UPDATE: Forget the Politics, Just Get Covered…Documenting My Experience

KY’s Healthcare Exchange is kynect

In an effort to practice what I preach, I am going on to the Kentucky “Obamacare” site and apply for healthcare. I will then share my experience and give honest feedback. If you don’t know already, Kentucky, has been praised for it’s effort in making access to healthcare as simple and efficient as possible. I’ll give a grade later 😉

Full disclosure: I am in no way part of any political campaign or cause. I am not receiving anything in exchange for my opinion. I am doing this solely because I am sick of hearing people complain and quite frankly, I want to see what happens. In short, This is all me, people!

Forget the Politics, just #GetCovered by 3/31/2014

healthcare.gov

healthcare.gov

Hot Yoga, periods, and PMDD…oh my

I have been promising to do this post for months. It was meant to be at least three separate post as there is so much going on here, but it all relates back to the same awful topic–periods or as Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory would say “menses” . Oh the menses. It is generally the worst days of life. You spend so much time working out, eating right and one (in my case two) weeks before the “ball” drops all that goes out the window. I’m tired, angry, irritable, moody, bloated, nauseated, hungry…and oh so much more. This is the worst time and honestly only my close friends tolerated this—I could get mean and pretty hard core.

Me & PMDD

Fortunately for me I was diagnosed with PMDD around 2005. I knew something was wrong and I worked with my doctor to figure it out. This meant several months of journal writing and paying attention to my body, then reporting back to my doctor.  The journal writing allowed me a chance to reflect on what I was doing. For example, I would verbally send people, mostly my friends into tears–it sucked. I won’t go into too much detail but I was awful and I knew if I kept it up, I would not have any friends at all. My doctor prescribed medication for me to help balance out my serotonin levels. I am far from a MD or PhD in the appropriate field to give you advice, but I can share my experience. To help, she prescribed a moderate dosage of a generic form of Zoloft, called Sertraline. Unlike folks who take Sertraline for other reasons I take mine when PMDD symptoms start to rear their ugly head. Luckily, you can set a calendar to my period –to which now I am happy to share, there’s an app for that! I use My Calendar in the Google Play store and a cute little dog helps keep me in the know.

My Period

It sucks…I hate it.

If you want to know more about what it’s like and what I go through, check out this blog post from My Bikram Yoga Life. It is spot on. Take note of the way your period can screw with your mind and mess up your poses during practice. 🙂

photo from Jezebel

Hot Yoga & the Period

My first few months doing hot yoga I avoided going during my period like a junkie to rehab…seriously, though, the thought was just disgusting to me. Until one day I just went. The worse case scenario was that I would have to leave early (by the way, my studio is pretty awesome and they are not crazed wackos like at some places). Don’t get me wrong, it is not the most pleasant experience, having your period in 100-degree plus room. All the while you are contorting your body in 26 different positions. When I peel out of my soaking wet clothes after yoga during my period, I find out just how absorbent my maxi pad is…I use Always by the way. Okay, this may have gone a little too far, but this is need-to-know stuff, in my opinion. On a more positive note, my cramps have become much more manageable and my flow is less.  I am having little to no cramps during my time. This is a vast change from before when cramps made me dizzy, gave me headache, and made me want to vomit.

Okay, this enough. Until next time.

Today, I’m Cleaning Out My Closet

I have documented my struggles with coping with my closet (I know, total first word problem). So instead of complaining, moving, or buying more stuff to organize my stuff, I activated the six months to year rule. The rule being,if I had not worn it in six months to year it had to go (with the exception of professional work attire which I do not use at the moment). There was some stuff I had been holding on to since ’05-’06, for real, and to make matters worse, it still had tags on it–ya’ll!  I am not proud of this but, hey.

On a mission, I  blew off my normal workout and looked at this cleaning out process as cardio and strength training. I packed out several things that were just rags to the dumpster (2-4o gallon trash bags), 1 large Ikea bag was for consignment (Keshia gotta get paid 🙂 ), and  2 – 40 gallon bags for donation..I chose Goodwill. In the end I was rewarded with around 300 calories lost, $70 from consignment (this is a big deal–because I hardly ever pay full price for anything), supporting the mission of Goodwill (creating job opportunities for those willing to learn and work), and welcoming new space in my home, as well as finding some cool stuff I forgot I owned.

I still have a few other pieces I need to unload like some Vera Bradley & Coach accessories, and a pair of patent leather Cole Haan peep-toe pumps–I’ll get to it.

Once everything was out of the way I felt relieved. With the holidays and gifts being thrown around consider re-gifting or consignment to save money or donate to places like Goodwill to help others and your taxes.

 

Happy Evaluate Your Life Day!

www.juliesdesignaday.co.uk

October 19th is National Evaluate Your Life Day, did you know that? I learned about it this year and in honor I am having a small gathering with friends. I am excited to take this on.  On this day you are asked to consider making positive changes in your life and appreciating the positive things you already have. To kick off the morning I am heading to an 8am Bikram Yoga class then to pick up some goodies that I am preparing for this evening.

This evening I am planning on getting together with few friends for food, drinks, and vision boarding. I have been promising to do some vision boarding since the summer and EYL-Day seems like a perfect time to do it.

I think this can be a really positive experience in general. However, the key to doing it well is to 1. Participants should be people you trust and don’t mind opening up to 2. It does not have to be serious and somber…fun is highly encouraged 3. Make it an event. Along with dinner and vision boarding I am bringing along Love Actually to kick off the holiday season and who knows what else we may get in to.

So if you can, take some time this weekend either with close friends or alone and think about where you would like to see your life go in the next 3, 6, or 12 months. Who knows, what comes out may surprise you.

 

Here are a couple of resources to get you going on EYL Day courtesy of International Coach Federation and Mitch Meyerson

Five questions to ask yourself:

  1. Where are you?
  2. Describe your current situation in three words.
  3. Think back to who you were five years ago. Are you (today) where you thought you would be?
  4. Where are you headed? Is it where you want to be? (If it isn’t, how can you get on the path you want to be on?)
  5. What adjustments must you make?

 

Hot Yoga and Stress Relief

No equipment, just you.

It was a ridiculous summer. I took a break from my masters program and decided to get some rest and regroup. On top of that there were things I had to deal with at work and a  lot of  other stuff. Through all the change and challenge what kept me sane was the stability and peace of mind I received from doing hot yoga. I’ve done Bikram, Hot Vinyasa, Hot Fusion, and Hip and Torso conditioning to keep my knees and hip aligned for running.

Looking back I don’t know what I would have done to cope this summer without hot yoga being an option. I enjoy the fact I can go into a yoga class and be led with a group but I don’t have to talk to anyone and I don’t have to focus on anything else but my movements and my body.

I have become so in tune with my body that in late August when I felt my energy level drop and my temperature spiked a bit, I new something was wrong. A week later I found a lump on my neck. Never look on WebMD when you find a lump anywhere and take it as law. WebMD made me think I had a tumor and I freaked out the best way I knew how–by trying not to take it seriously. However, I did decide it was prudent to go to the doctor. The doctor informed me it was a swollen lymph-node.

I credit being observant of my body to hot yoga. Before I was so blah that I would have never noticed much of anything except craving toxic foods which can also lead to stress.

Hot yoga allows me the chance to sweat out the small stuff literally and figuratively. I get a lot of thinking done in the hour and a half I am there and one of my favorite things is coming to the realization that somethings are not as important as I initially thought they were.

🙂

Careerist: Life or something similar

Photo of Parry Ernsberger from HelloGiggles.com

I ran across this great post on HelloGiggles.com this morning and I had to share. Parry Ernsberger wrote a very relevant article titled, Finding Happy Things in Unhappy Places. The awesomeness and amazeballs timing of this piece is ridiculous. I have been having this conversation with a couple of my friends and we are honestly making plans to work together to get our crap in check.

Fortunately, none of us are dealing with a broken heart but unhappy, negative places we can write volumes about. Personally, I can fill the first two…just being honest. There are several things that Parry hits on that are so spot on that I felt like I wrote them myself.

Before the critics jump in and say she is whining or our generation is full of babies…blah, blah, blah. I believe this article is the complete opposite of that. With most slumps, in order to get out of them you have to go through the phases. The most important thing is how you handle moving forward. Anyone can sit and complain but Parry does something awesome by making a plan and taking a risk.

So here is snip from the article below. To read the entire article hop on over to HelloGiggles.com.

Most people think you’ve already made it when you move to New York City. “New YAWK!” they would exclaim when I returned home to North Carolina for the first time since my move. “Don’t you just looove it?” people would coo before offering up their own favorite part of the city, which usually included a department store trip or a Broadway show or some “cute little restaurant” in Soho. “Best city in the world!” I’d nod with gritted teeth. I didn’t just love it. And I wasn’t going to Soho for anything, ever.