice cream cafe. Kayden and I are working on this together (since he's had some health challenges this year too and is a vain teenager). I'm sure BJ and Tim will get also dragged along for the ride and it will do them some good as well. I was never much good about sticking with a diet when it was about losing pounds, but not stroking out is a pretty good motivator.
2. Exercise a little every damn day. Like 20 minutes of yoga or stretching or walking is all I need to squeeze in. Housecleaning is good too but not enough. I need to be intentional about moving my body and clearing my mind. Once you get going it always feels good but somehow pinning photos of people doing yoga doesn't count. I am working on clearing a bit of space in my new downstairs office/craft room (which has required all kinds of physical activity but isn't quite ready yet), so hopefully having that dedicated space will help. Getting up from long stretches from the computer will also be helpful (my posture as I write this leaves something to be desired).
3. Take 15 minutes before bed to unwind. This means no screens past 11pm or caffeine after 4pm. I am soooo guilty of staying up way too late on the computer or iPad (I will miss our late night sojourns Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram) but I seriously, I clearly need to get some decent sleep. I have literally (no word of a lie) only had one night of a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in more than 20 years. That's how I get so much done, so I don't let it bother me but obviously waking up regularly with a migraine is not great.
4. Take my vitamins and stuff. I take all my goodies sometimes but obviously I am not firing on all cylinders and if I don't want to be on serious medication for the rest of my short life, I need a boost. Vitamins - check. Immunocal - check. Migraine prevention meds at night - check. Who wants to wake up with a migraine or get sick and not be able to function? I don't have the kind of job with sick days and I've got so much that I want to do, so I've always known I should take this stuff. It's gonna be back to the little Days of the Week pill boxes for this girl.
5. Keep a diary. My homework: a Food Diary for the nutritionist at the hospital, a Headache Diary for my doctor, a Period Tracker (Welcome to the beginnings of menopause! Seriously I was done with my uterus like, 15 years ago) a Gratitude Journal (I will need lots of pages for this since I know it is the secret to everything in life) and a Big Goals Journal (I am a goal-digger after all!). Writing it all down makes it more real (especially when it comes to putting junk in your body) and I'm afraid I was not a good patient when my doctor asked me when my last headache or period was (it seriously feels like every damn day).
6. Take off my make-up, wash my face and apply skin cream faithfully. I hate to admit this but I am guilty of neglecting myself in this area too. Especially when we would cater until 2 in the morning or I was at the hospital with the boys till the wee hours of the night. It even grosses me out but I still did it. At the time of this post, I have not yet received my brand new skincare order from Monat yet (it's on it's way!!), but let me tell you, I have never been so excited to receive a package in my life. This past couple of years has really taken a toll on my face, and while I have been using good products (thank you Aveda!), I feel like a big shake up is in order (duh). I have been totally blown away by the haircare products (sorry, Aveda!) and have been using the Rejuveniqe Oil every day on some part of my body, with great results, so I can't wait to get the whole line. I have been really good about hair treatments at least because my hair feels so soft when I do it and I can goes more days without washing it now.
7. Take time to dream big with business but stay grounded with family and friends. I've been joking in the the salon that Aveda is like a husband who I've been married to for 15 years, and Monat is like a new Latin lover who treats me right and buys me presents! (no need to apologize to my real husband of 21 years - he is still my partner in business and life and I am grateful for all that he is doing to get the boutique motel going!). We are busy though with all our ventures and while I am blessed with these new opportunities that are helping us recouping some of what we lost last year, taking time out to nurture those relationships with family and friends is also a big priority for me. We're not getting any younger and we've already had to say goodbye to a few of our favourite people. We named our new little kitten Morley, after Tim's dad who passed away last summer, because that sweet little stray cat has brought lots of love and laughter back into our lives (the other two cats are less than impressed however, but there is enough love and food to go around, so they need to just get over it).
The Hair Apparent Blog, and all my other business ventures, and of course marriage and parenting have always been about making others happy. With hair, aesthetics, food and ice cream and now the hotel plus my plans and dreams for my coaching and Monat business, my heart has always been in service to others and it always will be. I've just got to get my head around taking care of my body, mind and spirit so that can continue to give back to my community and my family for a long time. That is my legacy and I'm not nearly finished with it yet.