Wellness Part 1
In December I hit a wall. December, filled with decorating, shopping, wrapping, and gatherings all compounded with the addition of a toddler, was absolutely exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I savored every minute of the holiday, snapped a million pictures of my little one experiencing family activities, Christmas lights, presents, and even snow! But each night, I slept, hard, and still woke up tired. Each morning was fueled by copious amounts of coffee and many afternoons as well. My patience with my little guy was waning. I had a difficult time waking up in the morning so I could get to the gym and back before our toddler was up, so I didn’t go. I was sluggish, suffered from brain-fog moments, and my skin lost some of its glow. I couldn’t understand what was wrong, why just a few weeks before I had energy to do everything on my daily list, and then some.
And then, after the cookies were baked and eaten, parties attended, presents wrapped – and unwrapped, I figured out why. We were getting back to our regular schedule, and I went in to take my vitamins. There they sat in their box, neat packets lined up waiting to be consumed. I clearly had not been very good about remembering to take them, as more than half a box remained. It was the end of the month and I should have been nearly finished. My body figured out that it wasn’t getting the nutrients it needed before I did. It was telling me that the vitamins I’d been taking since March really were making a difference in my health.
Vitamins. I know, probably not the most exciting of subjects. We take them in the morning half-asleep, expecting our bodies to process the minerals to help our keep us healthy. Have you ever taken vitamins and noticed how your body reacts to them? I’ve taken some kind of vitamin since I was a little girl. Those Flintstone vitamins were probably more sugar and flavoring than actual nutrients, but we took them. Even as an adult, despite taking a daily vitamin specifically for women, I never once felt I was improving my health because of them. I’ve spent long stretches of time in the vitamin aisle, diligently reading labels of the top vitamin manufacturers, comparing ingredients listed on the bottles. Finally choosing one, taking it as instructed on the label, and not feeling any different, even after months of taking.
Then I found the vitamins I’m taking now. Within a week of starting them in March, I started to notice a difference. I somehow had more energy, was getting better sleep, felt better. These vitamins have been a part of two independent studies, showing drops in blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels, and inflammatory response. I have learned that just because the label on the outside of the bottle says it meets 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin or mineral x, does not mean that our bodies are absorbing mineral x.
Wellness. It is comprised of many different facets of our lives. It has become my focus this year. How could I possibly be well, if I’m not taking vitamins that clearly have had a positive impact on my health? So for this first month of Wellness, I have made the commitment to myself to take my vitamins each day, to notice the impact they are having on my health. I am worth it!
In my New Year’s blog post I wrote that my word this year is Wellness. Most of us take vitamins to help supplement our nutrition needs, but how often do we take time to see what effect those vitamins have on our health. Are they making a difference? Take the time to research the things you are putting into your body. Make certain that they are keeping and making you well. You are worth it!