a secret to life . . .

by mulberryshoots

DSC_0720Guess what? I had a medical diagnosis from the doctor I’ve been going to for over thirty years recently that has challenged me to get my health on to a better track. It’s been interesting to observe my process since then. I’ve taken out library books and purchased a few from Amazon plus reading online to get the lay of the land. It’s nothing new, perhaps, but it’s now urgent to eat better and lose weight. At first, I thought that a strict regimen for 6 weeks that would cut out sugar and glycemic foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, pasta, sweet potatoes, beets, fruit and fruit juice would be sufficient to lose about 5-8 pounds during that time. Apparently, that’s not enough, especially if you have high blood sugar readings (which I do.) Medication might help to reduce it too but that alone won’t be enough either. My doctor told me that 30 minutes of VIGOROUS exercise would make a big difference.

Disappointed, I began thinking about how to get vigorous exercise when my right ankle with 13 plates and screws in it from being broken last year was stiff most of the time and sore as well. I’d been avoiding exercising it because it seemed to resist whatever I did. Anyhow, I got off my duff, put on my jacket and walked out of the house before breakfast yesterday. I walked pretty slowly until a woman passed me, waving “hi” and walking at least twice as fast as I was. Today, I went out after breakfast and started walking rapidly, moving my arms in sync with my stride. I discovered a place to walk nearby that was level (unlike yesterday’s mountain climb up hills to get home from the post office) and broad – an empty parking lot ringed by flowering trees just a ways down from my house. I walked at the newer, rapid pace with arms moving (almost power-walking, I think) and felt good when I got home.tassel necklace photo

Afterwards, I drank two glasses of water and my mood was much better than it has been for awhile. My goal is to counter the conventional wisdom that it’s hard to lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks (why not?) and to show up for my physical scheduled on July 13th having accomplished that even though my doctor cautioned me not to be disappointed. My personality is such that having a finite goal and then being challenged that it’s not do-able, is the carrot that makes me determined to succeed. The “against all odds” bit that you see in movies and stuff.

The other thing I have focused on is how to reduce the stress in my life. And that is to find novel ways to clean up the relationships in my life that are either toxic, frustrating or disappointing. I guess all of us have some of these some of the time. But I am determined to reclaim what’s been good and to assuage what seems to be impossible to regain. Towards that end, I’ve decided to express myself to people about things that have been unspoken for some time. But at least, it’s a chance to do something (to act) rather than never to act. You might know what I mean. Some families NEVER talk or communicate about what’s really important. Then, people die, and there’s no opportunity to gain better understanding or emotional completion in some meaningful way.

So, the title of this post, “a secret to life” is simple: take the best care of yourself that you can. Only we can do it for ourselves. Only we can stop making excuses about how we hate exercise or have a broken ankle or enjoy cooking too much to MODIFY it and learn something new. It does take effort. Mostly, it requires taking the blinders off of denial, procrastination, prevarication, laziness and whatever is keeping us from dealing with it. The “it” is different for each of us. I let things go until my “it” was giving me symptoms that alarmed me and forced me to face the music.

I have found that the music is not that bad. I think of myself as having a pretty straightforward approach to things. Apparently that is not the case. Now, I am making corrections all over the place. It won’t happen overnight but I am at least hoping for some tangible changes in six weeks. The relationship stuff might never work out but it’s not because I haven’t tried my best. The other night, G. and I were supposed to go out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Instead, our new tenants were two hours late and I went out to the local Chinese take-out restaurant. The food was over-salty and not that great. Afterwards, I picked up my fortune cookie. Inside it was this message:

 “An upward movement initiated in time can counteract fate.”

What do you think about THAT?

Postscript:

My doctor’s office called after this post and rescheduled my physical to the beginning of September. Hallelujah! That gives me three full months to turn my blood glucose readings around (June, July & August.) I’ve been doing the “pre-prep” by gradually weaning myself off of sugar, gluten, dairy and minimizing protein. Three months may only be a quarter of a year. But these next three months will be a great chance to improve things little by little.