Have you ever heard news so shocking that you stop breathing?
Have you ever been told you only have two options: change or die?
Two weeks before I turned 52, I was given a double shock about my health.
With stress as a constant companion and a sky high blood pressure reading, it was either change my eating habits and start moving my body or look forward to crapping my pants and drooling on my self because my mind shut down.
Having to be managed by an underpaid and overworked medical staff didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun so I chose door number 2.
I chose to change it all.
A funny thing about life is that it’s all connected. When you make a change in one area another one is not far behind it.
Did I have high blood pressure? Absolutely.
Could it be handled by changing my diet, moving my body and eliminatimg stress.
After this grim diagnosis, we were thrown into a global pandemic.
In my world, the global pandemic meant the apocalypse was near and the flesh eating zombies were heading straight for Long Beach.
What did I do? How did I keep my cool? I didn’t.
Like most of the planet, I panicked. Panic took the form of carne asada fries, pepperoni pizzas and all the cheeseburgers I could get my hands on.
And here’s where it gets interesting…
I had to figure out a new health plan on multiple fronts simultaneously. I, like the world, got invited to change and hit the reset button.
But the major takeaway was simple: you have to set your life up and control your environment when trying to change. In the great life changing and paradigm shifting book, SWITCH, Dan and Chip Heath suggest we “tweak” our environment in our efforts to move forward and change how we do things.
I have learned over the years to organize my life around a certain result which prevents all tomfoolery from derailing me.
Dealing with weight loss and or taking on a healthier approach to life in my 50’s is different than dealing with things in my 20’s. Back then, more than two decades ago, I was able to exercise the weight off.
Eating pizza after swimming for thirty minutes? No problem.
Snarfing down a bagel for breakfast- then crack out a few extra crunches later. Go right ahead. Fast forward twenty years and everything ends up as a spare tire.
Poundcake is not your friend once you hit 40.
Here’s the great news!
I made new friends- members of the Black Health Academy, all forms of cauliflower, cooking wtihout salt, oil and sugar.
These new friends will support me well into my 150th year on the planet when I’m doing the wobble at my great great grandchildrens’ wedding.
What new health commitment did you make during the pandemic?