I have a few Microsteps that help me thrive. One of them is hot yoga. I take a 60 or 90-minute class, and it really helps me unplug from the workday. The movements can deepen your breathing, stretch your body, and center you. Hot yoga can teach you how to calm your thoughts and focus on what your body needs. I have even developed a better quality of sleep from hot yoga. I rarely sleep through the night, but since starting this new practice, my sleep is more complete and I am not waking up tired anymore. I’ve also stopped eating chicken after speaking with my doctor about my nutrition. I have incorporated more fruits and vegetables into my diet, and I drink a gallon of water a day. Smoothies for breakfast have replaced bagels, potatoes and bacon.
I first started incorporating these Microsteps into my routine because I felt old. My body was hurting. I made an appointment with my doctor for my annual checkup, and getting the results back was devastating. I found out I was pre-diabetic, in menopause, and 50 pounds overweight. I was not prepared to hear any of that. I knew that my clothes were tighter and my face was a bit wider, but to have the test results in black and white, to know that these are the results of total neglect of myself, was both devastating and eye-opening. I had to take immediate action. Outside of the menopause, the 50-pound weight gain was completely due to mindless eating and not moving.
I started incorporating the change in my eating habits and hot yoga three weeks ago, and I have lost ten pounds so far. The improvement in my sleep has been great, too. I used to wake up multiple times during the night. Oftentimes I would wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. Now, I have more energy and I am not nearly as tired as I used to be at the end of the day. I am so proud of the changes I am making. My body doesn’t hurt like it did just three weeks ago, and I’ve also noticed I have been dreaming again at night.
At work, my team has noticed my weight loss and they’ve told me I look well-rested. I’ve shared with them the changes that I have been making. I have invited them to take the yoga class with me and we have been sharing ways to improve their nutrition as well. I share with them dishes I am making at home. I have a team of young people. They are all in their early twenties, so fast food is usually on the menu. I’ve noticed they have been eating salads and drinking smoothies recently, so I am very excited about that.
I attended my first Thrive workshop on Monday, and it helped me see that I am absolutely on the right path. It inspired me to go deeper into my well-being journey. Going forward, I want to find more ways to strengthen my mind and body. I also want to carve out time for the things that bring me joy. One joy trigger for me is listening to great music, or hearing a great love story. I love hearing stories of two people finding amazing love against all odds. That inspires me.
One piece of advice I would give my younger self is to take more chances. I am 50 years old now and I wish I had not played life so “safe.” I would tell my younger self to dream big and chase after what you want. I’m working on that part now!