Posted by: unlikelygrad | February 4, 2011

who I want to be, part 2

I have been thinking (and talking) a lot about who I want to be when I grow up. One thing that I’ve been wanting for a few years now, but have only recently been doing something about, is to be a woman who takes care of herself.

By this I mean taking care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I probably need to lose 15-20 pounds, but my primary physical goal right now is to become more active. So I have started exercising every morning after I wake up–a bit of weights, a bit of yoga/stretching.

Flexibility is a good thing; you young’uns in your 20’s may not realize how much flexibility you can lose over the years if you’re not careful. After only one month, I am definitely starting to enjoy the fruits of my labors. No more joint pain!! Woot! In a couple of months I may even try wearing (low) heels–I’ve always held off on these because of knee problems. I guess all I really needed was some strength training to fix this.

Of course, I also need to work some aerobic exercise into the equation somewhere, though I’m not sure how. When I lived in California I used to walk/bike a lot instead of driving, where possible. (I once calculated that I walked a minimum of 20 miles/week.) That’s certainly a possibility here in Colorado, but it doesn’t seem quite possible when there may be up to a foot of snow on the ground during the winter. Of course Dr. Hand-Waver is a great role model to me in this regard: the only days she drives (or gets a ride) to work are the days when it is a literal blizzard outside. Otherwise she bikes; 2-4 inches of snowfall is not an issue to her.

Finally, I want to take care of myself through conscientious dental and medical care. I have always brushed my teeth regularly, but have started flossing (2x/day!). Dental exams every six months (I used to do these yearly at best) and yearly physical exams are on my radar screen. I have to face the fact that I’m only a year or so from age 40 and need to start thinking about mammograms (2 of my aunts had breast cancer) and a colonoscopy (Yikes! But my grandmother died of some sort of GI cancer at age 38, so I really should have done screenings starting at age 35.)

To take care of myself emotionally I am trying to go to the counseling center on a regular basis. I am trying to avoid toxic people. Emotional health for me ties into spiritual health, and I am working on the sorts of spiritual practices endorsed by my religion.

Finally, I am also trying to take care of myself mentally. Although grad school can be mentally strenuous, it’s only one type of mental workout. I like to do puzzles of all sorts. I like to read. And I am trying to teach myself new things all of the time–starting this week, learning how to knit. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and have even tried to learn twice, to no avail. Now that I’m older and more patient and have developed my coordination a bit (just a bit, mind you) I’m going to give it another go.

Having made a number of changes in my life in the last few months, I find that I am happier, calmer, and feel fantastic. Yay me!

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Responses

  1. found this blog while doing blog-walking 🙂

    i’m very inspired by your writings, especially the grad student life archives

  2. yay for strength training!!! glad you’re taking care of yourself 🙂

  3. Nice. Health is so important. I’m turning 30 next month and have been trying to eat healthy again after throwing all health concerns out the window after my grueling first term of grad school. Too bad we’re not at the same school…we could exercise together!


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