Sleep – Nutrition – Exercise
I hesitate writing this post because I am still struggling with this challenge. It is an ongoing battle for me to take care of my physical body. I was taught to be ashamed of my body. I was taught I was selfish to have my most basics needs met, like enough food to eat. I was taught that my need for sleep meant little compared to the demands my mother had on when I slept and when I was woken up. In my challenge of over coming my lack of self care, I became very familiar with the healthy triad of sufficient sleep (I suck at this), adequate nutrition that fits my needs (chocolate is my drug of choice), and a healthy exercise program. I have know the need for years…..I am just lousy at doing it.
Sleep….I read books on the research. Insomnia is often a constant companion to PTSD. Robbing me of my sleep with nightmares, destroys any chance of a decent day. Right now, I don’t have a shut down routine conducive to good sleeping. I have a pouring out onto my blogs and mindless video games that guarantee when my head hits the pillow I am asleep in minutes. I wake up before the alarm 5 hours later and go again. I have improved. When I first started studying sleep, I slept fewer than 3 hours of sleep. There was a period of time where I actually slept an average of 7 hours a night….I would like to get back up to that length of time sleeping. Sleep journaling is the first step I took to find out my sleep patterns. Check the clock a couple of times before going to sleep. Record how many times I wake up and approximately how long I am up….no fudging. Then what time I wake up. This is the beginning. (Yes, I know, I have sleep apnea but that is a different problem and a different post.)
Nutrition…..I have listened to my mother rant about dieting for as long as I can remember. Her obsession with weight played a huge negative in my life. I tried to ignore nutrition and any and all good health practices. (My favorite lunch was a Twinky and a chocolate shake.) Then I had kids. I knew I wanted to have a healthy eating so I focused on them. I did some serious research and used Richard Simmons book Never Say Diet. The title made sense to me. My children have married and moved out, my eating is marginal at best. I used Myfitnesspal.com to learn healthy portions. I am teaching myself to cook so I know what is in my food. I am starting my own journey to find what works for me. I understand now that the reason the information from diet fads are so contradictory is each person’s body is different. What works for me doesn’t always another person. My sister can’t have eggs, I can. She loves mushrooms and I truly dislike them. Learn the food groups. Learn what works for you.
Exercise…..this is a tricky one for people that struggle with leaving the house or terrified of walking alone. ( I recognize trust is a huge issue.) There are many exercises that can be done at home. My DH found a used elliptical machine that I use when weather is scorching outside. I also found some free online trainers that teach me to do routines that require no weights or special equipment. I knew this but didn’t do it, until I learned to have fun. My daughter started me on the path of dancing to a healthy body.
These three build the basis for a healthy body as we can obtain. I am aware that other healthy issues exist and require their own accommodations. I learned if I take care of the 3 above, for me, my weight takes care of itself. (Constant reminder, I am more than numbers on a machine. Weight scales tells me my relationship with Gravity, I set the perimeters.)
I will say this often. Do your homework to find the combination that works for you. Also progress not perfection. When I started with side cruches. My first attempt was my head bobbing up and down. I looked ridiculous but now I can do 5 on one side and 3 on other. Keep moving your body…