I had been thinking of reassessing my health for a while now. Three weeks ago, I had to go to the ER. I was having chest pains. Thankfully, it turned out to not be anything serious. But that, combined with a good friend checking into the ER today has convinced me that now is the time to give my health a good going over.
It really is time for me to start eating right and to keep eating right. I think I get lazy or laid back about my eating habits because my weight is good. That is no reason to not take eating right seriously. I am the veteran of many dieting attempts over the years, until I had weight loss surgery in December of 2007. I know what things are good and what things are not. Every meal should include a protein source. Protein is essential for healthy bones, muscles, skin and blood. Vegetables and fruit are important sources of vitamins and fiber. Eating produce can cut your risk of many diseases. Carbohydrates in small amounts are good for you in that they help to promote energy. Certain snacks are ok too, only in moderation of course. A well-rounded eating plan is important for health and for weight management.
My friend who went to the ER today had a few symptoms that were concerning. He was thoroughly checked out. His diagnosis? Dehydration. It takes a very short time to become dehydrated. You may not even realize that you are. Most people I know don’t drink enough water. With my recent kidney issues, I have to get on the water bandwagon. Water is good for so many things – it’s good for your skin, it fills you up when you’re feeling hungry, it’s good for your teeth – and adequately drinking enough should keep you out of the ER on a random Monday afternoon!
As I said, I had weight loss surgery in December 2007. It was a great decision, and I don’t regret it for a single moment. I take more than enough vitamins and supplements, and my blood work and labs are usually very good. One thing that has taken a hit though is my teeth. I was told this back when I was considering the surgery. I think time has taken it’s toll on my mouth. My teeth are not in good shape. I had a partial made that never really fit right because my gums aren’t healthy. I have a few dark spots on my gums around the teeth on top. I see tiny marks starting to form on other teeth. I realized that I really needed to see a dentist around the time the Pandemic was starting. Things are starting to get somewhat back to normal here in Pennsylvania, and I’m hoping to be able to make an appointment with a dentist very soon. In the meanwhile, on the recommendation of my daughter-in-law (and her dentist) I have purchased an electric toothbrush system called Burst. The bristles are lined with charcoal which is supposed to really help with dental health. I started using it this morning. So far so good. It’s a start.
My weight is good and it is stable. I have been at what my doctors call the perfect weight for many years now. I look thin, and I feel happy. When I mention the gym (which I hate) people will say to me “why are you bothering with that, you’re skinny. You don’t have to go there.” Well, yes I do. Just because you are thin does not mean you are in shape. I certainly am not in shape. Exercise benefits every part of your body. It can make you feel better about yourself. Exercise can also make you sleep better. For me, I have to psych myself up into exercising. Also for me, I think changing things up will keep me more motivated. Regular movement just has to become a more frequent thing in my life (especially since I have a desk job). My current plan is to go back to the gym (even though I hate it) once they open back up. One day I will concentrate on cardio – using the stepper and the treadmill. One day I’ll do their circuit training area. One day I’ll do the machines. On certain days, I will take a walk. We have two carriages for the cats. Each time I go for a walk, I’ll take a different cat with me. And when Jeff is off, we can go together.
I can’t only rely on my physician’s office to keep my health record – I am going to assemble one for myself. There will be one section where I can include information about screenings, test results and lab work. I will put a section in with dates of completed appointments. In this record I also plan to include a family history. I also will be adding a section where I can journal – to add changes in my eating and sleeping habits. There will also be a section where I can add questions I would like to ask my doctors at upcoming appointments. I will probably write this all out old-school and eventually put it onto the computer. It is a good idea to have this all in one place.
You can’t talk about your health without talking about your mind, and your mental well being. We have all been living in crazy times recently. For sure and without a doubt. It is always good to try to focus on happy things. Write a gratitude list – see how long you can make it, and how many good things you can include. Start your day how you like to – whether it is alone, just daydreaming over coffee, watching the news or scrolling to see what’s new on your phone. While going through your regular routine, it is always helpful to have something to look forward to. It could be something big or something small. As long as it’s something you like, it’s all good. Fresh air is important – try to get at least a little bit of it every day. And don’t forget to laugh – laughing clears out your insides. I swear it does!