Checking In on the Year of Health

“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded
― Dorothy Parker

Well, kittens, while we’re recapping, let’s do a brief pit stop on my yearly theme. In late 2017 I picked “health” as my overall focus from the coming year because I was determined to redress a series of issues (internal and external) that I felt had taken over too much of my life. Here’s how I’m doing.

Brain Health
My brain is miles better than it was this time last year, which in turn was miles better than I was the year previously. 2016 was a shit year for a lot of reasons, but high on the list was that it was the year where my anxiety reached its all time high and I/we made a bunch of big decisions to change up a lot of things about my work and life. All of those decisions turned out to be good in the long run but meant that I had to go through a period of significant change and then another period of stabilization that was incredibly stressful. It’s been worth it, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard. I wrote previously about having decided to “give up” a number of things that I knew were affecting my mental health in the past year, and having done so and seen the benefits, I feel in a much better place to confront other issues and topics that affect me in different ways. I think I need some professional help for some of them. I haven’t yet connected with a therapist, but I am researching into my options to do so and hope to tick off this goal by the end of the year. Here’s to emotional and cognitive health!

Body Health/Food Health
Major progress to report on this front. In January I switched up my birth control to see if it could help me address some health challenges and the results have stayed entirely positive. My migraine attacks have all but vanished, the weight I lost has stayed off, and the only less than ideal side effect has been more intense menstrual cramps. I’ve also really been trying to eat healthier this year and have basically eliminated added sugar from my diet with only very rare treats–which often times don’t agree with me when I do have them because most sugar feels excessive to me now. I’m in the midst of my six month exercise goal as well, which is helping keep me on the straight and narrow. One of the best decisions we’ve made this past year was to get an automated box of groceries delivered weekly which has not only made shopping easier (we shop on foot or by public transport so having the basics delivered weekly to our front door is a huge help), but it’s also upped our intake of fresher foods. I’m trying to cook more as a result, which was another food goal of mine in the past year. All in all, this is probably the category with the most overall positive progress in my Year of Health.

Financial Health
This is an ongoing project with some positives and some negatives over the past eight months. I set some ambitious goals for this year; I continue to make progress on some, I’ve fallen short on others, but overall I feel like we’re headed in the right direction. I’ve committed to new public goals of accountability in my spending and I’m always looking for ways to subvert consumerist pressures and find ways to consume intelligently. Money stresses me less than it used to because I feel like I’ve reckoned with some realities and habits related to it much better, even as I acknowledge we still have a ways to go before we meet our goals about paying off all our credit cards and investing.

Overall, it’s been really positive to see how my goals have overlapped with one another practically in the past year. I think that means I made the right call to focus on my health, and in the particular areas I have. And more importantly, I think I’m set up to finish the year strong. That feels really, really good.

5 thoughts on “Checking In on the Year of Health”

  1. Congrats on reaching your goals and here’s to a better quality of life! We just signed up for one of those weekly food box deliveries too, very much looking forward to that. One thing I’ve tried and failed at many times is eliminating added sugar. Sugar is EVERYWHERE, and I have a sweet tooth on top. Got any tips for sticking to this one?

    My goal before the year’s end is just to finish my exams and be free of them, and shortly thereafter, my work visa. That’ll be pretty full-on, very excited to tick these ones off. 🙂

    1. No tips except joyless willpower, I’m afraid. And the assurance that a sweet tooth can be tamed because you’ve already recognised that sugar is indeed, every-bloody-where! You just have to wean yourself off it, first step by teaching yourself where it’s hiding and learning to eat other options instead.

      That is a GREAT goal, good luck!

  2. Congrats!

    I am sadly someone who enjoys sweet things like cookies and pastry…My first step to de-sugar (sounds small, I know) is to try and never again consume Heinz ketchup which has TWO kinds of sugar in it. Am v careful about buying bread and even (!) soup — everything has added sugar so it takes a lot of (tiring) vigilance to avoid it. Jose is now on insulin which means we’re both healthy-ing up stat.

    The more you do your own cooking, of course, you know exactly what’s going into your body.

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