There comes a time in everyone’s life where you realize you aren’t invincible, that eventually we are all going to physically decline and eventually die. Everyone’s journey is different so everyone has this realization at different points in their life. A ten year old cancer patient will probably realize long before an athletic cheerleader, think even when that ten year olds younger sibling will have the same realization. We all understand this and yet most do not consider their health a priority, even with recent medical breakthroughs and technology humans still make poor health decisions.
I am not saying this from a pedestal because I am one of those idiots not taking their health seriously. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 4 years old, just young enough for me not to see how sick I got. According to my parents I stayed on the couch for a week before they rushed me to the hospital. Being four I only remember the doctor having to shove a huge needle into my arm so I hid my face with my mom’s affection. So you would think since I had to become accustomed to needles going into my skin everyday so young I would be really good at taking care of my health, wrong.
My health has been a growing source of anxiety since I was a child when I would have agonizing doctors appointments that did nothing but scare me and make me more anxious. As I grew up with this disease I never took it seriously, I forget to check my blood sugar and to give myself the medicine I need to stay alive. I was never put into a proper routine of taking care of my diabetes, and now as an adult living on my own I think my health has just continued to decline. Now that it has become my responsibility to make doctor appointments I have found myself overwhelmed by the sheer mass of my health problems.
Not to mention just my diabetes but also my diet is not the best, I could swear most of the food I eat on a daily basis is cereal and chips and strawberries, with the occasional meal my boyfriend and I will cook up. As I read more and more stories about how what we eat seriously influences our whole bodies health my anxiety only increases. This new wave of gut health on social media has me wondering if I need to be investing in organic food or eating salads. I am a petite woman so maybe I need to eat more protein and protein shakes, there is so much information I’m not sure what to eat so I go with easiest option, something I don’t have to cook.
My fitness level embarrasses me, I can occasionally do a yoga routine or go on a hike once in a blue moon but I do not have consistent exercise on a daily basis. Some days my boyfriend and I are so motivated and we want to go to the gym but then our pesky video games get in the way. Not to say work and family and fun don’t keep us busy but there have been many days I chose to stay at home and play sims rather than take care of myself. There’s a man who lives in my apartment complex that jogs five laps around the park across the street every morning and every night, if he can struggle through that every day I can take a walk once in a while.
Now as important as physical health is, it isn’t worth trying unless I’m taking care of my mind. My mental health is inherently hurting the rest of my body, when I feel like the world is ending and I can’t get out of bed working out and having a well rounded diet is not at the top of my priority list. So as much as I can tell myself to be healthy by working out and eating lots of fruits and veggies, I have to remind myself that my brain is one of the most important organs to take care of. The body and mind are so intertwined into each other’s well being it’s impossible for one to be healthy while the other is unhealthy, something western culture has forgotten.
I think the biggest struggle for me and my health isn’t doing all the workouts and eating all the right foods or even being a “perfect” diabetic, it’s getting help especially from the professionals. I have a long standing problem with anxiety before doctor’s, dentist, and therapy appointments. Partly because I’m embarrassed that I’m not taking care of myself but also because I have really hard time facing my health concerns and struggles, I often just ignore them until things explode then I patch myself up and carry on until I explode again. That has to stop though, I deserve to be the healthiest version of myself. I deserve to have a healthy future with babies and adventure, and I don’t want to be held back by my health.
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