Monday, May 27, 2013
Tyler's Tree: May
I've been thinking about that a lot lately, how we never really "arrive," how we "learn" some lessons over and over in life. One of my biggest downfalls is that I think I have to have everything in order before I tackle actually living. It is not so, people! I have to live right here, right now, where I am, or I will have wasted my life.
Begin the work, the task, whatever it is, and know you may work on it your entire life, or you may complete the task only to be faced with other tasks. Such is life, I suppose.
Several weeks ago, I very casually began (or restarted) the task of moving toward better physical health. I signed up for "myfitnesspal" and "sparkpeople." I have been walking almost every day, I've been taking my medicines as prescribed (not skipping my night doses, not pouting because I have to take meds) and I have been tracking everything I eat. I installed the apps on my phone which makes it very easy to enter all the information. I've lost some weight. I'm not sure how much because I did not have a scale when I started and I just guessed my weight based on my last doctor visit. I am now within one or two pounds of where I was in November of 2011 after I had my cancer surgery*. But I still have more to lose. I've almost been doing this long enough that the experts would say I have established the habit. I am not so sure. In some ways, it is a big fat mind game, and I keep having to tell myself that just because I might not being doing the task perfectly, it doesn't mean I should quit altogether.
I checked out a book from the library (twice, I'm going to order a copy for myself) that has been very helpful to me. It's called "The Healthiest You: Take Charge of Your Brain to Change Your Life," by Kelly Traver. It's a 12 week program where you make small changes over the course of time. Of course, I have not followed her suggestions! I am still reading through the book. She does an excellent job of explaining things in terms so that one can make the connection between bad eating habits and poor health. I was planning on reading the book cover to cover and then going back and implementing her various tasks through the 12 weeks. As it turned out, I signed myself up on those websites and began recording my food intake and exercising. So I have begun. And I hope I continue!
Perhaps the "gardening theory" I spoke of earlier will work for me in my pursuit of better health--the good habits I am planting will soon (eventually) overtake the bad habits if I just keep on working on them.
(*A story of varying perspectives about my weight loss before and after the colon cancer surgery: When I went to visit the surgeon for the first time, I was a tad bit proud of my recent weight loss of about 20 pounds. However, I still was overweight. So when the surgeon mentioned the problem of having to go through "some fat" I was just a little bit insulted at first thought! But I realized he was right and it IS a problem.
I was visiting with an old friend the other night whose youngest daughter had to have surgery for Chron's disease. She'd had her surgery done here in town and couldn't remember the surgeon's name. She told the story of how the doctor who recommended the surgery told her daughter the surgeon would LOVE operating on her because she was thin!
I realized then that she was probable talking about my surgeon so I named my surgeon to my friend and she said "yeah, that's him!" So I was mad all over again at my surgeon for daring to mention the obvious to me!
In spite of that, I liked him a lot and he did a great job. He is known around here as the Colon King. He served in the military and worked around big military jets which impacted his hearing. So you have to sort of talk loud about your business. That part was not so much fun, yelling out in a hospital room where you know they can hear you all through the halls, "YEAH, DOC, MY BOWELS MOVED TODAY. IT WAS GREAT AND EVERYTHING WORKED JUST FINE!")
Two last things and I will hush--My oncologist told me the biggest factor that would cause the cancer to come back is a high fat diet. I read on the internet that not enough oncologists tell their patients that regular exercise is a huge help in causing cancers not to come back. I am trying to work on both of those factors. I can't control these things (and I do not necessarily spend a lot of time fretting about it coming back) but I can do some things to help improve my odds.
Actually, I have one other thing to say about this current pursuit of better health. I have a friend at work who has done an awful lot of work on her health and fitness. It's been very inspiring to watch her and to see the results of the changes she has made. I won't name her here, but she knows who she is and I just want to say, "thank you very much, friend, for the inspiration and the courageous example you have been." I just might add a few years to my life, thanks to you!