Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happiness Project: Resolution Area #2

You can click here to read my post about why I am pursuing a Happiness Project.
You can click here to read my post about my first set of resolutions.
You can click here to read how I did with my first set of resolutions.
When I first considered a second set of resolutions, I wanted to do something related to diet and exercise.  As I looked over a number of articles I had saved over the years, as well as articles in the August 2011 issues of various magazines, I discovered a more over-arching theme that "gets at" my goals for this month:  detoxifying my body.

Please note:  There will be NO juice fasts, and NO enemas or colonics for me this month (whew, that's a relief!).

Every single resource I came across recommends drinking lots and lots of water--for better skin, healthier organs, and longer life.  I picked up a book at Borders in its final days called Secrets of Longevity:  Dr. Mao's 8-Week Program.  Dr. Mao recommends a whopping 64 ounces of water per day.  I recently bought a BPA-free plastic bottle from Target that holds 24 ounces, and I am currently drinking at least 48 ounces per day.  I am going to work up to filling it three times a day from just two. 

I've never had any problem drinking lots of water; I don't have to add juice or fruit slices, or fool myself into getting more of it than I can easily bear.  Once I start exercising, I think getting that additional 16 ounces won't be any problem at all.

Which brings me to...exercise!  It makes every articles that gets published --"Ways to Beat Stress," "Ways to Lose Weight," "Ways to Live Longer," "Ways to Detoxify Your Body," etc, etc, etc.

I have never been able to incorporate exercise into my life on a regular basis.  I was the kid who got a doctor's note excusing me from physical activity at church camp because I had just had oral surgery.

I even got my required high school PE credit by taking bowling by correspondence.  I kid you not--my dad took me bowling and signed off on my scores, and it fulfilled my PE requirement so I didn't have to take gym class. 

Now, I find myself looking wistfully at the folks I see through fitness club windows, sweating it out on treadmills and StairMasters, and I've often wished I was among the joggers I see on weekday afternoons and weekend mid-mornings. 

My first plan was to join a local YMCA and use the mornings when my girls are now in preschool to finally get some exercise.  I was taken aback to discover that an individual membership costs $744 for a year.

Then Christina, my closest friend since high school (you can see her picture here from our 20-year reunion), told me about the Couch to 5K program.  When we talked about it, she was in week 4 and could jog for five minutes at a stretch--which was five minutes longer than she had ever been able to jog before!  I have printed out the program (which you can find here), and week after next, when both girls are in preschool, I'm going to get started. 

If this "exercise thing" sticks, then I might reconsider a YMCA membership when the weather turns cold, and I have to contend with snowy sidewalks and icy roads.

For the last part of this month's "detoxify my body" resolution, I am going to look into my current household and personal health care products to assess how many toxins they are introducing into my home and my body.  Then I am going to investigate some more natural, organic house and body care products that will reduce all the chemicals I'm being exposed to on a daily basis.

I want to find out what safe, organic brands I have access to in markets nearby, and how much I am willing to pay to make the switch to less toxic ingredients.  This will include makeup, hair care, skin care, cleaning products, and laundry detergents. 

I've read so many additional ideas for detoxifying, and I will likely incorporate them in the future, but I don't want to try to do so much at once that I end up doing nothing.

I was pleased to see deep breathing on several lists of detoxifying strategies because it is both fun and gratifying to have resolutions from the past carry over into my current efforts!

I have also determined that food will form an entire resolution of its own.  I've already gotten plenty of ideas for incorporating healthier, less toxic, and potentially more interesting foods into my diet.  I may begin to play around with some of these ideas this month, but a concerted effort will have to wait for a future set of resolutions!

Have you tried any organic, non-toxic beauty and household products that you could recommend to help me get started on that part of my resolution? 


Joyfulploys said...

Hi always have the most interesting posts. I have tried E-Derma facial products. I am using Ester-C Creme with E and DMAE-Alpha Lipoic C-Ester Creme. I buy mine online at Swanson's Vitamins. For a light under makeup moisterizer I am using Dessert Essence...also at Swansons. Check them out at Swansons...hope this helps.

lee said...

I to have incorporated drinking more water into my life, befause i was not drinking nearly enough, and was dehidrated during the day. I went out and bought a special bottle as well, to help me. I hate excerise, but I do an hour a day of walking the dog. and in the winter I go to the mall and walk inside.

Janet said...

Kudos to you for making all these changes. I know just what you mean about exercise. I know I need to do it but I've never been able to keep it up over a long period of time. Walking is about as much as I do.

But drinking water is no problem. It's all I ever drink. No coffee, tea or soft drinks for me....ever.

Christina said...

Hooray, Andria!! I am SO excited that you are joining me on the C25K journey! I am still at it! Just finally finished week 4... I know, I know, when I talked to you two weeks ago, I had just started week 4, so let me explain how my Week 4 stretched out over two weeks... With the current drought in Texas we have had hundreds of brush fires... (Bastrop is actually still burning, I think... thousands of folks have lost their homes! Bless their hearts...) The air quality this last week was so poor, that weathermen were essentially saying "you can go outside safely, just don't breathe the air"... And, yes, while I have been successful thus far (to my utter amazement) in my C25K progress, that doesn't mean I'm not gasping for breath on the jogging bits... So, after an 8-day lapse in my jogging journey, Cassie and I resumed on Wednesday (two days ago) once we had the "all clear" from the weatherman. I was concerned -- would I still be able to do my 5-minute jogs after NOT jogging for over a week?? The wonderful answer is YES! Granted, my lungs felt like they were on fire, but Cassie and I did it! Once again! I swear, the feeling of accomplishment every time she and I walk back in the door after our 25-minute escapades is worth it's weight in gold... THAT is what keeps me going back out... And also how my body did NOT like the 8-day lapse in exercise... which was kind of cool to discover in it's own way. My mood was affected -- I felt physically and mentally bloated, even though I wasn't really, but my body was craving the workout!

Anyway, you must keep me apprised of your progress! The 2nd best part (after the feeling of accomplishment and grand personal success) is putting a green check in the box on my board in the kitchen. :) Makes me so happy every time I see it! (Add "smiling" to your list of detoxifying agents!)

And to address your question regarding "chemical-free" or all-natural beauty and cleaning products - I have to say my cleaning crew that visits me once a month is magical in that regard. The company is The Cleaning Authority (it is a national company, with individual franchises). They were very competitively priced (actually, they had the lowest estimate of everyone else I spoke with!), and the big selling point was their natural, biodegradable, "clean" cleaning products! I come home to a spotless house, and I can't smell one cleaning agent! It is amazing! Plus, I don't have to worry about the kitties and pups in the home getting sick from cleaning products or being affected by the strong smells of typical cleaning agents. They are wonderful. I have the same team of two that come every month, they are completely reliable and trustworthy (and bonded, etc.). I know most folks probably have a cleaning person or crew they have been using for years, and it is difficult to break up any long-term relationship, but if you were interested in investigating, for whatever it is worth, I highly recommend them.

Let me know when you start C25K! If I can do it, seriously anyone can! Have FUN!!

lori vliegen said...

you go girl for making your good health a priority! it's not an easy thing......and i'm with you about the exercise! hope you have a great weekend! xox

Andria said...

Thank you for the encouragement for this new set of resolutions.

And, Mary, thank you for the product recommendations for me to look into.

Lee, I think that walking is just about the best exercise you can do, and an hour of walking is GREAT for your health!

Janet, life without coffee or tea--I can't imagine! But it sure is great that you are such a water fan.

Christina, I don't blame you AT ALL for putting the C25K on hold until your air quality got more acceptable. It would be terrible to be trying to do something good for your health, only to find out you were making yourself sick from what you are inhaling! I was laughing the other day thinking about the possibility that the next time we get together, we might actually go JOGGING...can you even imagine!?! said...

WOW! Good for you, pursing the Happiness Project :]
Looking forward to reading all around your progress... as you willfully take on this project, CHEERS!