Last night as I was getting ready for bed and anticipating a pain-free, headache-free night, I thought about how blessed I am to be able to solve my problem so easily. The medicine that affected me so adversely is not something I must take in order to survive. It is not the only solution to the pain in my back or the arthritis that plagues me. I have choices and options. I don’t have to continue to take the medication and hope I can learn to tolerate the side effects. However, many people are trapped in that situation by cancer and other powerful conditions and diseases. Some people endure daily pain and discomfort in order to control a dangerous health condition. There are no easy answers and pain-free nights for them. I hope I never forget that. I hope I never forget that my good health is a blessing.
I suppose I should have thought of something much more profound for the last post of the year. But health is always on my mind. I have friends and relatives with cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, lupus, heart problems, and a dozen other conditions. None of us has a perfect body and we complicate things by treating the one we have as though it came with a warranty and spare parts. We live in an environment that seeks to harm us at every turn. It’s a wonder any of us survives puberty!
I have spent the last year improving my diet. I know my weight doesn’t bear witness to that, but I honestly have made some major changes and eliminated a lot of extra salt and sugar from my diet. I no longer drink sodas or eat fast-food cheeseburgers or buy anything without reading the label. Breakfast sausage and bacon are no longer on the menu. I switched from real eggs to fakes- I even took the egg holder out of my refrigerator. I seldom eat cookies, although I still enjoy ice cream. I eat more veggies. But this year I need to take a hard look at why I’m still fat, and the answer is portion control.
Regardless of how good my food is, there is a limit to how much of it I need to sustain my body. As I’ve gotten older and more sedentary I’ve continued to eat the same amount of food. Doesn’t work that way. So this year I need to borrow a word from my daughter and be more “mindful” of not only what, but how much, I put in my mouth.
I also need to move. I’m not going to be one of the thousands of people who rush to the gym this week. I’m not going to announce that I’m training for the next half-marathon or even the next walk around the block. But I certainly need to be mindful of my slothful ways and get up from this computer more often. I need to stretch and reach and walk.
So, I am back to normal today and already thankful for every moment of the day ahead. I see this day and this New Year as an opportunity to create new habits that will improve my health and keep me from needing any more medications that do more harm than good.
Have a great day!