Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Island of Denial

Island of Denial

Have you ever had one of those moments when you are chatting with someone and realize the words you said to them were words you needed to hear? This happened to me yesterday while chatting with a coworker. We were doing a health screening at work and I was chiding her about not participating. She stated to me that she knows she has elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and she is overweight. I jokingly stated to her, “whenever you decide to get off the island of denial, let us know and we'll screen you.”

About an hour or so later, it was my turn to be screened. Our health screenings consist of a lipid panel (cholesterol levels), fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and BMI, waist circumference, and physical activity level. Guess who's been living on the island of denial?

While my labs were in the low risk category, they were higher than my previous labs. My weight and BMI came in at the moderate risk (overweight.) My waist circumference made me want to crawl under the table and hide. (I wasn’t sure I could get back up if I did hide.) Something about seeing the numbers on the paper, especially after my “Island of Denial” comment has me motivated to want to want to make some lifestyle changes.

However there is a catch-22…

Ever since cancer treatment (which included hysterectomy), I have struggled with some long term side effects. The most challenging side effects for me has been the fatigue, muscle weakness and bone pain. After doing much research and discussing with my health care team, it appears that I need to reevaluate my approach to diet and exercise. Instead of thinking that I can return to my previous routines, I need to scale it back….big time…and instead of taking steps, I should be crawling. Apparently, I try to accelerate too fast and that is causing the crashes—and trips to the couch. (Under no circumstances am I to “push” through the fatigue and pain, instead I am to listen to my body and give myself permission rest.)

So, I am starting a new plan…and hoping you can come along with me on my journey to wellness. Now, I won’t be boring you with the details of up a pound, down a pound…as if I lose weight that will be a bonus. For me, right now, I am going to concentrate on these health habits:

1) 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night

2) 15 minutes of daily exercise with 5 minutes of stretching. (The physical therapist said I could increase by 5 minutes a week, ONLY if I don’t have to spend the weekends on the couch recuperating from the week.)

3) The bone and muscle pains increase significantly when we experience a change in our weather pattern. (I am learning that if I stay on top of the pain with Advil, I can at least function.) However, I am giving myself permission to say “no” to any extras on those days. So, please don’t take offense if I have to reschedule our plans on an “off” day.

So, there you have it…my plan for getting off the “Island of Denial”
and back to the land of “Healthy Living!”

Q.  What are your wellness goals for this month?


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Good luck Kim. It feels good to reclaim the power of healthy living. I know I should make some changes as well. Perhaps you've inspired me to follow through today. I will make one change this week and see how it goes. Take care of yourself. We want you around!

Susan Stilwell said...

You're going to do great with this, Kim. You're setting attainable goals and making the right changes to your lifestyle, and God will honor that. I'm asking Him to encourage you in creative ways!!

As for my own wellness goals? Girl, you hit the nail on the head with the issue of SLEEP. I have GOT to get that in order.
Hugs from VA :)