Choosing Health

Image By Theresa Davidson. Flowers in three different stages of life.

Where I Have Been

It is time. Time for me to choose health. For too long, I have not chosen health. I have had fits and starts but I fall back on old habits. I have carried too much weight from my pregnancies. My first born is 27, I don’t think I can use it as an excuse anymore. I was on bed rest with her, and I just gained a lot of weight. It wasn’t pretty. But I have to give it up.

“The more a man uses moderation in his life, the more he is at peace, for he is not full of cares for many things. “

St. Anthony the Great
Image by Theresa Davidson. Monarch caterpillar eating milkweed leaf.

Last year my A1C crept up to 6.1. That is not terrible for a type 2 diabetic, but it is when the doctor says you either need to lose weight and eat right or you are going back on medication. My cholesterol was also going up. Menopause symptoms were getting bad again and the weight gain – just unstoppable.

Speaking of menopause, did you know menopause symptoms are so much more than hot flashes and night sweats? There are mood swings, aches and pains, brain fog, and man, if I didn’t have ADHD before, I sure feel like I do now! A good night’s sleep, what is that? My doctor (GP) wanted to put me on Lexapro when I said I had mood swings. I snapped at him and said “why do you only hear “mood swings? If I could sleep, I wouldn’t be so moody.” I had to laugh at myself later, but seriously, if I was getting enough rest, I think I could focus better and not be moody. I saw my gynecologist a few weeks later and she tried a different medication to try to help me sleep. Unfortunately, that med made my heart rate drop so low I thought I was going to die. No more of that. Still need to try something else.

Image by Theresa Davidson. Sunset picture from my deck, taken with my phone.

“Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

Saint Augustine

Where I Am Going

Dieting is not easy for anyone. I have tried a number of different diets and have had varying levels of success with each one. Everyone’s body is different and you need to find what works for you. With the combination of taking something for my menopause (an OTC menopause remedy), the lifestyle changes I am making with my diet (low carb/healthy fats), getting a little more exercise in, and wearing a continuous glucose monitor, things are starting to change. My prayer is that God gives me the strength to keep on this path. I want to be healthy so I can do what He calls me to do.

Another aspect of health is taking care of your mental health. I am so glad that the old thoughts on mental health issues as being shameful and weak are disappearing. It’s so important to take time to do things that “keep you sane” and do things that bring you joy. Nature photography, arts & crafts, reading, and writing all keep me sane and bring me joy. All of those things are like prayer to me. Singing is like prayer to me too and I start the day by singing in the shower – mostly Matt Maher songs. I am sure my family just loves all the noise I am making. Didn’t St. Augustine say, “singing is praying twice?’ Ah, but it brings me great joy. Isn’t it lovely to take a walk outside? Taking time to “smell the roses” is so refreshing to the mind and to the soul. Prayer and receiving the sacraments also helps stay in the right place mentally and spiritually.

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:1-2

Capturing peaceful images is also soul soothing to me. What are you doing to stay healthy: physically, mentally, and spiritually?