This morning John and I slept in. What that really means is that he gets up with Lucy at 6a so she can have her breakfast and a little walk around the neighborhood to do her duty, and then he comes back to bed. So really, it’s a win for me. I always mean to get up but the beginnings and the ends of days are tough for me. It’s tough for me to get going, and it’s tough for me to stay awake at night.
I thought, since I’m trying to get back to this space a little more, that I’d begin July with a post about how I begin most of my days (barring meds, or MRIs like yesterday, when we get up at 5a and head into the city).
Every morning, I get up and put on my watch. That begins the tracking of my movement for the day. Also, the earlier you start your stand hours, the sooner you hit 12. I check my Nalgene by the bedside – how full it is, etc. I have four Nalgenes, three of which are in constant rotation at the house for my water tracking. One is purple, one pink and the last green. Each is 32 ounces, so based on the idea that a person should drink half their body weight in water ounces, I need to have about 80 ounces of water a day. And more, because I exercise. So I make a mental note of which color bottle I’m starting with, and how many ounces are in it. I try to have three full bottles a day, plus any extra waters at restaurants, or our other water bottles that fit into the Jeep (and actually keep water cold). Having the different colors helps me remember (if it’s a tough brain day) how much I’ve had. I can track by color.
Once I’m vertical, and have allowed my body to have its morning spasm (always enjoyable), I get dressed to work out. My goal is always to ride the bike early, so that the rest of the day is free, but I will confess that that doesn’t happen all the time. I get distracted doing laundry, or cleaning the floors, or reading a magazine. But I now have a whole section of work out clothing in my closet (thank you Fabletics) so I’m usually go to go with clean clothing.
I’m a skincare junkie, so I try to splash my face with some cold water and then do a quick wipe with toner. Then I slap on some lightweight moisturizer with SPF so that when Lucy and I walk around the neighborhood I don’t get sunburned. I also psychotically brush my teeth and use a tongue scraper (sidenote, if you have never used one or don’t even know what it is, let me tell you that it is the best thing for making your mouth feel clean and keeping your breath fresh. I am obsessed with mine). I will confess that the time I spend in the bathroom at the beginning of the day and the end of the day is not a small amount. But … I like taking care of my skin and my teeth.
Next up I take four drops of liquid Vitamin D and B12. I do 8000 IUs of Vitamin D a day and 1000 of B12. Probably a little higher than the average Joe, but I have multiple sclerosis, so it works for me. I also always make my bed and clean up any clothing I might not have put away the night before. Sometimes I’m so blindingly tired when I go to bed I don’t even remember, so despite my OCD tendencies, it isn’t uncommon that my clothes are folded and left out on the bench under my window. Somehow, despite fatigue, I still manage to fold my clothing before bed. Just not put it away.
I also put some foot cream on my right foot, because the nerve endings in that foot are shot, and so I have a build up of dead skin and calluses (super sexy, I know) and my podiatrist prescribes me an ointment that eats away at that stuff. It’s pretty rad.
The best part of my morning is my green smoothie, which I almost always have first thing, before Lucy’s walk, my bike ride, or anything else. I’ve been doing green smoothies for a couple years now, and our basic recipe is pretty delish, but sometimes we switch it up if we have extra fruit (recently we had mango and it was so.yum) or something we want to try. We used to use the NutriBullet, but that burnt out after a couple years so now we use our Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, consider getting one, because it is glorious. I absolutely love it. I put baby spinach, orange juice, milk, ice cubes, organic peanut butter, a banana, Field of Greens supplement, Matcha, ginger, turmeric and a little cayenne pepper into our smoothie. I used to use coconut oil, but I like the flavor of a nut butter better. You could make it healthier by using nut milk and nut butter, but John and I have tried (to this point unsuccessfully) to make the switch away from cow’s milk and intermittently used different combos of almond butter, cashew butter and others, but because it’s such a routine thing, I buy the easiest stuff to get when I’m trying to get in and out of Wegmans as fast as possible. (That store is NEVER not crowded. Seriously.)
With our smoothies I dole out our vitamins, a Men’s Multi for John, Women’s Multi for me, and a Vitamin C boost. Sometimes we take Airborne (depending on the season and how we are feeling). After that, it’s a walk around the neighborhood with Lucy, which I consider my warm-up, and then some burpees, squats, ab stuff and a bike ride. My goal was 100 miles a week, but I’ve upped it recently to 150 (I was consistently hitting about 135 a week, and figured I needed to increase the challenge).
Anyway, that’s my morning. That’s my little recipe for trying to feel the best I can regardless of how my body and my disease are feeling. I read in one of my health magazines an interesting piece about hitting a workout plateau. And I think I’ve begun to mentally apply it to MS. A lot of times people hit a plateau because they don’t believe they can keep going/push harder/lift heavier/last longer. But mostly, it isn’t about what our muscles are capable of, but what our mind has decided. So sometimes, when I am near tears and feeling utterly beaten and frustrated, I think about that. And I try to focus on succeeding and overcoming. And once I believe I can, it makes it a lot easier to accomplish. So, even when my bones ache, and everything feels heavy and clunky, I make myself get up, strap on my watch, and begin my day putting goodness in my body.
Happy July all! xo