Weighty Matters

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Medical Check-Up

Once I made the decision to have weight loss surgery, almost five years ago, it seems like I spent the next few years always going to a doctor.  First there was the consult with the surgeon.  This was followed by a number of tests and evaluations – Endoscopy, colonoscopy, pulmonology consult, first sleep test, pulmonologist’s eval of test, second sleep test, psychiatric evaluation, cardiologist appointment, echocardiogram, blood labs.  And so on and so on.

In between all of those tests I was still seeing my primary care physician for regular monitoring since I was on medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.  Doctors, doctors, specialists – I was always in one office or the other.

After the surgery, I saw my surgeon twice a month, then once a month for a year, then every three months.  In between I regularly had more blood labs done.  My primary care doctor still monitored me to make sure that I could now stay off of cholesterol and blood sugar medication and then, eventually, gave the okay for me to go off of the blood pressure medications completely.

Two and a half years ago, my primary doctor relocated.  Almost two years ago, I stopped going to my bariatric surgeon.

So, I’ve been pretty much going it alone for the last couple of years.  Except for the stall in my overall weight loss and slight regain which effected me emotionally and mentally, I’ve felt so terrific that going to the doctor has not been at the top of my mind.

This might all be well and good except that there are so many things that are important to keep an eye on for a woman of my age, family history, and previous self-history.  I came to accept, and give myself a mental head smack, that I’ve been ignoring my health.  I have no business being overdue for a complete physical and blood work.  Then there’s the matter of a mammogram and pap smear screenings.

It dawned on me that, since I stopped steadily losing weight before I reached my goal, I could be risking a recurrence of my blood pressure and blood sugar issues.  I monitor myself at home and things seem to be okay, but that doesn’t mean I should keep skipping full tests.  I also know that not having regular diagnostic screenings is just plain dumb and irresponsible.

So, I’m remedying the situation.  I found a new primary care physician to try and have an appointment for fasting blood work tomorrow.  After that, I’ll have a full physical, get a pap smear done and get a scrip for a mammogram.

I’m not big on self-diagnosing, but I’ve been reading up on thyroid issues.  I have requested a thyroid screening test too to see if it’s functioning the way that it should.  If it isn’t, that could shed some light on the stalled weight loss as well as some other symptoms I’m experiencing.

This is all a valuable lesson for me.  Eating healthy, fresh, clean food and working out are important for my health, but they aren’t a free pass.  I can’t neglect myself in any way by not going for regular checkups.  I’m glad that I’m taking the steps that I’ve put into place and that I’m ramping up my dedication to good self-care.

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Our Dogs, Ourselves

The last few months have been populated with several visits to the veterinarian.  Natty has battled a stubborn ear infection.  Pyxi’s had vulvitis, a bladder infection and some periodic incontinence.  Ear drops and sprays for Nat, antibiotics for both of them have been our norm.  Neither one of them has eaten well, in particular Pyxi.  She’s been consuming less than half of her normal diet.

Both of them put on a couple of pounds while I was dealing with my chronic foot issues.  They were not getting their customary amount of exercise during that time, plus it’s been so blistering hot that even when I can walk, I don’t push it with their little fur-coated bodies.  During the summer, I don’t walk them later in the morning than 8 a.m.  In the evening, we don’t go out until after 7 p.m.  If you’ve ever wondered when the pavement or street are too hot for your dog’s paws, here’s an easy test.  Hold your fingers or palm of your hand to the pavement for 7 – 10 seconds.  If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.

Pyxi, dropped the most weight and I’ve been concerned that something else might be happening, but waited until she was done with her antibiotics to see if she would start eating more regularly again.  However, by the time their follow up appointment arrived earlier this week, I was starting to get scared.

Our vet is wonderful.  He ordered a full blood panel.  While we waited for the results, he thoroughly examined her again from nose to tail with diagnostic instruments and hands-on touches.  He called up her recent x-rays and studied them again to make sure nothing had been missed the last time.  Thankfully, he neither felt nor saw any masses, misshapped organs or other things.

The blood results came back and some key levels were elevated, indicating kidney issues.  Her kidneys are functioning at about 60%.  My heart jumped and fluttered and I could feel myself getting scared.  My vet and I have been friends a long time and he swiftly made sure I knew that this could all be a result of the recent infection and the strong antibiotics.  He also went through the blood test line by line and showed me how other levels right away helped him rule out a couple major problems.  I started to breathe again.

The first thing he wanted to do was to put her on a lower protein diet for two weeks and then run another blood test to see if her levels normalized.  To achieve this diet, he wants me to cut out a third of her regular kibble and replace it with rice or pasta. In their evening meal, both dogs get a small scoop of some wet food too.  Instead of that over the next two weeks, Dr. Mike wants me to give Pyxi some chicken.  “I know how busy you are, but this won’t be too much for your to accomplish, will it?” he asked, although he already knew my answer.

I wouldn’t care if my days were three times busier than the President’s.  If my dogs need me to cook rice and chicken for them, I will.  I assured him it wouldn’t be a problem.  (I cooked for my old Irish Setter for two years before he died.)

Thankfully, that night I still had some leftover grilled chicken in the fridge and some rice in the cupboard that I could cook up. I also boiled some pasta for variety.  Friday night I bought a roasting chicken and some brown rice.  All three of us will be eating from that chicken for much of the week.  Let me just tell you that the dogs are loving it.  I’m not sure whether Pyxi started to feel better after her appointment and naturally has more appetite than before, or whether it’s the novelty of rice, pasta and chicken that stimulates her eating, but she’s cleaning her bowl at both meals.  (Natty doesn’t need the rice/pasta/chicken, but I don’t have it in me to deny him some bites when his sister is getting it.  I don’t give him as much, but he too is now eating more reliably than he was.)  I am relieved that she seems to be improving and am hopeful that her re-test in a week and a half will show that her levels are back to normal.

Here’s my point in tell you all this story.  As soon as the veterinarian prescribed a change in diet for the sake of my dog’s health, I immediately complied.  I went right into action mode to help my little girl feel better and recover from her ailment.

Doing this for her was automatic.

Unlike all of the years when I knew I need to change my food choices and eating patterns for the sake of my own health but didn’t make the necessary improvements.

Let this be a good reminder to myself.  I should always resolve to treat myself with at least the same high level of caring and commitment as I devote to my furry family members.

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Taking Care

It is much easier for me to take care of other people than it is to take care of myself, or to let others help me take care.  I’m learning.  Okay, at least I’m trying to teach myself.  The whole boot experience is a good teaching aid.  Since it is physically more awkward for me to get around, it sort of forces me to not overdo.

Since I never asked the doctor why the boot is necessary, I’ve assumed it’s to stabilize and cushion the foot while the healing process progresses.  It could be all that and also the whole awkward-can’t-overdo thing too.

Today for example, I opted out of a lawn party benefit for a local shelter.  I wanted to go and then thought practically about the fact that there wasn’t going to be a lot of seating.  Knowing that, I assessed how I’d feel about standing for an hour at the minimum.  I didn’t feel too enthusiastic because I’ve discovered that standing for more than a few minutes gets uncomfortable.    Weighing everything I realized that if I really wanted to take care of myself during this time, I should stay home and limit my activities to things around the house.

I’d like to always be good about taking care of myself.   How many times have I circled around to this before?  Self-care is so hard to perform and maintain.

I do better externally.  I have manicures and pedicures.  My hair appointments are scheduled like clockwork.  I usually remember to get a facial every couple of months.  Lately, I’ve gotten massage therapy more regularly too.  Hey, it only took me a couple of months before I went to the doctor about the plantar fasciitis. 😉

Unfortunately, the truly good self-care when it comes to my food plan and eating is not nearly as consistent as my manicures. I’ve improved when it comes to the quality of my food, but that whole compulsive behavior continues to be a tough challenge.  I’m not sure what need I’m feeding when I compulse, what owie think I’m taking care of.  Puzzling.  Upsetting. Annoying.

Tomorrow, all I can do is get up with do my best.  Resolve to be abstinent.  Take care of myself in ways that truly do represent actually taking care of myself.

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Home From the Holidays

I arrived back home in the Florida Keys about an hour ago at 8 p.m. after a full day of travel from Pennsylvania which was prefaced by a crappy night’s sleep.  Although that trip was smooth with no delays, I am exhausted.  For the life of me, I do not know how I handled traveling when I was 386 pounds.  The sheer effort of slogging between parking garages, terminals and concourses is enough to make anyone want to collapse for a nap on their luggage or, better yet, crib a ride on one of those rented luggage carts.

Complaining aside, I loved spending time with my family and friends.  I always try to drive around and see as many people as possible, yet even with my best effort and planning, I never managed to see everyone.

My weird ailment on Friday eased up on Saturday in that I no longer needed to throw up every few hours.  I continue to have some lingering discomfort in other, shall we say “tuneful”, ways but I’m sure that too will pass.  (Hah, what a horrible, unintended pun. *snicker*)  I don’t have much appetite, which is not a bad thing as, prior to my illness, I was eating too much of too many things that I don’t normally consume — or at least don’t normally consume in meals so close together.  This eating pattern very likely contributed to the gastric issues.

This leads me to looking ahead.  As you all know, because I keep talking about it, I’m recommitting to my recovery plan.  For the longest time, I’ve been thinking about this in terms of finally, finally, finally, losing the remaining pounds that I want to shed.  The third year anniversary of my weight loss surgery is approaching.  While I cannot lose the weight by that date, I truly am determined.

However, in recent days, my approach to achieving the ultimate goal has shifted.  That is because the ultimate goal itself has changed.  I owe it all to Anne Lamott.  If you have not seen this post, about what she refers to as the Anti-Diet, I urge you to read it.  It provided an “aha” moment, the likes of which I have not experienced in quite some time.  If you aren’t on Facebook, don’t worry.  She must have her profile set to public.  You can read it without signing in to FB.

So many things she says in her post hugged my heart.  This anti-diet idea is about treating ourselves with love, gentle acceptance, more love, and self-care. It’s about doing for ourselves what we would do for others; preparing and serving ourselves food in meals that we would offer an honored, loved guest.  It’s also about not letting our clothes and how we fit in them define our self-esteem.

If you were coming to my house for dinner, I would not feed you unhealthy crap.  I would take the time to select fine quality, fresh ingredients and cook you a delicious, balanced, nutritious meal that you would, hopefully, love.

Sitting across from you at the table, I would eat the same tasty, healthy meal, savoring each bite instead of mindlessly shoveling it into my mouth.

Food is not love.  Eating nutritious, balanced meals in a healthy manner is, however, a way to practice good self-care, to treat myself with love, respect, honor and kindness.   By keeping this in mind with my food choices, I will support my recovery in a number of ways.  With the commitment to my physical exercise for health and good eating, I know that, ultimately, weight will come off.  However, the bar for health will be in the way that I treat myself, not the numbers on the scale or the way my clothes fit.

Before I left the mainland on the drive home this afternoon, I stopped at a well-known produce stand.  I bought fresh fruits and veggies that delighted me with their quality and bright colors.  Kale, romaine, green beans, spaghetti squash, pineapple, Florida strawberries and a mamey sapote.  In deference to my slightly shaky system, I augmented this freshness with some soups from the supermarket.  The intention is to eat lighter than usual over the next several days to see how my body reacts.

Most of all, now that I’m once more home from the holidays, I’m going to commit to not dieting, but to nourishing myself – body, heart and soul.

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About My Knee

I haven’t exercised much this week.  Starting Monday, every morning when I woke up, my right knee – the problem one –  really ached and was particularly stiff.  In Tai Chi class on Wednesday night and yesterday morning as well as whenever I practiced, that knee clicked and felt much weaker than I’m used to, which hampered my ability to balance on it one-legged for some of the moves.  I had to use a “prop” foot much more often.

A couple of days, the pain was enough that I took some o-t-c relief.  I also massaged in arnica gel a couple of times each day.

I thought about it long and logically and decided that my knee was telling me to give it some time off for good behavior.  As much as doing so kicks me into the mental stew of, “You’re being lazy.  Don’t fall out of the exercise habit.  This is wrongwrongwrong.” I focused on the wiser, less judgmental voice that said, “You’ve done a lot over the last few weeks.  If you keep pushing you could really injure yourself and that will suck even more.”

So, except for shorter walks with the dogs a couple of times a day and the Tai Chi, I took it easy.  (Sadly, it’s been too windy to go for long bike rides.)  I didn’t hit the cardio work with the squats, jogging in place and other impact moves.  Today, Sunday, is the best that my knee has felt all week.  This indicates that I made the right decision.

The fact that I experienced this week at all really made me think about the knee overall.  I’ve come to believe that it’s time for me to have it professionally evaluated by a doctor.  My boss/friend suggested I consult the town acupuncturist, which could be a treatment option.  I’m open to alternative therapies.  However, I think I really ought to have it examined by a medical expert first.  I honestly don’t know if the problem is from arthritis, lack of cartilage, a combination of problems, or something else all together.

I don’t think the problem is serious enough to warrant surgery, but that’s my uninformed, not-grounded-in-medical-knowledge guess.  I honestly don’t know.   Maybe the answer is as simple as some physical therapy, or a brace for added support.  Maybe the problem is something more serious.  The maybes are endless.  The only thing for sure is that I won’t know until it’s checked.

I discussed this with my sister-in-law who is a nurse practitioner.  She agrees that it’s time to get it looked at.

In the meantime, I don’t believe that I need to give up exercise, but I need to be more careful about the level of impact in the exercising that I do.  Perhaps I also need to maintain balance and not overload myself with too much in too short a period of time.  I have another 5K walk coming up in a couple of weeks, which should be fine, as long as I don’t overdo it in the days right before and right after.  Some mindful moderation is in order, I believe.

This is another way to take care of myself.  Rather than ignore the problem and soldiering through, taking extra care now will, hopefully, prevent a serious injury down the line.



Post 600 – Keeping On

I wish I had something incredibly insightful to write about tonight, but to be completely honest, I’m exhausted physically, mentally and, for some reason, in my spirit too. The physical and mental exhaustion, I understand. After Disney I went to a business conference. It was terrific. I learned a lot, brought back new ideas to implement and investigate, networked with great people and also had a great time. We attractions people know how to have a good time, particularly when evening events are hosted by fellow attractions. However, as positive as each day was, I went non-stop from the time I woke up at 6:30 a.m. until I went to bed each night around 11 p.m. Full days of absorbing information and putting out mental energy just wipes me out. This all culminated with a seven hour plus drive home.

Explanation and understanding aside, I have no idea why my spirit is weary and I’m blue. Of course this all motivates my eating disorder to want to kick in and the struggle to not “binge” makes me even more tired.

What the heck am I going to do about it, you might ask? I’ve asked myself the same thing all day. I’ve decided to keep on keeping on. I feel overwhelmed right at this moment and when that happens, it’s constructive for me to go into “light a single candle” mode. I can’t do, fix, take on everything all at once, so I’m need to organize and structure everything into a “one thing at a time” plan.

First priority is making sure that my food stays nice and clean. When I’m weary, making a variety of food choices is challenging and also overwhelming, so keeping it simply and surrendering (KISS) helps a great deal. I have fruit, coconut water, greens and protein powder ready so I can go into smoothie/protein drink mode for a few days. Some might consider this restrictive, but for me simplifying the process and choices helps me. First of all, I feel like I’m treating myself with care and fostering good health for my entire system. This makes me feel better physically and mentally which should help me emotionally too. It also frees up brain energy. I don’t have to spend as much time thinking about food when I reduce the range of choices.

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day and I just have to power through it. I can do it and then Friday will be significantly less jammed with meetings and so on. Again, the key is taking care of myself first so that I can better take care of my responsibilities. I can prioritize the work tasks and the other things on my plate for the organizations on which I serve. I just did that to some extent. Someone asked me to call them at 7 a.m. to discuss some things for one of those other organizations and I said no. I can give her time and energy in the evening but the morning has to be devoted to the job. Prioritization.

I guess that’s my insight for tonight. Care of self comes first. Everything else gets a figurative number and a place in line. I can’t do everything all at once but I can take care of each thing in its own time.

Hopefully this sensible, healthy approach will not only help me recover from the physical and mental exhaustion but will lift the spiritual malaise as well.

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Going off the Clock

For three days in a row, I didn’t set my alarm for 6 a.m. I made the conscious choice not to get up super early for a hour of exercise to start the day. Frankly, I needed sleep more than I needed the workouts first thing in the morning.

This does not mean that I slacked off. I might not have made 10K steps every day, but I still moved my body enough in beneficial ways. For example, when I rolled out of bed closer to 8 a.m. yesterday, I went out for a 10 mile bike ride. Today I walked the dogs twice and went to a three hour Tai Chi intensive. Okay so “tai chi intensive” sounds like an oxymoron. It isn’t the same as power aerobics, but three hours of movement is still movement. We did two full sets to begin, each of which takes 15-20 minutes. These were followed by “foundation” exercises. Among these are something called danyus which are similar to squats. I’m sure we did 30 of them alone.

Honestly, as focused as I am on my physical fitness, it is not a bad thing for me to skip a couple of days. I don’t have to go full out seven days a week. It’s good for me to remember this and create balance. Sleeping a little later each morning for three days definitely created much needed balance. Whatever the case, doing so really helped. I feel much more rested tonight than I have in the last three weeks.

Overall, I feel terrific. My mind feels as rested as my body and I’m still riding that stress-release wave. Going off the clock turned out to be another useful form of self-care for the weekend.

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Relaxed to the Bones

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I don’t feel any part of my body holding onto stress and tension. Oh, the wonder of a really good, healing massage.

Mary Day has been wonderful so far and there are still a few hours remaining. I slept past 7:30 and then got up and took a 10 mile bike ride. I came home, ate breakfast and cleaned the pool. Then I caught up with a friend whose mother is in the hospital to see how everything is going with them. After that it was time to get ready for my hair appointment — the first self-care activity of the day. I always enjoy going to the salon. My stylist is also a friend so we generally have a good time chatting while she does the color and cut.

I had some free time afterward before my massage appointment and decided to go to that woman’s clothing store in town — the one that I couldn’t shop in until the last six months or so because they didn’t carry sizes big enough. You know what? Having a clothing store with good quality garments in such close proximity could be deadly on my budget. Thankfully, they usually have a great sale going on or, at least, weekly coupons. Such was the case today. I found two great tops and a pair of good navy pants. One of the tops will be absolutely perfect for a trip to New Orleans in a few weeks!

It’s a big deal for me to be able to look in the mirror and honestly, truly, deeply, be happy with how I look. I think I’ve touched on this before, but I’ve gradually stopped regarding myself with “fat eyes”. Instead, I can admire the drape and fall of a garment, the way a neckline flatters me, and just overall be truly pleased with myself as I am today. This is a huge gift and a dream come true, particularly when I can also tell myself that it’s only going to get better.

The aforementioned massage was pure heaven. Knots and tension just relaxed and eased away under D’s experienced, gifted touch. I didn’t exactly fall asleep but I dropped deeper and deeper into relaxation so that maybe only 10% of my mind was aware and semi-alert. My teeth and jaw are so happy to no longer be clenched, too.

I thought about going out to the movies tonight, but it felt like too much effort after my really good day. I am far happier just hanging here at home with the dogs while watching a Phillies game on television.

Oh, I did spend a chunk of time watching a DVD of the MusiCares tribute to Bruce Springsteen as the organization’s 2013 Person of the Year. Several artists performed Bruce songs for the audience, including Bruce, his family, and the band. Then Bruce gave a great acceptance speech and played five songs. This set me up just fine for the Springsteen concert my friend and I are going to soon. Given my almost 40 years as a Springsteen fangirl, it was definitely an appropriate part of my Mary-Me Day!

Hope your Saturday suited you!

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Stopping the Slide

A lot of what Chrissy said in her comment to my Funk-ytown post really resonated. Recovery requires attention to all three aspects – physical, emotionally and spiritually. Spirituality does not necessarily mean formal religion. It means different things to different people whether their Higher Power is God, Allah, Buddah, the Universe, or a higher consciousness of their own self. For me, mostly, it’s God. Sometimes it’s an intangible state of being I think of as my healthy-non-diseased mental state.

Whatever the case, I need to reconnect with my Higher Power in order to stop this slide. Allow me just to say that today I physically feel like utter crap and that’s a direct result of too many days in a row of eating off of my plan. Emotionally and mentally I’m still down, although I had a nice time last night — which I’ll share about later in this post.

I’m trying to take care of myself. Thanks to the forethought of arranging for a dogsitter to stay in my house last night while I went to Key West for the function, I was able to sleep in a little this morning. Staying in bed until almost 9 a.m. felt really good. I woke up to a beautiful morning, so beautiful in fact that it would have been a perfect day to take out the boat with friends. However, I didn’t rush to come back home. I realized that while I would have loved to be out on the water, I really didn’t want to be around a lot of people today. I feel like I have been surrounded by others without a break for too many days in a row. Don’t get me wrong, I like being social and enjoy the company of others at work and in my various other pursuits. It’s just that when I’m already feeling the effects of energy drain, I hit a wall.

So, today I decided that I would rather soak up some solitude hanging around the house with Nat and Pyxi. I also would treat myself to new spring flowers for my porch planters and rejuvenate my herb planter. This was another way of taking care of myself. With that decision made before I left the hotel this morning, I was in a calmer, more relaxed state of mind on the drive up home.

Perhaps that’s what opened me up to understanding why my funk and slide are prolonged. Lately, I’m experiencing a resuscitation of some co-dependency issues. Co-dependency kicks off my eating disorder because food and overeating were always my coping mechanisms. Destructive and not always effective, still, it’s how I coped.

I haven’t run up against a situation where I would experience co-dependency in the two-plus years that I’ve lived in recovery on my weight loss and health-reclamation journey. I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognize this right away, but now that I have the signs are very clear to me. Now that I know, it’s time, as Chrissy said, to jump horses on the carousel and look for help from my spiritual self and my Higher Power.

This is not something that I can resolve with an extra bike ride, although the endorphins help. I need to make the conscious decision to turn the problem, the situation, and my reaction to it, over to my Higher Power. Turning it over is another means of letting go of it. It requires admitting that the situation is not something over which I have any control, nor am I required to fix it.

My responsibility in this is to take care of myself. I need to stay aware of how the situation affects me and, when I feel its influence, not take that influence into myself but turn it over and let it go. It’s another kind of mindfulness, to realize how other people/places/things/situations can impact my health — if I permit them to. This aspect of my recovery requires help from my Higher Power, but I have to make the conscious choice to ask. Doing so will help me stop this slide and get back on the road to recovery.

Okay, now back to last night. A few weeks ago, I talked about finding a couple of new dresses for upcoming events and then also ordering some heels. Last night was one of the events. I had fun socializing with a large group of people whose company I enjoy. We talked, laughed, and danced a lot. It’s not easy to take a flattering picture of myself with my phone in a mirror, but hopefully you can get an idea. I think I looked great in one of my new dresses. (Please ignore the slightly strange facial expression. I was focused on trying to get the photo.)


This was the debut of one of the new pairs of shoes, too. First time that I’ve worn more than a kitten heel in forever. They were pretty and comfortable (for most of the night anyway). I slipped them off a few times, as did some of my friends with their heels, but I was never in pain. As I discussed in that earlier post, I haven’t owned a lot of really pretty shoes in my life. If I keep having this kind of success, I might become a late blooming shoe addict. What do you think?



Here’s to Taking Care of Ourselves

Okay, I’m going to wave a banner, lead a cheer and completely urge everybody reading this to find one great thing that you can do for yourself this week. Pick something that you completely enjoy and that falls in the category of Good Self Care. Then go and do it.

I did some of that tonight by going for a massage. The massage therapist I use is A-Ma-Zing! She pays attention to energy in my body, where it’s blocked, what’s tightened, what needs to release, etc. A session with her is so much more than a head-to-toe rub down. She can tell if an issue is rooted in muscle, tendons or nerves.

Thanks to the work she did on me this evening, I have immeasurably better range of motion in my left shoulder than I’ve enjoyed in weeks. I can’t tell you how much time she spent on the nerves and muscles in my right leg but the flexibility is incredible. That’s my weaker, more arthritic knee and it feels ten years younger tonight. I also am not experiencing the phantom ache I’ve felt in that leg every evening for the last week or so.

Yes, caring for self is a wonderful, positive thing.

Now, some might argue that everything I do is caring for myself. Eating healthier, exercising, working on my eating disorder and food issues — the whole kit and caboodle. That’s a valid argument. However, I will argue that it is incredibly important to also add extras. The additional things we do for ourselves might be physically, emotionally or mentally good for us, but they’re also treats which boosts the emotional benefits. These acts of self-care are great positive reinforcement.

Bi-weekly manicures and a monthly pedicure are self-care for me, but I’ve come to think of them as essential and routine. I guess coloring the gray in my hair falls into this category, too. I’ve always considered massages and facials as “extras”. I’m starting to think that I should schedule them more on a regular, routine basis, too. Ooh, now here’s a slightly indulgent dilemma. If the extra self-care treats are turned in regular occurrences, do I then need to find myself new extras with which to treat myself? Hmmm. I’m sure I can figure out a few ways. 😉

What are a few ways that you can practice self-care this week? Take a bath, find some alone time to read, get a massage, a facial, your nails done? What can you do to reward yourself for just being you?