One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Healthy Outlook

I've spent the past 24 hours contemplating my health. Funny how you can take it for granted until you're down for the count. There's a lot of things in life like that. I just wish I could remember the lessons I learned after the bad times are gone.

I fell victim to a nasty stomach bug that had me vomiting for 8 hours straight overnight. That, combined with the other lovely effects of a stomach bug, left me completely dehydrated (lost 5 pounds in 8 hours!) and completely exhausted. It hasn't been confirmed by my doctor yet, but I am fairly certain I bruised a rib from all my retching. At one point during the night, I thought I might die. And that's not being dramatic.

Ok, maybe it's being a LITTLE dramatic. But it was brutal.

But while I was moaning and in between trips to the bathroom (where I thought I should just bring my pillow & blanket) I thought about how I wanted to be the healthiest version of me EVER, and I was just praying to get well so I could get right on that. Most days, like most of us, I don't even think about how fairly healthy I am. And I do some pretty unhealthy things to myself, because they don't really have any immediate consequences. Those show up a little later. Just to be clear, I am talking about eating what I know I shouldn't eat.

But while I was feeling my worst (and even now as I type this, recovering from the past day) I thought about how I only wanted to be KIND to my body, because I am blessed to be pain free most days. And with no serious illness to stop me, I have no viable excuse to intentionally cause harm to my body. Right?

I am a caregiver by nature. My son had this bug a few days ago. I stroked his hair as he vomited, wiped his nose and rubbed his back as I watched my poor child suffer from the effects of this bug. I got him his Gatorade when he needed it and toasted some toast so he could try and eat something.

48 hours later, I was the one who was being ravaged by this illness. My husband was also sick and bless his heart, did his best to try and comfort me, but there was little he could do. It is sweet how we have people in our lives to take care of us when we need it. And the thought of taking care of MYSELF started to creep in. Because I haven't been doing too good of a job lately. I am a caregiver who has forgotten how to take care of herself.

Now, even if I was 125 pounds and fit, I could not have prevented getting sick of course. A bug is a bug and doesn't care what shape you're in. The fact that I got it when I'm 50 pounds overweight doesn't seem to mean much. But I am not going to lie - the unhealthy part of me was pleased to step on the scale and see a 5-pound loss, even though I know that will come back with re hydration. But if I was at my goal weight and taking care of myself like I should, I would not have had that unhealthy thought.

I want to remember how awful I felt the past 24 hours so I do not take my health for granted. Kind of like I want to remember how awful I felt when I ate two cupcakes for lunch one day so that I make healthier choices in the future. Sometimes it takes something to shake us where we are, so that we get refocused on what matters and what we need to concentrate on. I was only able to eat toast, rice & Popsicles today. I am really hungry, and afraid to eat too much (yup, that's new!)  I am looking forward to eating healthy and exercising and thanking God for this healthy body I've been blessed with. I love how this is in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 10:31

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Have you ever thought about "eating or drinking" for the glory of God? It seems kind of odd, huh? But WHATEVER I do I should do for the glory of God, and for me, eating and drinking have been a problem. So this makes absolute, perfect, crystal-clear sense to me. I'm starting now.

It was 60 degrees today - in February! - and I thought about how it was perfect weather for a run. But here I was, weak and unable to enjoy that. But I also realized this is a temporary state of being, and in a few short days I'll be able to go and run. The feeling I had today is one that some people need to live with every day. Thank God that is not me. I need to get my healthy outlook back, and realize that I have the power to change my life for the better, and to feel good about myself is one of the greatest gifts I could ever give myself.

Stop and take a moment to think about what you've taken for granted, or made excuses for, or have 'forgotten' about in the busy-ness of life. And make a step to remedy that in whatever way you can. Me? I feel like I am starting with a 'clean slate' again and will do my best to remember my most important job.
Let's hope I don't forget it again! 

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