Hacking health [at a certain age]

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Photo Credit: https://1zl13gzmcsu3l9yq032yyf51-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Maya-Angelou-quotes-attitude.jpg

Hello regular readers — feel free to skip this one — it’s not a leadership post.  It’s a 45+ female self-care post, summarizing some of the cool products and habits I discovered that helped me feel better.

Since most people don’t have the  blessing of extra time or the interest in comprehensive data tracking, I decided to document and share my findings in case they are helpful to others.

I get no kickback for any of these products, and [of course] your mileage may vary.

Quick Summary 

First let’s talk about what was working and what I was trying to fix.  My diet and sleep habits were healthy.   I don’t mean to brag, but I am an elite sleeper (why doesn’t Fitbit offer sleep challenges?). I had also been exercising about 2-3x a week (weight training and cardio).

In the complaints category there were several.  Migraines, weight gain, joint pain, severe stiff necks, vitiligo, vertigo, and fatigue (I’m sure I’m forgetting a few).  Generally I’d describe my situation as nothing was seriously wrong with me, and yet I began to feel I was aging a bit too rapidly.

Data capture 

I started my journey with several dr. visits and blood tests.  I also began tracking exercise, food and sleep with Charge2, weight Aria 2 and added two additional tracking apps clue and 5 minute journal.

Doctor uncovered Vit D deficiency and confirmed my vertigo, vitiligo and migraines, but offered no real solutions.   I began a series of experiments to try to see what I could improve. After a little more than a year, I’m happy to report I am feeling really good.  Most of my complaints are either gone or reduced.  The one I haven’t had any real progress on is the vertigo.

So far I am tracking three primary categories

Vitamin deficiencies — I found two products I love.  First, Ritual multi-vitamin.  I love everything about this company.  Although I don’t need separate magnesium anymore, I also really loved this product .   Improvements include mood (vit D), joint pain gone (vit D), lip color back (iron) strong nails, reduced neck pain (magnesium), etc.

Peri-menopause – This one is still a work in progress.  I now have comprehensive personal data to support my perspective that reduced estrogen killed my metabolism.  Or as I like to say, I’m well prepared for zombie apocalypse food scarcity.   Most people will lose a pound with each 3,500 calorie deficit, I require a 8,400 calorie deficit to lose a pound.  Not sure if that goes into #overachiever or #winning category, I’ll let you decide.

I have been toying around with a couple supplements that I do think are mildly helpful (this and this)  but, sadly the only thing that I’m sure has worked is pretty hard core calorie reduction.   Increasing exercise has been very helpful for mood and well being, but working out 5-7x/week for 9 months with moderate diet changes did not move the needle on weight.

Auto-Immune challenges – I’m still in discovery on this one as well.  We are still in the early days on therapeutic probiotics and resolving auto-immune issues have no quick fix.  That said, this is my favorite product.  I like these for high quality ingredients, no need for refrigeration and included prebiotics.

Other Stuff

Face – your friends who are selling R+F are not wrong — this is a great investment.

Eyes – I’ve found Felix Gray lenses helpful for migraine prevention.  While the screen time wasn’t the cause, it was a contributing factor.

Neck Pain – I keep Salonpas in my purse for both lower back pain and neck pain.  I am now also very careful to avoid a chill, especially during a workout (I just tuck a workout towel around my neck).   I have learned that neck pain is a migraine byproduct.

Exercise – There is a lot about personal preference to sustaining an exercise habit.  As someone who loved the results of exercise but not exercising, I’ve come to learn that I required structure and community to increase my enthusiasm.  Things that I love include: Training and dancing with Angie,dancing with SWEAThearts, cycling at Revelry, OrangeTheory and regular walks with friends and family.

Workout Foundations –  I’ve also been stress testing workout foundations, here are my [body specific] picks: Socks, Underwear, Bra

Scale – as I mentioned above, I have been using Fitbit scale, but I think this new product Shapa is probably a better strategy since it focuses on motivation in addition to measurement.

Sleepwear – Now that my nighttime body temp has increased I’ve found I can’t live without this nightshirt.

Massage, Chiropractic, Acupuncture — yup did/do all these — I find them generally helpful, but not cures.  I find chiropractic the hardest for me to recover from, so I do it less.  The cupping my acupuncturist did for me helped a lot with my neck recovery and massage is always great, unless I get it too close to my cycle, in which case I can guarantee a migraine will follow.

Meditation and Relaxation – As a chronically “early arrival” person, I’ve been using the Simply Being app to do 5-10 min meditation breaks in my car.  I like it for the extreme simplicity.    I have also grown to love Yin Yoga.

Workout drink – I don’t do these often, but I do really like this – it’s not a meal replacement, but it can help you cut your pre-workout meal in half, and still give you a bit more energy.   I just use a shaker and mix it with milk, tastes a bit like strawberry quick.

So there you have it — all my oversharing and best recommendations in one post.  What else should I try?  What helps you feel your best?

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How to help your friends job search

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Photo Credit: https://madeby.sypartners.com/products/superpowers-handbook?variant=29500514829

 

In 2017 I had the good fortune of doing my first ever job search.

While I’ve been professionally employed for more than twenty [mumble] years, my past job acquisition process can be most accurately described as: occasionally agreeing to go work for someone else.

Before I start my next big opportunity (more on that later), I want to take a moment to reflect on what I learned and share one big idea that anyone can do to help with a friends job search.

For context, here are some stats and observations on my funployment

  • 14 months to find a fit that both excited me and wanted to hire me — this probably shouldn’t have been a surprise… but it was.
  • I met/called/connected/engaged about 400 people
  • I had coffee/meetings 2-3 times a week
  • I pursued about 40 awesome jobs
  • Bias is alive and well and shows up in very subtle ways
  • My network is amazing — I had more than 75% response with LinkedIn messages I sent out asking for leads
  • Many people went way above and beyond with helpfulness — brainstorming, connecting and recommending me

In retrospect, the smartest thing I did was to create structure, community and accomplishment into this unstructured time.  I shifted my energy to improving my positivity and health, and as a result, I came through both mentally and physically stronger.  Huge shoutout to Angie at I Am Fitness and all my Sweatheart friends at DanceSweatSmile for making this fun.

Of course, every kind of help is appreciated in a job search: encouragement, coffee, lunch, brainstorming, job leads, etc.   But I learned that one thing a few people did had an outsized impact, reminding me of my unique strengths.  

This helped in two ways

  1. Gave me words to describe my work.
  2. Helped me stay positive in a time of waiting, rejection and extraversion overload.

Some amazing things people took the time to say:

  • you were tough, intelligent and had vision – I miss that
  • you have a great understanding of dependencies and how they are designed and deployed
  • you are such a bright, dynamic and interesting person
  • transformational leadership is your strength
  • you are always looking at how to create, disrupt and build the most effective organizations and teams
  • When you were leading we were at “peak collaboration and cohesiveness”.  I appreciated that we were always working towards a strategic goal.
  • I am a huge fan and I would love to work for you again
  • Superpowers include pioneering new things, thriving amidst uncertainty, taking risks and building great teams

It is with great gratitude and humility that I wrap up this chapter, and extreme excitement that I begin my new impactful journey.

To all my friends, associates and colleagues, I am blessed to know you. I  would be honored to have a chance to share my observations of your uniquely awesome superpowers.  Put me on your list of people to alert when you are searching for your next job.

Word for 2018 — Impactful

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Last year I was inspired by Melinda Gates New Year tradition of picking a word and building a deliberate practice around it, to focus the year.

Taking a full year to focus my thoughts and energy around generosity was not easy, but it was very rewarding. I found myself much more resilient, with higher levels of positivity, and that was both needed and helpful in 2017.

In 2018 I’m turning up the heat on action. I believe that now more than ever, the world needs us all to do our part, to show up and do the work.

2018 is about getting sh*t done, personally, professionally and most importantly, in service of others.

Generosity in action = impact

Watch out 2018, you have no idea what amazing things you are in for, because words are powerful.

 

Cross Post: LinkedIn