Anyone who knows me understands that I have some really bad eating habits. While I don't come near to being among the super obese, much of my life has been spent shopping in the fat girls section of the clothing store. When I get a grip and DIET, I have managed to lose enough weight to wear a size 8. Which isn't where my body type indicates I should be. I look like death warmed over at that size. Seriously.
Recently I discovered, to my dismay, that my food choices were killing me. Not because I am overweight, but because I am consuming far too many preservatives and other toxic chemicals with my food. Salt is anathema to a person with a family history of high blood pressure and sugar is a death sentence to someone with a family history of diabetes. Guess who has both of those problems in their family history?
Convenience foods make life simpler and easier along with shorter and more painful. Roast beef or pork along with mashed taters and gravy, bisquits, maybe some corn or peas and I'm in heaven. Follow that up with a large hunk of chocolate cake and scoop or two of ice cream and you see my problem?
This past Fall, I went shopping at a large local craft fair. I didn't get to see all of the vendors because half way through the walking around, I was in agony from lower back, hip and leg pain. I limped back to my vehicle, drove myself home in tears. Call that a wake up call and a half.
At 61 years old, I wasn't feeling well because almost every joint in my body was drying up and grinding bone on bone. When it hurts to do anything, you tend not to do anything which makes the entire situation worse. I spent days taking whatever would ease the pain. Not much worked. I was limping through my work day unable to stand up straight.
Sheer determination and a computer on which I could do some research kept me going until I decided that I needed to change my bad habits. I started following the Mediterrainian Food Pyramid making the choice to replace meat and gravy with fruit, vegetables and whole grain. I also started taking a joint supplement called Move Free. The pain eased after a week on it. I had been taking Aleeve or Advil, neither of which is as good as the advertisements claim.
I made some changes because I was in pain without realizing how close I was to dying. Sounds dramatic doesn't it? It is, however, the truth. In January, during a routine work assessment, my blood pressure registered at a whopping 240/110. I was unable to get into my own doctors office and without health insurance it's a safe bet I wasn't going to go to the Emergency Room as I was instructed by the receptionist.
I have the best kind of friends. Ones that grab you by the hand and drag you into the answer to your problem. In this case it's a Doctor of Osteopathy who believes that the body will heal itself if you give it the right tools. What are the right tools? Activity, stress reduction, whole foods and nutraceuticals to support the organs that all the preservatives I've been consuming in my life have damaged.
I'm making changes one at a time and have lost 22 pounds plus lowered my blood pressure to stage 1 hypertension. I was at stage 4 with the higher number and there is no stage 5.
At my age, I'm not taking a journey into hotness, I am taking one into health. Not being perfect, it might be a long journey with maybe a banana split or two along the way. After all, some journeys need a few nuts with whipped cream and cherries to make them better.