What a difference a year makes – part one

A year ago today, I was blogging about managing my own and others’ worries as I prepared for my STAAR surgery. I was also looking forward to attending my friend Tammy’s first bodybuilding competition. My mind was busy and the level of stress I was experiencing was greater than I knew.

The idea for this blog and several that will follow came from a discussion I had with a colleague yesterday. He brought up my surgery and how well I had recovered and suddenly I realized that I was only 3 weeks away from the first anniversary of that major life event. Had it been that long? And the changes in my life since that time have been, well, life-changing. I went into the surgery carrying expectations of myself that were completely unrealistic and very afraid that I would not survive. Unfortunately, while I did (gratefully) survive the surgery, I brought those same expectations out of the experience. I returned to all of the same stress. Even after I decreased my level of stress on the job by relinquishing my supervisory position, I still maintained a crazy schedule of commuting an hour, working all day, commuting another hour, working out for 90 minutes, then rushing home to eat, pack lunch, and prepare to do it all over again the next day. I was averaging 6 hours of sleep per night. Over time, according to my doctor, I managed to disrupt my cortisol cycle and was dead tired at 4:30pm (could have napped in my car on the freeway) and wide awake in the middle of the night with night sweats.

This, of course, led to further changes. I began taking some additional supplements, changed my workouts radically, and now make every effort to be in bed so that I can average 7-8 hours of sleep. It has taken more than 2 months, but I am nearly back in balance. I tried a few different workouts including the 15 minute workout and finally landed back into yoga. I have practiced yoga in the past, so it was not an entirely new experience. I find that it provides me with the right level of workout and allows me to be centered and mindful.

I may have mentioned in a previous post, I also planted roses. Not just a couple of rose bushes. We planted 19 rose bushes that I tend every weekend with love and happiness. They are beautiful. I am attempting to grow them organically (without pesticides or other chemicals).

Of course, I added yet another activity/interest. I am learning to make my own products so that we can decrease the level of toxicity in our home. To date, I have made lavender essential oil (with the lavender I planted along with the roses). I have also made light antibacterial spray, room deodorizer, and a nighttime lavender-scented oil. I am experimenting with the antibacterial spray as a yoga mat spray – the jury is out on that one.

You might be wondering about the weight loss maintenance and yes, changing my workouts did create a bit of a problem. However, I have been able to figure out what I can eat to lose or maintain weight with my current level of activity – without bodybugg. I took bodybugg off a couple of months ago, for good. They changed their subscription service and I was going to lose all of my data anyway. Rather than re-establish an account, I decided to go cold turkey. So after nearly 3 years of wearing it (feels sort of odd), my left arm is band-less. I do still log food, but I do it no a free site.

So that’s just a brief (Really? Brief?) summary of the changes. More thoughts in the coming days.

What a difference a year makes!

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