I am feeling pretty determined this morning to take back control of my life, health wise.
I’ve finished with the career decision process, I’ve also finished with the personal relationship & life decision process. Slowly I am limiting the things in my life that were zapping my mental energy. It really does take me ages to make a decision about something, particularly if it’s important. I’m a deliberate decision maker. Once it’s made, I am very steady and move forward quickly again. That’s my pattern.
A few years ago about five I think, I was full Paleo in my nutrition choices.
Paleo: a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.
It was around the time I was training for a race this crazy spartan race, or maybe it was tough mudder, I was racing cross country and picking up new challenges as frequently as I could. (I was into the obstacles races when they were still hard and before they were mainstream!) I loved how efficient my body was, I was running three times a week, averaging about 33kms total, hiking and surfing in my spare time. I felt like I had unlimited energy.
I choose to explore paleo at the time because one of the Youth Ministers on my team that year was a paramedic and in fantastic shape. His motto or Newton’s I suppose; “A body in motion stays in motion.” That has always stuck with me. I liked how proactive and healthy he was. He was a science guy and had an abundance of reasoning why this (Paleo Lifestyle) is worth exploring. We hung out quit a bit through work so I listened and learned by osmosis.
It was a little bit serendipitous though too as this was before I learned I have celiac disease, and am allergic to about a hundred things. I felt great for the first time in my life.
So there it was, in hindsight the perfect health plan for me.
That period of my life without recognizing it for was it was, was followed with a dramatic display of decline. New opportunities and/or adventure isn’t always what’s best for our person, lesson learned. A move to the city, a high stress job & 80% of the time my meals were prepared by a chef in a restaurant. Subsequently I became the most sick I’ve ever been. It didn’t connect at the time either that it was food that was making me sick, so sick in fact I ended up in the hospital on a mountain biking trip in northern California, as a Canadian not such a great experience $$$.
I have been on a pretty rocky road since, trying and failing to manage my symptoms, learning and denying the seriousness of the diagnosis, managing to grind through the intense workouts I still employ only now doing so with extremely limited white blood cells and iron stores.
Last night I had the unpleasant experience of spending the evening with some of the super human nurses at my local hospital. I am no stranger to fainting, being severely anemic will do that to you. This one was different, I was left with slurred speech and serious disorientation. The usual; fluid, oxygen, blood test followed. I’ll admit something about this time though, it was alarming.
Something shifted for me as I sat there in the middle of a busy overcrowded hall way. I had an internal conversation that went a little like this.
I can fix this. I can CHOOSE to never be in this or a similar space ever again. BUT I also need to choose putting me first. Can I do that? Do I even want to?
Putting the seriousness of this issue into its proper priority and despite the possible FOMO of not experiencing another craft beer pairing evening, a wine festival or that new chef everyone is talking about. I am ALL about the experience of being in the moment!
Despite having to think ahead and consider my food choices prior to my level of hunger reaching HANGRY.. I need to put me & my health first. Spelling it out like that feels quite vain and ridiculously superficial. Well, if I can shame myself into motivation, I’ll take it. Pretty loud and clear. To hold back due to a fomo reason, (fear of missing out) just. not. good. enough.
It was a sobering thought in that either I continue on this path and go with the flow, but be continually suffering through mental and physical barriers, or I stop the insanity once and for all and commit to retraining myself to be nutrition aware and serve myself the best possible environment in order to not just survive but THRIVE.
I am in charge of my health, only me.
So here we are, Sunday morning. It’s the first day of a new month and I still have the glue on my arm as a reminder where less than 12 hours ago I was poked and prodded by underpaid lab techs looking for my vein.
It’s the first day of a new month yes, but it’s also the first day of the rest of my life.
Today I am going to pick three things that I can work on this month, three things that will become practice and I will make habitual. When making significant lifestyle changes it’s my experience that having an all or nothing attitude isn’t conducive to success. If you want to change your life, it takes a year to rewire your brain, build new habits, create for yourself a new paradigm of normal, it’s takes 12 months of constantly and intentionally moving forward. Yep. It’s a lot for sure… but best things in life are like that. I’m ready.
1. Green smoothies are my new best friend.
I’ve recently had the good fortune to meet another paramedic, also a science guy and under his influence I’ve been introduced to the super efficient nutritional benefits of liquefying the nutrients needed to thrive. As someone that lacks the ability to absorb nutrients efficiently, this is welcome information. It’s been recreational up till this point, today it’s become part of my new morning ritual.
2. Adequate sleep is necessary for recovery, covet it.
So often I put sleep into the category of if I have time I will get to bed earlier. This needs to stop. Watch Arianna Huffington short talk for motivation. This has to be a priority if I want to have enough mental strength to live and thrive.
3. Weekly meal planning just became a Sunday ritual.
I don’t want to think about what I’m eating any day except today, when taking the time to sit down and plan it out. I am going to utilize the amazing opportunity that is Pinterest. If you want to follow my board or check out what we are planning each week come find me over there. And in the same way I schedule Sabbath time, Nature Therapy Time, Workout Time, this element of self-care will become part of day with as much importance as my adventure walk. I know committing 20 minutes of meal planning will save days of panicked choices later in the week.
Welcome change, I invite you IN.
This is a good place to be in. Change when it’s time, is most welcome. I am determined to be the best version of myself and rewire my brain to look at things with a new lens. Sorry FOMO, but you have to go. I am off on a slow and restful adventure walk, today is all about self love and recovery.
words by | Deanna Beaudoin