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  • Writer's pictureGina M. Oakley

Self-Care: 21 Days to Reset Good Habits

DAY 4: Let Loose


Day 4 is slowing down, tiring, ready to fade into rest for a fresh Day 5. I have the lights off (except a calm blue lamp and the kids’ light that speckles stars on our ceiling. Little boy is sleeping nearby, I can hear his baby breaths going slowly in and out. I am watching the new season of You and enjoying a glass of wine. The vino is a little sweeter than I like, but it’s much deserved just the same.


Today was the end of a busy week. All my weeks seem busy, who am I kidding? This one seemed just a little extra exhausting. I don’t want to talk about work, though it’s probably the main culprit to my fatigue, because it’s officially the weekend and it’s a long weekend with Monday off for President’s Day.


Pizza is Self-Care, Right?


The answer is, of course, is yes. I’ll advocate for healthy, clean eating all day, but I will always argue for feel good moments too. Tonight was a feel good moment. I’m with my son while my husband works extra tonight. We like our vacations and daycare is expensive. After he left for work, Jhet and I played for a while. I couldn’t decide what to eat. I didn’t feel like going out because it was cold, and I am fatigued. Not to mention, I was extra “MSy” today with numb hands, brain fog, and just an all around weird feeling MS sometimes causes, so I just wanted to stay in. Just when I had settled on making a small chicken wrap that I wasn’t overly stoked for, my dear friend and neighbor texted and offered me the rest of the pizza she and her husband hadn’t finished (plus, it was from Steve’s, and if you live in Evansville you know how extra amazing that is). So, I enjoyed pizza for dinner, and I did it guilt free. By the way, the only workout I squeezed in today was 3 separate dance parties during the work day and some random bursts of squat variations mixed in. Playing with my son was a bit of a workout too because he crawls all over the place now, which means I chase.


BALANCE


Maybe I didn’t end the day as healthy as I have the past few days, but that’s okay. I feel good, and I feel like it was a reward for all the work I’ve put in. I’m hard on myself, too hard, and I deserve a reward. With that said, it’s easy to sort of avalanche into a binge of bad habits just from one “free” day, so how to avoid that? It’s easy.

Plan ahead.


It’s all about balance, so I’m already thinking about tomorrow. I know I’m going to have lunch out (meeting my husband while he works), and I know I’m going to have jambalaya and hush puppies (and probably a hurricane) at the Mardi Gras party we are having tomorrow night. So, when I wake up I am going to squeeze in a 10-15 min high heart rate/high intensity workout. Then, when my son takes a nap sometime before lunch, I am going to squeeze in another good 15 mins. When I’m at home I will only drink water, and I will get my entire 120 ounces in before the party, drinking steadily throughout the day. Then, if I can squeeze in one more workout midafternoon, that will be perfect. For breakfast, I will have a smoothie or egg, something light and low fat/low calorie.


FUN FACT: Did you know our bodies can only absorb so much water in any given hour? That’s right, so don’t cram all your water intake into a short amount of time. Drink your water throughout the day.


TRACKING TOOLS


I use My Fitness Pal (the free version) to track my protein, fat, and carb intake. If you aren’t familiar with what foods fall into what categories, you can use my Super G Fitness guide for help. Request it HERE Tools that help you track your nutrition are especially helpful when you are working to balance social events (which usually go hand in hand with poor food and drink choices). I also rely on my fitness watch (Mine is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5- HERE)


MEASURE>WEIGH


I tell people this constantly, but people are so attached to the idea that weight is the almighty that they often don’t truly listen to my advice: Weight is not the measure of health and fitness, even if your goal is to lose weight. Measuring yourself (waist, thighs, chest, whatever you want) and measuring body fat % are far more effective measures to your journey’s success than any numbers on a scale. Humans’ weight fluctuates minute to minute, and weighing yourself too much is a sure way to grow discouraged.

So, my suggestion is to measure yourself every 10 or 15 days (you can weigh too, but don’t pour your entire confidence into those numbers).


REFLECT


What was good today?


What coping skills did you use today? How did you manage your stress?


I had an off day with my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, but it was still a great day. I kept calm, took things one by one, and took proactive measures to prevent feeling overwhelmed or stressed. I am extra excited to share tomorrow’s Day 5 post, as well as Day 6 (Jhet’s first Disney on Ice).


Take care, good night, and leave your comments!






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