Sometimes in life, something or several things happen to make you really think or “wake up.” This just recently happened to me and was confirmed by several things in my life. These things are very separate, but are all related to each other in the big picture.
- 1) A friend of mine went for a routine checkup and discovered she had breast cancer. This person is a healthy person and takes good care of herself, but unfortunately she got it anyway. The best news in this is that it was discovered early, treated quickly and she is going to recover well.
- 2) A lady that is a very influential person in my community passed away yesterday from cancer that had overwhelmed her body. She was greatly loved by the people in my community and served our community selflessly and tirelessly. She was at about every school function you could think of. She will be sorely missed and was taken way before her time.
- 3) I had a battery of tests done last week for just some routine checkups. I had several tests come back out of range.
As many of you know, I am an exercise nut and am constantly training. I have normal blood pressure and a resting heart rate of about 50 BPM. I consider myself pretty healthy (I think we all fall into this foolish trap). So when I got my labs back, I was really floored/taken back that I had any abnormalities in my blood work. I was like “Me???” I think because I have done 20 races last year from 5k’s to a full distance Ironman that I am immune to having something wrong. I couldn’t believe it. This was a very sobering moment for me, but it got me to thinking. I am not immune to bad test results and now I have to be honest with myself.
I train like a mad person and probably work out more than 99% of the population ( to the other 1%, you are overtraining J ). The problem with that in my situation is that because I burn a large number of calories, I can get away with eating whatever I want. With that being said, I thought I was eating ok ( I have been fooling myself.) I eat ok sometimes and eat like crap sometimes. So when I ran these recent lab tests, the truth came out. If I continue to eat like I do, I am a strong candidate for diabetes and for serious cholesterol problems. Neither is good. I had to re-evaluate my “being healthy.” It’s not just working out.
I believe that there are 5 pillars to being healthy and I was missing one greatly. The pillars are:
- Eating right.
- Getting adequate rest, which by most studies is 8 hours.
- Regular exercise at least 3-4 times per week.
- Staying right spiritually. This is not my opinion; several studies have shown that people who are spiritual are healthier than those who are not.
- Taking care of yourself physically. This includes chiropractic, massage therapy, foam rolling, yoga, etc.
I needed a wakeup call. I hope that I can encourage someone else to get a wakeup call as well. If you feel at any age that you are not at 100% or you are 40 or over, you need to visit your doctor for an annual physical. Make sure you get a complete blood analysis, which is pretty standard and know your health. If you are a woman, your annual mammogram is very important to any early detection. Don’t guess.
The advantage of where I am at is that it is all correctable. I have to make some serious changes to my diet. I can’t eat anything I want all the time. It’s not working for me. It doesn’t mean I can’t eat certain items, it just means I have to be more intentional about how I eat. I want to be around for a long time and I want you to be as well. I hope this finds you in excellent health. I will follow up with you in a few months and talk about my changes and how I benefitted from them.
Make the best of your day every day!