Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Yesterday I wrote frankly about the role therapy had in my current weight loss, and how armed with new knowledge, I have been able to untangle some of the emotional reasons I eat. While I credit therapy with helping me to make positive physical and emotional changes, there is more to the story (isn't there always?)
The other part of the story is a long and winding family history of terrible health, both in genetics and lifestyle.
Though my knowledge of my biological family is somewhat limited, I do know a few things. There is a history of stroke, cancer, Parkinson's, dementia, diabetes and kidney disease on my biological mother's side of the family. And this year, at 62, my biological mother passed away after a long stay on hospice and a battle with cancer, diabetes and Parkinsons.
62 YEARS OLD. Those are bad odds.
The family I grew up with, the one that adopted me, fared no better. My dad passed away at 51, overweight, unhealthy and with a drinking problem. My mom has been sick as far back as my memory goes. Diabetes, heart condition, cervical cancer, respiratory issues, the list goes on and on. Her diabetes is currently at a point where it's causing secondary health issues, and to be frank--THEY ARE SCARY.
Last February, my mother-in-law passed away. She was 62. She was fairly healthy, but she was a smoker and a drinker. She came back from a trip to Florida with friends on a Sunday and dropped dead on the Tuesday after. It was completely unexpected and a complete shock. She was so active!! She retired in 2006 and had spent the last 8 years traveling and buying herself things she'd worked long and hard for--a laptop, a hot tub..she refinished her basement, took a trip to Italy, and was generally living it up. But she also had a crap diet and unhealthy habits.
All of this is to say that between myself and my husband, we have crap for genes and crap for examples of how to be healthy. So the onus falls on us.
WE have to be responsible for creating good habits NOW.
WE have to be responsible for what we put in our bodies.
WE have to be responsible for moving our bodies.
WE have to be responsible for getting our physicals and following up on concerns and being our own advocates.
WE have to learn from mistakes, get up when we fall, stay current with the latest health news and research, and keep on keeping on.
No one can do it for you but YOU. No one will make you a priority if you don't make yourself a priority. And no matter how loving and giving and selfless you are to others, none of it means anything if you are too tired to get up every morning, too weak to climb that set of stairs, or too unhealthy to be there for the ones you love the most.
Today, make YOU a priority.