2016 has been a hell of a year. I honestly believe it has been the best year of my life, for multiple reasons. All of these reasons have come down to one thing: Taking care of myself.
I still have quite a long way to go, but I’ve learned how important it is to take care of yourself. I’m not only talking about diet, exercise, and appearance. I’m talking about mental health and wellness as well.
First let’s talk about hair. I know this may be a small, unimportant thing to most people, but to me it’s a big deal. I’ve struggled with my hair for 2 years, after bleaching it to the point where it was falling out and breaking off. I just really wanted pink hair. Well, it got so bad that I had to chop it off 4 different times until all of the dead hair was gone. The last time I chopped my hair was in March. In April, I stopped using straighteners and curling irons. The only heat I was putting on my hair was minimal blow drying. I also started using oils, and getting bi-monthly deep conditions. My hair has grown, and I haven’t seen a single split end since. I straightened my hair for the first time since yesterday, and I was shocked at how healthy and soft my hair was. I’ll still stay away from styling tools until my hair is suuuuper long.
Okay, let’s get onto the more serious stuff. I’ve suspected that I have thyroid problems since I was 16, but every test came back negative. Finally, I had enough, found a new Dr. and discovered I have hypothyroidism. A few days before I got my results, I stopped eating beef thanks to a bad experience from a restaurant. My Dr. told me my cholesterol was high (WTF I’m only 24!), so I started eating better, and not eating beef was obviously a good choice. I started cutting out other meats too, specifically pork and processed meats. Because I’m anemic (I know, what else could possibly be wrong with me), I had to be very careful with my diet, but I’ve been able to keep enough iron in my body apparently, because I feel fine!
This summer, as you know if you’ve read my blog, my anxiety started getting unbearable. I had held off getting medicated for 2.5 years because my last medication was awful. I was trying to “medicate” myself in other ways. One of those ways was getting rid of toxic relationships. In June/July I ended some relationships (some required ghosting, oops) that just weren’t good for me. I was feeling constant anxiety and self worth issues because of these relationships, and it just wasn’t good for my mental health. If you know me, I’m a huge advocate for getting rid of toxic people. I do the best I can to keep relationships working as long as possible, and give people the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it’s just not worth your emotional health.
Fast forward to October. I had literally tried everything I could think of to help my anxiety. Exercise, meditation, getting out of the house more, etc. Nothing worked and it was only getting worse. I finally decided that I needed medication. I voiced my concerns to my Dr. about my previous medication, and he prescribed me something he thought would be perfect for me, and it was. Out of all the things I’ve done to take care of myself this year, getting medicated was by far the best decision I’ve made. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get help with your mental disorders. They’re too difficult to deal with alone.
Some things I’ve been doing more recently have really changed the game. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve been eating much much better. Most of my meals consist of fresh fruit and veggies. I very rarely eat boxed dinners, pre-made dinners, or fast food, and when I do I always go for the healthier option. Obviously I’ve splurged (I couldn’t say no to that pizza), but I’ve been noticing a huge difference in my body. Not only do I look better, but I feel so much better. I have more energy in general, which means I have more energy to actually cook good meals and keep my house tidy! One of the best parts? My skin has cleared up so much. I’ve struggled with acne most of my life, so this was a huge wake up call for me. I already knew I had a milk allergy, cutting out dairy 99% for one week has been amazing! I also haven’t worn a bra in almost 2 weeks, and my boobs feel great…but you probably don’t really need to know those details.
I’m really excited for what 2017 has to bring. I’m going to try really hard to keep up with what I’m doing, as well as add some other steps to better health. Exercise is one thing I always give up on. I really need to get my butt into gear and do a better job with that. Another goal I have is to drink more water. I drink a decent amount, but not nearly as much as I should be drinking. The Holiday’s are always hard when it comes to dieting, but I think I’m determined enough to say no to most things (except cheesy potatoes, because let’s be real). That being said, I will be giving any Christmas candy away, so let me know if you want dibs!
I really hope that you all take care of yourselves. I know it’s hard in the beginning to get motivated, but once you do it is so worth it. There is always something to work on. We only have one body, one mind, and one life. I’m very grateful I realized that this year and have been working toward a new, happier, healthier me. If anyone needs help getting healthy, I’m always here to talk! I’m no expert, but I do love helping out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you need help bettering yourself!