For those of you who don’t follow my personal exploits (yes, I’ve got a blog for those), I was recently diagnosed with not one, but FIVE potentially chronic issues:
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Gall stones (I’m one episode away from having it out surgically)
- Fatty, enlarged liver
- High cholesterol
- Type II Diabetes
Yikes! All that just from a few (horrible) tummy aches. The last couple of weeks have been crazy for me: adjusting to the new medication…drastically changing my eating habits…finding ways to add exercise into my usually sedentary days.
No, you can NOT sit in front of the computer all day drinking coffee.
At least, not if you want to live to see your business grow and flourish. I’m nearly 50. This didn’t happen overnight. And yes, the docs have been telling me to lose weight for the last few years: Your blood sugar is borderline here, Tea. Your cholesterol, too. You need to make some changes. But I didn’t listen. I just went on my merry way, convinced that things wouldn’t get any worse. After all, I quit smoking 10 years ago. Wasn’t that enough?
Sitting Around, Eating Crap is definitely the new Smoking.
The irony is that I know the power of good eating and moving on a daily basis. I’ve been an on-again/off-again vegetarian — not because I worry about the horrible treatment of animals (it definitely plays a part), but because of the effects of the industrial meat complex on our bodies and planet. I even did an entire summer eating raw vegan. And used to walk for 45 minutes to an hour every morning. So, what happened?
Life. Love. Launching a new business…
I felt like I needed to start my day at the computer and then never really got around to taking those daily walks. Before you could say morbidly obese the habits were set. And it was so much easier to eat the bacon than to say, “no, really, I’d rather not.” Yes, I’ve gained some weight since Mr. Perfect and I took up residence together. But isn’t that what all blissfully cohabited couples do? I love to cook. (Yes, the secret’s out) With real butter. We both to love to eat. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Thing is, now I’ve worn out my pancreas and gall bladder. And my liver ain’t too pleased with me, either. My biggest priority now is how to avoid the carbs AND the fat in a way that won’t make me want to kill myself. Sweet Baby Lettuce, carbs are EVERYWHERE.
Please don’t let this happen to you.
Take some time now to figure out what you need to do to stay healthy. Move more. Get yourself a standing desk. Ask a friend to walk with you for accountability. If you don’t take action now, you might find yourself in the same pot of boiling water I’m in. And that’s the last thing you need while you’re building your business. Look — I’ve had to postpone the Creamed! project until further notice. Too much on my plate (both literally and figuratively) means it’s time to slow down and get real about my life. Thankfully, I’m not in the hospital recovering from surgery. But I could be. I’m just a hair’s breadth away unless I spend some time taking care of my body. And the truth is, you might be in the same boat. Please PLEASE get regular blood tests done. And make sure they check for any vitamin deficiencies. (Did you know a vitamin D deficit can cause depression? As well as a whole host of other things.) [tweetherder]Without good health, we won’t have the time or energy to build a successful business.[/tweetherder]
What are you willing to change in your life so that you can be around for years to come?
Let me know in a comment below and let’s all agree to stop sitting around waiting for the inevitable, m’kay? p.s. – Take a look at what author Nilofer Merchant had to say in her TED talk (just 3.29 min long): This post is part of the Word Carnival series of monthly posts. This month, we explore the theme of health and business, specifically: how does one impact the other? Check out more of the fabulous series at WordCarnivals.com.
Need to say how much I admire your strength and courage in stepping into this challenge and taking it head on and sharing it with your colleagues and fans so that we can learn from your journey. Thanks for the inspiration. And I did not know that about Vitamin D!
You know… You and I had talked about challenges and how this year has not gone at all like we’d expected it might.We both have some health challenges to square off against and we both have business challenges to square off against. I’m excited to see how we fare.The Year of the Snake is supposed to be your year – and in a way I think the universe has given you exactly what you’ve asked for: a chance to make the year of the snake your bitch. Get to it!
Tea, you can take some little consolation from the fact that your health scare has raised the alarm for all of us who lead sedentary lives. You have highlighted how our addiction to the computer changes a once rationale approach to healthy living. My daughters have been pleading with me to change how I work. So now it is time. I so wish it hadn’t been as a result of your health issues. But you will attend to them with the energy I am sure that you bring to everything you do.
It’s so true. We all think, nope not gonna happen to me and then eventually – bam it does (if we don’t take care of ourselves) We only get one body, you have lots of time to give yours the adoration it deserves! Also, so happy you’re not sharing this from a gurney.
Such a timely message, Tea. It’s tough to change your lifestyle and easy to slip back into bad habits, but if you can tough it out for a while, the new way of eating will become second nature (though I still struggle with chocolate cravings).
I can relate, having just spent the last two years dealing with a similar transformation of lifestyle. It’s not easy – I’m from Mediterranean stock and LOVE my carbs – but it’s been worth the often superhuman effort to change the way I view food. A standing desk is next on my list, so let me know if you find a great one!And kudos for sharing your story. I think what you’ve shared is much more prevalent than we might imagine. A sedentary, virtual world may be good for business but it really does wreak havoc on our bodies!
That’s a boatload of stuff to contend with all at once. I am far from an authority on ANYTHING let alone health, so what I’m about to say may not be helpful at all… but how about switching to grass-fed meat (if you don’t eat it already)? It’s by far lower in fat and other bad things. By some counts, grass-fed beef is as low in fat as conventional chicken we’re used to eating from the supermarket. All that awesome “marbling” in your juicy steak is nice and all, but it’s only there because of the horrible extra fat (that wouldn’t be there if animals were eating a proper diet). Anyway, that is one thing I swear by so I figured I’d share.As for sugar… NO FRIGGING KIDDING. I periodically try to avoid it but you’re right, it’s omnipresent. Unless it comes directly out of the ground or from an animal, it’s pretty much sugar. Even things you don’t think of like ketchup and condiments. What a pain. Then again, it IS killing us. And we have anti-smoking and anti-drinking and anti-drug campaigns but no anti-sugar ones. But it’s probably one of the worst offenders.The good news is that much like a crappy diet and lifestyle, a good one is self-perpetuating. Once you get on a roll you get a momentum that you don’t even want to break. So you have to get over the initial “holy crap this sucks hairy ass” phase and then you will be in healthful bliss!
Tea I can only imagine how hard the health issues must be. Certainly your story rings a warning for me – high cholesterol and heart attacks are a major risk in my family. I’ve let my waistline expand a bit with my business. Not good. So I’m returning to chocolate is an occasional treat NOT a food group. No more after dinner snacks. And making exercise a priority.
Hi Tea,I’m sorry to read about your health challenges. You already know that you’re not alone, but it’s always a jolt to face when we’ve arrived at a destination we’ve been headed toward for years.After being diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol my doctor began to speak the words pre-diabetes too many times. I began taking small steps to change my ways such as joining a neighbor who has been walking regularly for years. Last year I also began going to a dance class. In addition, I’ve gradually moved to eating more vegetables and fruit, healthy snacks and substantially cutting back on starch and sugar. I still have lots of room for improvement and many pounds to lose, but my blood pressure is back to normal (yippee!) and cholesterol down.Like you, I’m reading the labels more carefully and discussing these things with friends and relatives. It’s a real shame to think you’re eating healthy when the manufacturers are sneaking sugar and loads of sodium in everywhere they can.One of the most successful moves is to start the day or each meal with a leafy salad, followed by the rest of the meal. It’s filling so I’m less likely to do what I call stupid eating, and it ensures proper elimination which keeps the colon clear. I was encouraged to get serious about my health by the amazing story of Dr. Terry Wahls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc who brought herself back from debilitating multiple sclerosis by doing extensive research of brain cell biology and changing her diet accordingly.
I was walking my dog today after a friend had to cancel our beer date because he had intense back pain that turned out to be kidney stones or something, and now he’s having some tests. I was thinking about how grateful I am to be healthy and strong. If not for my affinity for beer and chocolate I’d be about 15 pounds lighter, but I eat well and I’m moderately active.Tea, the changes you have to make probably seem overwhelming now but the shift will eventually start feeling like a routine. Promise! We’re here for ya.Okay, today I pledge to get back into my habit of doing 150 crunches and 50 pushups every morning before I check my email. Yeah!
Those are FABulous suggestions, Prudence. Thank you! I had no idea there were apps that could that. And you’re right — having a buddy really keeps us accountable.
I’m so sorry to hear about your health issues. Thank you for sharing your challenges and encouraging the rest of us to get off our rears, see our doctors, and pay a little more attention to our bodies. Diet is critical to health and happiness. Slight improvements can make a world of difference in your energy and mood levels. I didn’t believe it until last year when I started taking my health a little more seriously. I actually found the diet changes to be easy. It was exercise I struggled with. I discovered that having a partner is crucial when it comes to getting into an exercise routine. I ran my first 5K last year – previously I’d never run so far as the end of my driveway. I did it with a buddy. The interesting thing is, we actually never ran together while we were training. She ran in her neighborhood, and I ran in mine. Thanks to a running/map app for our phones, we could track what the other was doing. There was no hiding from it because it was right there, in full color, on the smartphone screen. I felt like I couldn’t skip a day if she’d already done her run and vice versa. But it wasn’t all competitive. If she had a good run, I was genuinely proud of her. If I was struggling, she was a great cheerleader and motivator. That friendly “competition” motivated us. If walking or running is a goal, get one of those map apps. Several are free. You can also get great fitness apps for beginners that help you ramp up from sedentary to active without hurting yourself. Do it with some friends, and even if you guys can’t physically get together to walk, you can still motivate each other through your apps. I’m doing another race this year and I’m training with a friend who lives four states away! It’s great fun. I hope that you don’t end up requiring surgery. Take care of you – we depend on you around here 🙂 PS: Can you still cook with real butter? Some dishes just aren’t the same without it…. Maybe in moderation?
Great reminder and suggestions Tea! I promise to make some changes and will let you know how I am doing. Thanks for letting us know how you are doing. Keep us posted please.
Well, I DO read your other blog and have shared thoughts there – always right behind ya, hon, regardless of whatever challenge you’re making mincemeat out of this week. (Pun totes intended.) But I do want to ask this: where’s the “no carbs” thing coming from? Just curious – are you distinguishing between simple sugars (like – well, sugar) and the good stuff like berries & veggies, or have you been warned to cut back severely on all carbs? I freely admit I’ve done very little research on dietary considerations relative to gall bladder issues so I’m intrigued by what changes, or doesn’t change, or oughtta change, if that makes sense.
I stood up, Tea, while I watched Nilofer’s video and exercised for four minutes. Yay, me!Pretty sad to find out we’re sitting for longer periods of time than we’re sleeping. Truth is, it shouldn’t come as a shock to me. I’m a slave to sleep deprivation and rarely put my head down on my pillow till about 4:00 AM (eight days a week) NOT cool. Thank you for talking about serious medical issues here on The Word Chef. I’m a medical professional and I believe, with all my heart and soul, sharing your symptoms and challenges with others HELPS.”What are you willing to change in your life so that you can be around for years to come?” Like you, I quit smoking, so that was a good start. And it was far from easy!!! Without hesitation, I want to get a whole lot more physically active. I need to move and groove more! Most importantly, I want to find ways to make enough money to see a doctor. I’ve worked with physicians for my entire adult life yet I haven’t seen a physician in twenty-two years. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But, oh, so true.I heard, by the grapevine, you were taking a walk this afternoon. I hope you enjoyed it to the max! 🙂
Sorry to hear about your diabetes. Ordinarily, you have to have a certain number of carbs each meal. Don’t know what impact your gallstones and other problems may have on it. Phil