Some of you may recall my January “resolution” post about 2014 being the year that I’m undefeated as a thyroid warrior. Read the full post here. I want this year to be the year that Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Sjogrens, and Fibromyalgia are things that I have, not things that define me. Well, as we approach the end of the first quarter (Q1), I feel as though I owe myself and my readers an update on how I’m doing. My husband is in sales, so we are always well aware of the end of each quarter. Particularly the first quarter, I think is important because it’s a measuring stick for how the rest of the year is going to go. So, here goes:
1) Climb. My first goal was to rock climb more. I have done that! I joined an indoor rock climbing gym and have been going about once a week. I spend much of my time belaying my boys, but my husband and I do get to climb some as well. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m aware it’s a journey and I’m enjoying climbing more with my family. I am still committed to going regularly and getting into better shape. I am working out on the elliptical machine at home whenever I can to help build strength and endurance (and burn calories). I am also still going to Fit4Mom classes whenever they fit my schedule! I truly believe that I feel better when I exercise. Overdoing isn’t for me, but regular, moderate exercise seems to keep the fibromyalgia at bay and keeps me healthier overall. The last few months, I have had fewer headaches and bad days. [For those of you wondering what the bad days are, those are the days when I feel awful. My legs and back ache to the point where I can barely move and struggle to sit on the floor to play games with the boys, or my hands ache so badly that I can barely type. Sometimes, they are days when my head and neck are so riddled with knots that I get terrible headaches.] I’m not dwelling on the bad days, anymore, though. They are what they are, they happen, and I move on. So, for this goal, I’d give myself a decent score, acknowledging that I can do better – particularly on the busy weeks when it’s more difficult to make time for myself.
2) Meet with a nutritionist. I have done this also! 3 sessions last month. My husband and I learned a lot about creating a more plant based diet. We worked with Linda Watson, who writes her own blog, Cook for Good. She has written several great cookbooks. I highly recommend Wildly Affordable Organic. We are trying new recipes each week. On this goal, I give myself a high score, because I am really trying hard in this department. My son’s pediatrician, as well as my own doctor, recommended doing a trial off dairy. We haven’t done this yet, but plan to do this very soon. We are trying to sort out recipes and make sure we know how to make quick, healthy dinners before we jump in head first. We don’t eat meat, so cutting out dairy is a little trickier for us from a protein/calcium standpoint, but we are trying various milk substitutes, etc. BUT – who knew we could make vegan french toast and everyone would love it?! Hooray! I believe this change towards a more plant based diet will make a big impact on my overall health, so I’m pushing forward on this one!
3) Learn more. Well, this is a never ending goal of mine. I am constantly learning more about thyroid disorders. One of the ways that I do this is through my Wednesday Weekly Roundup. I pour over thyroid related articles trying to find the most interesting ones to share with all of you each Wednesday. This process has helped me stay up on thyroid-related news, but has also taught me so many things I didn’t already know about thyroid related issues. Another thing that I have done is connect with and follow thyroid advocates like Mary Shomon (Thyroid.About.Com), Dana Trentini (HypothyroidMom), Michelle Bickford (ThyroidChange), and Danna LaRue (ThyroidNation). These amazing women are leading the way in thyroid advocacy. I learn so much from them. I have also learned so much from all of you. I am grateful to everyone who posts articles, shares stories and comments on posts on my website and my Facebook page. Together, we continue to build support for each other and raise awareness of the important issues surrounding thyroid health. I also wrote in January that I was committed to talking and writing about thyroid disorders, particularly congenital hypothyroidism. I’m working on finding more time in my schedule for more research and writing. On this goal, I’d give myself a decent score, but I definitely have room for improvement.
4) Parent better. Yikes. This is a tough one. I feel like there are days where I do great and other days where I fail miserably. When my husband is home, this is certainly an easier goal to meet. When he’s out of town, it’s tougher for me. I am not the best at being a single mom. I give props to those of you who raise your children on your own. I am still listening to TED talks, which I really enjoy. Not only does it keep me from being bored out of my mind on the elliptical machine, but I’m learning new things and being inspired (go to the TED website and search “parenting” if you want to find some interesting talks on parenting). I have done better with putting my phone down and being more present. I have done better at acknowledging that when I’m not feeling well and asking for help instead of doing everything on my own. Most of my bad mom moments (raising my voice, snapping at my boys) come when I’m tired or sick and even something as small as taking deep breath and letting my kids know that I have a headache and need their help to get through bedtime has been huge. I’m probably being too hard on myself on this one, but I still want to do better at not letting my bad days control how I parent. I have shifted gears on parenting books, with the help of my book club. We are now reading Mindset by Carol Dweck. I am looking forward to learning more about her philosophy and how it may help my parenting. On this goal, I’ll give myself a “okay” score, with room for improvement. For Lent, our family decided that we were not going to give anything up, but instead recommit ourselves to being patient and kind to each other and try to treat each other with the same respect we treat those outside of our family (teachers, classmates, friends, co-workers). Hopefully this new mindset will help me reach this goal.
That is my update on my 4 main goals for 2014. I think after Q1, I know where I stand. I know what I want to focus on to reach my goal of being UNDEFEATED in 2014! I’m one quarter of the way there. As I write this I am reminded of Gandhi’s quote “Action expresses priorities.” You make time for the things that are important to you. I’ll check back in with you at the end of Q2 and let you know how I’m progressing.
By Blythe Clifford aka ThyroidMom