Deep Thoughts: Taking Care of Me

I feel like I need to author this post under the name Jack Handey. Deep Thoughts, Stacy’s Obligatory Monthly Cathartic Moment…

But I want to make a post about Taking Care of Yourself. It’s something I really needed a reminder about. I wasn’t paying attention to the person I’m most responsible for: me.  Not work. Not the kids. Not the cats. Not Matt. Not bills, housework, shopping. Not this blog or the book. I can’t do any of those things if I’m not healthy and well, and I needed to refocus on what is truly important in my life. I’m hoping some of you can be inspired too.

I personally read the blogs of some awesome women, who all have been talking about taking care of themselves lately too. Like BalancedBite‘s adrenal protocol, Hayley’s broth cleanse, Melissa’s Healing Experiment and Jude‘s Balance efforts.  I even got to hear how Elana was taking an entire year to focus on herself from a recent phone chat.  But of course, none of that sunk in with me (even though I knew I needed to hear it) until I got REALLY sick before Thanksgiving.

I got so ill that I couldn’t even check e-mail on my phone. I didn’t care. I was so sick I didn’t leave the bathroom for almost 24 hours. It was awful and I was wrecked in a way I haven’t been since going Paleo. It took getting that sick for me to realize that I wasn’t taking care of myself. I knew my body couldn’t fight the illness the way it wanted because it wasn’t in an optimal state.

It was easier for me to stay up until 1, 2 or 3am in the morning than to tell myself to stop working on perfecting the book. It was easier to keep answering blog e-mail, facebook comments , pintrest posts and twitter messages than it was to realize I couldn’t possibly get back to everyone. And then on top of it all, my regular day job went crazy hectic and that is something that is crucial to do correctly and timely.

So what suffered? My relationship with my family. The time I had to spend with the kids. And above all else, me: I suffered. I forgot where the gym even was. I never slept. And as a result I craved carbs and sugar. So I ate a boatload of paleo(ish) foods that I knew weren’t healing my poor, exhausted body. I drank coffee, ate chocolate and developed an eye twitch. Literally.

So when I had to unplug for a couple days because I was beyond ill, I got too behind to even try to catch-up. I had to delegate at work. I had to delegate some blog stuff at home. And I had to admit that I was never going to be able to do everything I wanted in the time that I had.

I gave myself a pass. I told people I was sick and they understood. Their expectations lowered and so did my guilt regarding the things I wanted but couldn’t do.

And then it was Thanksgiving. And my family arrived! So again, I put down my electronic devises and I focused on spending time with my mom, my sisters, my brothers, my kids and my husband. I visited with friends over the break. I played board games and cards instead of watching TV with the boys at night.

And all of the sudden, it had been 6 days and my laptop hadn’t been opened.

And life was still going on.

I don’t remember the last time I went more than 24 hours without a computer. Even at that, those were strategically planned choices to not touch them. To shut the computer down for a long weekend, plus sick days, was a mind-blowing event. I came out on the other side on Monday morning able to get my day-to-day job done.

On Monday evening I gave myself one hour to edit photos and work on catching-up on the blog. I didn’t finish the Thanksgiving post. Instead of freaking out and staying up to do it, I went to bed at my prescribed new bed time of “when I’m tired, but no later than 10pm.” And eventually, the post went up. I didn’t hear a single one of you say, “This post is late, I quit this blog!”

The next day, I said to Matt “I feel so great, I want to go to the gym and work out.” And so we did. I did yoga, rowing sprints and a little lifting. And I came home feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and fantastic. I remembered what Paleo was really about. I focused on living the life I was preaching. And I remembered why I preached it to begin with.

In the past 10 days I’ve slept more than I probably had in the entire prior month. My carb and sugar cravings are almost completely eliminated. The facial breakouts I was having have subsided. My hormone regulation is back in control. My weight loss has jump started again.

I am really excited to start losing weight and feeling great again. But I realize it’s only happening because of my energy to go to the gym, my availability to go to sleep and my focus on eating the right things in order to take care of myself.

I want to encourage you to have your own wake up call. Pretend you have the flu. Call in sick. Stay in bed. Hide your devices. Recover mentally. Recover physically. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Focus on your kids and your family – the things that are truly important to you in your life.

I hope that the noticeable difference in our participation in social media doesn’t offend you. I can’t do anything about the fact that our Alexa and Klout rankings have taken a slight hit. But guess what: when I’m laying on my death bed, I’m NEVER going to say “Man I wish I’d spent more time online so that our site stats were better.”

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