Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nutrition – an important part of easing into retirement

As your lifestyle changes, and you enter into a slower pace of life, it is important to pay attention to portion control.
I found this was a very slippery slope. Not only did I retire suddenly, but was suffering caregiver issues as I tried to look after my father's health.
As a teacher, I knew the importance of working out, and taking time to relax, refresh, spend time with family and friends. All that went by the wayside when first mom and then dad became ill.
Then we left our support structure of family and friends.
I had to quit work. I spend almost every day going in to feed dad dinner. Afterwards, dinner out, a couple of glasses of wine, and the weight piled on, especially with restaurant servings and the ubiquitous bread.
Instead of working out after work, I would do a workout in the morning. This helped with stress relief.
Long walks, lots of reading, and hobbies: gardening, choral singing, and photography.
As you decrease physical activities, you must also decrease your portion sizes. I was on my feet, teaching, all day, five days a week. It took me a long time to get back into the swing of things. Eventually, I got back into a new routine of volunteering, but life has surely changed.

Now that I am middle-aged, I have to be firm with myself and this is one of my goals. Now that I have a new routine to my day, morning exercise, walks with the cats in the forest, and volunteer work.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I only did what I could manage for my dad. When I needed a day off, I took it. They say you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. This is so true.
Caregiver stress has a huge impact on caregiver health.

Here is a May Clinic that may help you with your own portion control.


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