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Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

The Wake-Up Call: Take the Bitch’in Challenge!

In 30 days, we’ll be on the verge of a brand new year. How about a fresh new you to go with it?

I for one am ready to trade up to a self that feels better, looks better, and is doing better in all the key aspects of life. And it all started when I finally decided to face something that was, well, right in my face.

Do you have one little thing that you know you’ve got to take care of? I’d say we all have something, but then again, dealing with it can be turn into a big ass can o’ worms.

And so we put it off until we just can’t anymore.

THE WAKE-UP CALL

I’ve been experiencing this random dry skin thing for about a year now — first it was flakey eyelids, then it was itchy patches on my arms, legs, and back, and finally, chapped skin all around my mouth with lips to match. I asked my kid’s dermatologist what he thought, and he recommended a shot of cortisone in the ass and a couple of creams, which I took to no avail. I’ve had eczema my whole life, and I was ready to chalk this up as one more version of the annoying skin condition, but something told me it wasn’t exactly that. Still, since nothing the doctor ordered worked, I blew off dealing, even as there were days my face felt like it had windburn even though there wasn’t even a light breeze.

And if I had to be really honest with myself (and trust me, you do too!), I’ve been running on empty for a good long time. Astute readers of this blog might have noticed a trend: How to Break Into Your Comfort Zone…. 7 Soft Ways to Push Hard… Half-Assed Multitasking for Dummies.

Humorous looks at modern life or bald-faced cries for help? You be the judge.

About a month ago, I was at a barbecue and chitchatting with a BBF I hadn’t seen in a while. She looked fabulous and felt amazing — despite working full-time and raising a handful of energetic, busy kids, she had even found the time and energy to take a high-end baking class that was a long-time dream of hers. My chapped face was in full-force, and as usual, my ass was dragging. I couldn’t help but lament about how weird middle age is, all full of vague ailments and no effective treatments. Doing what we X-chromosome toters do best, she empathized and shared her own journey that started with mysterious dizziness that defied diagnosis, and ended when she went to a holistic doctor. In that moment, I realized I was ready to try anything to feel better again, so I took the doc’s number.

Three weeks later, I finally made it to the holistic doc’s office with a blood panel she’d requested. I had no idea what to expect, but I was hoping for a quick fix. 

Instead, I got a gigantic long list of all that’s failing me, mainly concentrated in the digestive and endocrine systems. According to the doc, I’m a “hot toxic box.” (Please note this is also the name of my new punk band; so don’t try to claim it for your own!)

I’d like to say it’s all malarkey, but as she broke things out, I heard the names of diseases that have affected my family — diabetes, thyroid disorders, and cardiac. Not that I have anything specific at the moment, but carry on the way I’ve been going with pseudo-healthy eating and running myself ragged fueled by stress and adrenaline, and I’d end up slamming into a wall on this crazy ride called life.

Did I need a holistic doc to tell me that pushing myself to the edge and being half-assed not just about multi-tasking, but about taking care of my own physical, mental, and spiritual health, was a problem?

Probably not.

Did I need a wake-up call, however, where somebody said out loud the things I’ve always known — that genetics, lifestyle, and prioritizing everything else to the detriment of my health — is not sustainable?

Uhm, YEAH. (Cue primal scream from Hot Toxic Box.)

TAKE THE BITCH’IN CHALLENGE: 30 Days to a Brand New You!

The holistic doc told me that if I give her just 30 days, she could help me feel like a brand new person. (This includes stripping 20 years out of my colon, but I will spare you the details of that. Suffice to say healthy eating, taking necessary vitamins and minerals, meditation, yoga, and lifestyle adjustments are all part of the equation.)

I challenge you to join me for the next 30 days to get ready not just for 2015, but for the rest of your beautiful life.

The only catch is you have to get real. It’s not good enough to know there’s something that’s bringing you down, you have to deal with it. You can’t just fake your way through taking better care of yourself (eating, sleeping, fitness, etc.), you really have to do it. And at the most tempting time of the year, mind you. A simple trip to Trader Joe’s and walking past the displays of Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels will be a divine test of will.

This first week you only have to do ONE thing: decide on the ONE thing you want — and need — to change.

I’ll be updating you each week about my progress. For the first week, I’m focusing on shifting my diet. (Notice that I’m conveniently starting this AFTER Thanksgiving!) I’ve been advised that carbs are to be kept to a minimum (which for healthier blood sugar makes sense), and dairy is out too (this is an eczema thing, too). The word “paleo” has been bandied about, and I’m going to ask some of my cavemen/women friends what that’s all about and report back. (I know it’s nothing new — been around since prehistoric times — but I’ve always scoffed at desserts made with avocado. Maybe not so much anymore…)

So if you see me bypassing the end caps and heading right for the coconut oil and produce aisles at TJ’s, just know I’m taking the Bitch’in Challenge. I hope you’ll join me — 30 days will be over in a blink, and wouldn’t it be nice to be a brand new you?!

Photo: Courtesy Alan Cleaver

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