After 15 years, countless doctors and hospitalizations as well as major surgery, last September doctors at National Jewish in Denver finally figured out why I was having persistent respiratory infections. New diagnoses, protocols and medications and doing every single thing the doctors tell me to do have given me nine solid months of stable health for which I am tremendously grateful. Moreover, I feel as though I get to reorganize my life and can make plans that were harder to make when my health was less predictable. I am officially rebooting my various aspects of my life.
First priority: sleep. Unless it’s a true emergency, I am making a concerted effort to get more sleep. As a business owner, the to-do list is always full, work is never over and it’s easy to want to check one more thing off the list or spend an hour on social media when I really need the sleep. I am adamant about getting at least eight hours of sleep and I definitely feel the difference.
For the past 15 years I have had to take 6-12 rounds of steroids a year for these infections. Prednisone has both saved my life and wrecked it in other ways over the years. Mostly it wreaked havoc on my body and moods. For the past 15 years it’s been virtually impossible to keep weight off because Prednisone messes with your metabolism and deposits fat in odd places, like the base of your neck and shoulders. Chronic infections made exercising difficult to boot. I’d work out like crazy between infections to minimize the loss of stamina and fitness knowing full well that any day I’d get sick and lose everything I worked so hard to gain. So the endless cycle of gaining weight from Prednisone and then having to lose it before the next round took up an unfortunate amount of space in my head and heart. In my closet I had to keep 3 sizes of clothes representing the various weights I’d reach based on where I was in the Prednisone cycle. I’ve cried a river over this issue. Anyone who has battled with his or her weight as a result of medication knows how cruel this cycle is.
So I decided the day after Easter that now that Prednisone is no longer a part of my life I could commit to losing the Prednisone weight and keeping it off permanently. By sharing this goal I am also making myself accountable. I have been doing the vegetarian version of Atkins combined with my normal fitness routine of 45 mins a day of strength training, cardio or Pilates 5x/week. As of today my BMI is under 25 and I’m at the weight I was when I graduated from high school. I still have a few more pounds to lose but I’m committed to staying at this weight and fitness level.
I’m also rebooting aspects of my job to try to be more positive and proactive about my least favorite tasks. Just getting them done as quickly as I can prevents me from having to spend more time than necessary dreading them. Even simple habits are getting the reboot. Making a concerted effort to pack early for business trips so I don’t end up packing at 10pm the night before an early flight has also been helpful. This may sound like a minor thing but packing when you’re tired, stressed and should be sleeping is the worst way to start a trip.
Conversely, I’m also recommitting myself to a project that I’ve stopped and started several times over the past six years when we allowed other projects to push it to the wayside. I’m refusing to moved ahead with anything else until it’s done. I look forward to sharing more with you when I am able.
At some point last summer my hair became naturally curly, pretty much forcing me to abandon my trademark Pixie haircut of the past 20 years. So the hair also got a reboot and the Pixie has been replaced by a head full of longer, loose, unruly curls. If you’ve had straight hair your whole life, natural curls are a fun and unexpected gift.
What parts of your life could use a reboot?