Thursday, August 01, 2013
Firstly, thank you to all who have commented on Mrs. Palmer, my beautiful feline daughter. She is holdlng her own for the time being.
Now I have something to write that I hope does not come off sounding harsh or pedantic. I hope it does not make me sound like a frustrated Classics professor.
I struggle with Congestive Heart Failure and my diabetes every day. I know that my life expectancy is lower than it should be at my age. For many complicated emotional reasons, I feel as if I ate myself into this predicament. If you are younger than I am (and almost all of you are) it is my sincere hope--really I beg you to know---that time speeds by as you get older. You turn 40 and blink and you are 50, you take a half-blink and then you are 60.
Please take care of yourself now. Tell yourself that you don't want to eat yourself into heart disease. Tell yourself that you cannot possibly know the odds and that the genetics are only a part of the story. Tell yourself that if you do become ill, if you have diabesity or heart disease, you can look at yourself and say: "I did the best I could to avoid this".
I cannot do that. I can say that I ate myself into serious diseases. Because I thought that I would cope with my issues in the future. Because the future is an impossible place--we can imagine it the way we can imagine Utopia or Atlantis, but the future is difficult to understand as a "real concept". I did things like: decided it was more fun to read a book or watch tv than work out; decided that working as hard as I could was worth more than cooking good food; decided that caring about weight was superficial (not at all true when you reflect that weight itself is a symptom of somethings that can be deadly); decided that I was A-OK for caring more about Beethoven and Shakespeare and the political identity of narrative voices than something so mundane as my blood sugar. I thought it was perfectly find to get my fuel from Ben and Jerry and pretzels and potato chips as long as I was Thinking. Great. Thoughts.
If you are reading this, you know and I know that I was wrong.
In weeks like this--when my heart is acting up and my body is clinging to weight and my heart is just not pumping the oxygen the way it should, I feel a kind of zeal to beg of people to take care of your body today. A person can go from being symptom free to having a full-blown disease very quickly.
Use and conserve your energy wisely. Put only the very best food into your mouth. Keep your body moving. Reward yourself with all kinds of things but please do not confuse an overload of sugar (or alcohol or drugs) as a basic diet. Nor as a reward. And please do not tell yourself (as I told myself) that it's OK to mainline Big Macs because I don't take drugs or alcohol.
Approach August as a month that will be transformational--a month of fitness and health.
Try making August a month where you will do NOTHING to encourage a heart attack, a stroke, a diagnosis of high blood sugar, or any of the numerous toxic side-effects of making lousy fitness decisions.
I scold you because I care.