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Becoming Super Lyndsy, Part I: Health

Obviously health is an important area of everyone’s lives. Feeling like shit sucks. It makes everything more challenging and the worse we feel, the less we do. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy, sometimes we physically can’t do the things we want to do to stay in shape. I was supposed to walk/run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February, but my back went out a month before the race. Now I couldn’t run if I tried and walking at a fast pace isn’t such a good idea either. But that’s really besides the point because there’s a lot I can do to get healthier. The reality is that my body needs some help from me right now.

According to the BMI calculator, I am overweight. While I don’t put too much stock in the BMI calculations (they get a little skewed if you’re outside the norms for height – and I’m a lot taller than the average woman), I cannot deny that I need to shed a few pounds to reach a healthier state. I lost a bunch of weight after the back surgery, but I seem to have found a good portion of them again. I can tell this by my clothes too. I bought them when I weighed less and they’re all a bit snug now. Extra weight adds stress to my back and probably doesn’t help the nerve situation in my foot. (It is now swollen and painful regularly. No one seems to know why or what’s wrong, which is a little disturbing.) It’s not really about weight loss though. It’s about being healthy.

Weight loss is often a byproduct of developing a healthier lifestyle, but it’s not actually the goal. Mr. Lyndsy plays a big role in my health movement. His education, job, and hobbies all involve personal fitness. He knows more than a little about exercise and nutrition. That’s both good and bad. On my lazy days I hate it. On days when I want to feel better than I do right now, I love it. It really comes down to the fact that he hates seeing me in pain. He can’t do anything about it, and he hates feeling helpless, so he tries to do whatever he can to help me feel better, sometimes against my will. (That sounds a lot worse than I mean it. I really do need a push most of the time to get better about my own health.)

The other thing is that Mr. Lyndsy and I want to have LyndsySpawn. (That’s more fun to say than “kids.”) I may not know much about children or being pregnant, but what I DO know is that the more in shape my body is, the better it is for the LyndsySpawn. I need to get the little booger’s womb ready before it checks in. ready (See what I did there?) I also can’t forget the Type 2 diabetes and thyroid condition. Diabetes has to be VERY well-controlled to avoid problems during pregnancy. My A1c (measure of blood sugar over a roughly three-month period) was 6.1, which is great for someone with diabetes. This means that, on average, my blood sugar was somewhere around or under 120. Prior to and during pregnancy it needs to be 100 or less. This may not seem like a huge change, but it is. I need to keep a very strict eye on what I eat. My love affair with all things carbohydrate has to come to an end (or we can’t see each other as often – which is more likely). Women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a higher rate of miscarriage than women without it. To combat that, doctors prescribe a synthetic thyroid to keep the thyroid levels at a normal level before and during pregnancy. I’m not always great about taking my meds as prescribed (which may be why my foot is killing me so much of the time), but with such great risks, this med will be taken as prescribed.

Not that you want to know about my feet, but I have some seriously cracked heels. No amount of pedicures and lotion fixed them so I went to the google and searched for a way to get rid of the scales. The answer? Staying hydrated. While getting professionals to assist with your feet gets you part of the way, you have to go the rest of the way by drinking a LOT of water. I pretty much HATE water. Yes I know it makes up a good portion of my body, but it has ZERO taste (unless you’re drinking Aquafina, which has a nasty taste). I much prefer a refreshing Coca-Cola or some “fruit” juice (you know the kid I mean, the stuff that has less than 10% real fruit juices in it). However, as I mentioned before, I have to cut that stuff out of my diet anyway.

All of this sounds fantastic, but for it to work for me, I need specific goals to hit or some way to measure what’s happening. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. Check blood sugar every day and log result. Aim for 100 or less.
  2. Eat better to make #1 possible – avoid sugary foods and carb-laden foods. I won’t give them up entirely, but moderation should be okay.
  3. Take all meds, every day, when I’m supposed to. Will need an app for this or to log them on my calendar.
  4. Drink 72 ounces of water every day – eventually aim for 100 ounces. Use Waterlogged app to keep track.
  5. Check weight regularly. No, it’s not the goal, but it’s a good way to check and see what’s up.
  6. Keep a journal of how I’m feeling every day along with what I ate, how I slept, etc. This should help me see which foods make me feel better and which foods make me feel worse.
  7. STRETCH every day. My back gives me loads of issues, but they seem better when I stretch in the morning.
  8. Do core exercises from physical therapist every day. After the surgery my abs haven’t been what they were. (I suppose that’s what happens when they open you up right near your belly button.)
  9. Come up with rewards for accomplishing goals. While better health is itself a reward, it’s not as much fun as others.

I’ll come up with a way to track all of this, but I think this is a good start. I have clear forms of measurement of success. It’ time to earn some rewards. How do you reward yourselves for a job well done?

Super Lyndsy

One of my favorite things about big life events (happy – moving, getting married, a new job or less – death of a close friend or family member, divorce, losing a job) is that you get the feeling that starting over or making some changes is totally normal. Obviously we could choose to start something new or start over at any point. But, when it’s in conjunction with a major life event, it feels different and makes more sense to those around us.

Getting married and moving 8000 miles away from the country I’ve called home my whole life feels like a great time to turn the page to a new chapter in my life. Hell, it’s almost like going to another part of the book, not just a chapter. In the next part of The Book of Lyndsy, I’m hoping going to make some great changes in my life. (Hoping is about as effective as wishing or wanting when it comes to change in your life. What’s that saying – Want in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up faster.)

Anyway, back to the change we can change in the change we hold dear (at 1:19). The way I see it is that life is broken down into the Big Three areas: Health, family/personal, and job/money. When one of these areas is suffering we can often get by, but if two or more are out of whack we end up feeling like complete and utter shit. Depression sets in and everything seems overwhelming. Over the last year and a half, all of my Big Three  have been out of alignment. I didn’t have much of a personal life, working as a lawyer was extremely stressful and not particularly fulfilling  (difficult clients and colleagues will do that) and not  helpful to my financial situation (I cried when I made student loan payments), and my health took a nose dive (Type 2 diabetes, thyroid condition, and major back surgery with post-surgery complications).

Then I met Mr. Lyndsy. Shortly after that, I went to the doctor to figure out what in the world was making me fatigued and awful all the time. I’m still sorting through some of the health stuff, but I feel a little better. Recovery from surgery is just going to take a while. Foot drop sucks, but I finally found a way to walk where I don’t look like a horse and I don’t trip over my foot (most of the time anyway). My neurosurgeon is hopeful that in a year to 18 months the nerve will regenerate and I’ll be totally fine. I left life as a lawyer in May of this year and I now work for a lawyer in a support capacity, which is infinitely better than lawyering. (If you ask the lawyer I work for, she’d agree wholeheartedly.)

For me, it’s not enough that the Big Three are stable. I’m big on personal development. I want to take what I have going on right now to the next level. I won’t lie, I’ve tried this in the past. I often usually lack dedication. I know it, but obviously just admitting that doesn’t do much (see above re: shitting in hand). It’s time to commit to myself and become a better Lyndsy. I’m very fortunate that I’m in a place where I have the freedom and support to do it. I don’t like the idea of squandering that opportunity, so I won’t.

Over the next few days I’ll outline my plans for becoming Super Lyndsy. I’m counting on you all to help keep me in line!

 

Whew!

Man, it has been a crazy couple of weeks! It all started when Mr. Lyndsy showed up a couple Fridays ago, instead of last Tuesday when I was expecting him. I didn’t peg him for the surprise type, since he hates them. Apparently it’s fine when he’s the one doing the surprising. It’s being on the receiving end that he hates so much.

The surprise didn’t go off as well as he’d planned, however. He expected that he’d be able to get an internet connection while flying through Madrid. He now shares my hatred of that airport (remind me to tell you the story about why it is that I have two passport stamps there on the same day when I never left the airport). He couldn’t get a connection so I didn’t hear from him. Since the end of November, I have talked to him at least once a day, usually in my morning/his afternoon. By 4pm local time, I was panicking. Driving in Qatar is pretty dangerous, so my first concern was that he’d gotten in an accident. I tried to get in touch with his parents, but didn’t get a response. One of his local friends didn’t respond either. His brother suggested that he might be out with his phone. Another friend of his from college suggested he may fly in and surprise me, but I was pretty sure that wasn’t the case.

My mom and I had been planning on seeing Jersey Boys that afternoon and I didn’t see any reason not to go. I figured that I could be miserable and scared in a movie theater just as well as I could at home. Not even an hour into the movie and Mr. Rodrigo calls! He acted like nothing was wrong and asked me where I was. I responded that I was at the movies with my mom.

“Bummer.”

“Why?”

“I’m at your house.”

Needless to say, my mom and I left the movies right away.

We had a calm few days waiting for our families to fly in, but once they got here things moved quickly. Our ceremony at the courthouse was a lot of fun. I think the people working at the clerk’s office really appreciated that we had some fun with it. I’m sure it’s not every day that someone gets married in a tutu!

Mr and Mrs Lyndsy at the courthouse

We had a family party on the day we got married and a family and friends party on July 4th. The parties were a lot of fun and exactly what I wanted. They were relaxed and casual with great food. I got to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time. Given that I’m moving halfway around the world in a matter of days, it was really nice to catch up with so many people. We have some really generous friends and family and I am certain that our thank you cards won’t even come close to expressing our gratitude.

Our last guest left on Monday and it’s been nice having things back to normal, at least a little bit. This is actually the longest stretch of time Mr. Lyndsy and I have spent together and we’re both really pleased that we still want to be around each other.

I probably should have been packing some over the last few days and I’m not starting to panic a little bit about how much I have to get done over the next week. My appointment to renew my passport and change my name isn’t until the day before we take off, which makes me more than a little nervous. I still don’t have my social security card, so I can’t get a new driver’s license or change my name on my bank account. Kind of a bummer since I need a new debit card, but I guess I’ll have to just see what I can do.

Getting married is apparently a real pain in the ass, but it’s totally worth it.