Midlife Health Crisis

First Published - January 2019

Well that’s it, I’m officially on the brink of being old! Well at least as far as my body is concerned anyway. I’ve recently had a blood test and the results were certainly not in my favour..

I knew I wasn’t keeping fit and probably had too many meals out over the past six months, but surely it wasn’t all that bad? Ha! Think again! As I sat in my Doctor’s Office, the inevitable words spilled from his mouth. Borderline diabetic, high cholesterol and coupled with my already existing high blood pressure, I was effectively a walking disaster waiting to happen.

How had this happened?

Well I knew “How” it had happened, I had let myself go, stopped looking after myself and just got on with life without really a second glance at what I was eating or drinking. I mean, a few nibbles in the evening after dinner wasn’t that bad. I hardly had any desserts, except the occasional chocolate. I don’t drink excessively, only one glass a night whilst making dinner. What was wrong with one glass of wine a night? I knew that over the past few months, with holidays, Christmas and family visiting, that I had definitely over-indulged more than I usually do, but then who doesn’t?

Food …. well that was a whole other story. I was doing well for a while, I had started Intermittent Fasting and managed to lose about 3kg. I was pleased with myself, I could do it and it wasn’t hard. The timings were easy to follow, I would finish my last meal by 7.30pm each night and the “fast” until the following day at 11.30am. I would then have a light lunch and eat normally with dinner and stop again at 7.30pm. I could do this, I saw results quite quickly and liked that. Sometimes the inevitable day or night would come up when things didn’t go to plan, and sometimes, I would keep myself so busy that I would forget to eat for a couple of hours later. It was all good I told myself. I was actually thinking that the hunger I felt was basically my body eating my fat cells! I could live with them eating, as long as I didn’t!

But it didn't last long - life got in the way! We were eating out more often and discovering new places in our new city. Family and friends were visiting and we would take them out. I found myself munching way too much in front of the telly. Mindless eating became the norm for me and it was not good, I knew it but didn't know how to stop myself.

Exercise was far and few between. I walked the dogs and that was pretty much it! But wasn’t moving house, unpacking boxes, cleaning the home and sweeping the patio all exercise as well? Here was where I was really kidding myself. I knew it wasn’t enough but I just couldn’t get my head round doing what I knew I needed to do. I had a bike, I had legs, I could walk, swim, cycle…all possible options none of which seemed to inspire me to get out and go. I even counted mowing the lawn as exercise! I sweated, it counts – don’t judge!

So back to the doctor’s office…here he was rattling off these high numbers that were my life. As we were discussing my lack of doing anything to look after myself, I realised that this has to the the wake up call, the call to action to kick my butt into gear and get myself sorted again. The Doctor has given me three months, to lower everything! Otherwise, he would have to resort to medication to control my diabetes and cholesterol. NOPE, No Way, Not Happening!

We discussed diet, and I wasn’t sure why I was borderline diabetic, I mean I hardly eat sugar, cakes, chocolate (well occasionally – but who doesn’t?) It turns out that lessons needed to be learned by me….sugar also came from carbohydrates! Damn….I love a good pasta dish!

I mean, I know white potatoes, rice and pasta aren’t good for any of us, but we all eat it, we all survive, we all live. I was invincible!! Nothing could be wrong with me, surely. I didn’t pig out, I didn’t have second helpings. But looking back, I realised that I had been eating a lot of the “white stuff”. It was time to change. Whether I can completely cut out the dreaded three (pasta, rice, potatoes) remains to be seen. For now I am going down the more healthy route of having brown rice, wholewheat pasta and sweet potatoes. Getting some colour back into my meals!!

So as I sit here and write this blog, my green tea by my side, I am preparing to go swimming and start the rest of my life looking after me as well. I don't want to be unhealthy, I don't want to be a health risk to my family or myself for that matter. I am only 46 and I know I still have the rest of my life ahead of me. This is midlife but its also the beginning of my life again. My second chance to keep myself fit and healthy. I want to be around for my own children, watch them grow, get married, have a family of their own, live their wonderful lives, and I want to be there to see it all.

Wish me luck!