Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Hardest Lesson I've Had To Learn

The hardest lesson I've had to learn, and I'm still in the process of learning, is you can't half-ass your health. Well you can, but I'd strongly advise against it.

I've always lived my life with the belief that I'd have plenty of time to do what I should, so why not do what I want now while I can? I always believed that I'd be in my 30s before I had to start really taking care of my body. Little did I know that I wouldn't even make it to my 20s before I had to take my health seriously.

I've never enjoyed physical activity. Except for figure skating and I played tennis for a few years. Other than that I never felt the urge to go out and run around until I was out of breath and sweaty. My family has always been very active. My parents participated in sports for adults while my sister played every sport imaginable it seemed. None of that ever appealed to me. I would much rather stay inside with a good book.

Some very delicious but not so
healthy pumpkin muffins I made a long time ago
I've also never really focused on whether or not I'm getting all the vitamins and nutrients I need because the food I eat is generally healthy. My mom is a vegetarian, so we always have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies on hand, but there's also meat and stuff my mom makes for the rest of the family, which isn't always that healthy.

Even after I got sick, I was still doing what I wanted rather than what I should. I was still eating the same, I wasn't exercising, and I had pretty much given up hope of every being okay again. And doing what I wanted wasn't helping me at all. It probably was making me worse.

About six months after I first got sick, I was lying in bed in too much pain to move. All I could think about was how my life went from pretty great to miserable. I went from living with my boyfriend and working to laying in a bed with no life at all and living with my parents again. My schoolwork was getting months and months behind and I never felt good enough to go out and have fun. And I was scared that I would be that way for the rest of my life. I didn't want to miss out on having fun on my 21st birthday. I wanted (and still want) to travel the world and live in some of the world's major cities and most artistic cities. But with the way things were going, I would never get the chance. When I realized I would have very little chance of having a great future if I kept on the path I was going, I knew I had to start changing things.

I'm gonna stay awesome!
It started with a bottle of hand sanitizer. If I went out in public, I'd use that after shaking peoples hands or touching door knobs. I was starting to get sick less often. Then I started my arthritis exercise class. It has worked wonders for me. Then I started my "Lose 10 pounds in 45 days" thing. I have three days left and I definitely haven't lost 10 pounds. But I have lost almost two inches around my waist and hips and I have noticed how much better I'm starting to feel. And a few days ago I decided I would start an anti-inflammatory diet. It's too soon to tell, but I have a feeling that it will help me get my life back to the way it used to be.

I'm still tempted to just give up and lay in bed until I eventually wither and die, but now I can at least see the possibilities the future holds for me if I keep taking my health seriously.

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