Project Better Me: Introduction

Like so many of us do at the beginning of the year, I’ve started some new practices to try to improve my overall health, lose weight, improve my fitness and make the most of my fertility. I might have thought to do this at the beginning of the year anyway, but for some reason, an early January appointment with my awesome new gynecologist provided the catalyst. I’m calling it: Project Better Me.

I’m tracking my food and drinks on the free Spark People website (which also has a fantastic mobile app), drinking more water (at least 9 glasses a day), checking my blood sugar and exercising.

These changes have been an excellent opportunity for me to work on my pacing technique, which is something I’ve always struggled with (I’ll be sharing what works for me & wasn’t doesn’t in an upcoming post). I’m totally the type who could sit on my butt for years, then go at exercising like I’m killing snakes. Unfortunately, exercise and exertion are migraine triggers for me. That’s basically the polar opposite of pacing.

My initial exercise goal was smart: to do my physical therapy stretching exercises and a daily set of jumping jacks and sit-ups, starting with a very small number and slowly working up. Then maybe do 5 minutes of Just Dance or Zumba or a YouTube workout, but only 5 minutes. Even on a good day.

It was an awesome plan, I think. If I’d followed it. Instead, I dove into forty minutes of Tracy Anderson’s exercises, Zumba, and some other cardio jumping routine. And of course, a monster migraine. I’d also be so tired I could barely even stay awake long enough to spend time with C in the evening. Not cool.

So I’m going back to what I’d set as a goal for myself and keeping the concept of pacing at the forefront of my mind. Hopefully, if I’m smart about my choices now I’ll eventually work up to the point where I can dance my butt off and have an awesome time and not have to worry so much about it knocking me out with a killer migraine attack.

A key technique I’m using to encourage myself to meet the daily goals I’ve set for myself is a big calendar (see photo). I love to check things off and track things, so it’s right up my alley. And it’s not that I want to make myself feel guilty when I see blank spaces, but it’s definitely more fun when I can check everything off. I’m tracking times I’ve taken my blood sugar, water, tracking on Spark People, doing PT exercises and working out. It’s a great reminder to have it laid out in front of me, too.

For fun, I also made a sort of motivational vision board on Pinterest. I’ve collected lots of inspiring ideas, tips and tricks and images that make me happy: Motivation, Inspiration & Good Thoughts and another with more practical stuff: Healthy Ideas, Tips & Tricks. My super long term goal is to feel good enough about my figure to do a pinup photo shoot, so you’ll see that reflected in my choice of images.

By the way, if you use Spark People be my friend. My username is whatwouldruthdo.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Content by Diana E. Lee.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain, and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.