Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Living healthy--a way to save money

Here's a picture of my favorite walking buddy. And yes, his name is Buddy. He is Skinny-Boy's dog, a mix of Rottie and Doxie. (No, don't ask. But so you know, be careful what you are offered for free at a baseball game!)

I have always suffered with migraines. Both of my parents have migraines, so my having them is no surprise. For most of my life, they have happened just once or twice a month, around my cycles, not a big deal. Very manageable. And then, earlier this spring, BANG! I started getting them several times a week for apparently no reason.

Leading me to do some research on the internet, go to the doctor several times, start some new preventative medications, and making some significant lifestyle changes.

Over the past two months, I have cut out practically all fast food from my diet (and ohh....I do love a french fry and fast food burger!). I have cut out all soda, all diet drinks. No more caffeine for this girl. I cook 100% of what I am eating so I know exactly what is going into my foods.

Even scarier? I have started walking three or four times a week. Buddy and a church friend are my walking friends. Buddy loves his walkies. I am walking two to three miles each time. Understand, I don't enjoy walking, I don't like to exercise at all.

The up side? I haven't had a migraine in THREE WEEKS. I am sleeping through the night most nights now. I feel awake and productive, less irritable and snappy.

And I have lost 10 pounds! (When I started all of this, my goal was to reduce my migraines, not to lose weight. Losing weight is an unintended side-effect, but one that I will happily take another 15 pounds worth of!)

My nutty nurse practitioner is very proud of all the lifestyle changes that I have made since July. All she says I need to do now is double my exercise every week. I told her she was pushing it with that one!

For dog owners, my four-legged walking Buddy almost killed me on day one. Goodness, walking him was exercise without even moving, I thought he was going to rip my arm out of my socket. Later that day, I went to the pet store to get a new leash and a choke chain (because that's all I knew to get---dreading getting it because it meant another several days of training the dog to not pull.). Talking to the pet store employees, they recommended getting a "Halti" instead. You can see it in the picture of Buddy. It is black, and fits over the snout, clips behind the ears, and attaches to their collar. This thing works like MAGIC. Within a block, he was walking like he had gone to obedience classes. Walking with him is a breeze now. He is truly a pleasure to walk with, and after walking three miles a day, he is far mellower the rest of the day. I highly recommend this product to other dog owners, especially if you are out walking yourself anyways (and no, I am not affiliated with them in any way, are you kidding me?!).

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