Two weeks ago, I turned 35. Getting older has never bothered me (at least not yet…let’s have this discussion again when I’m 40), but I admit that when I was younger, 35 seemed very far away.
I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time. I graduated high school just a few days after my 17th birthday, then moved an hour away from home.
I have a nephew who will turn 18 in August – he was born the summer I turned 17 – and it stuns me to think that at his age I had already lived away from home for a year, completed my freshman year of college while living off-campus with friends, all while working as a hostess at the Olive Garden to pay for rent and other expenditures.
When my mom was the age I am now, I was 10 years old and she already had four of her five kids. I’ve thought about that a lot, especially recently as I try to decide if I want a child of my own. How very different my life has been from my mother’s.
I don’t have a high-profile job; I’ve never been interested in making a big effort with my career. But I am proud of how well I’ve taken care of myself from a young age, what I’ve accomplished, and the big life decisions I’ve made, from age 17 to this present moment.
I’ve made two health-related changes in my life recently. I decided to cut out most sugar from my diet; not just for a month while doing a Whole30, but in everyday life. Why? I realized the more sugar I eat, the more I want it – and I don’t want to want it. I haven’t consumed any sugar since June 13, which was the last day of my 35th birthday vacation to Newport Beach and Las Vegas.
I use a bit of honey in several recurring dinner recipes (which comes out to a miniscule amount per serving), I eat some dried fruit (raisins and prunes), and I consume a glass of wine on occasion (several times a month), but my goal is to avoid as much sugar as I can.
The second health-related change is a renewed focus on walking, an activity which has greatly increased since I purchased a Fitbit Charge HR (this is not a sponsored post).
I hate spending money on myself (just ask my husband), so it took a long time for me to buy an activity tracker. I needed the motivation, though – the length of time I spend walking outdoors decreases exponentially during the super cold/snowy Buffalo winters, and I was having trouble motivating myself to get back in the habit since the weather has warmed up.
I’m only on Day 5 with the Fitbit, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve surpassed my 10,000-step goal every day and I’d like to continue doing so for as long as I can. (Nice surprise: I discovered I was getting more steps at my desk-based job than I thought, and that’s before I started making an extra effort to hit my daily step goal.)
I have other, larger goals that I want to accomplish over the next five years, but you’ll have to stick around to see how those play out.
[From the archives: This is the post I wrote about turning 30.]