When did you last have a health MOT?
The ones where your health measurements are taken.
For my health insurance (and sharing all data for a few luring discounts), I had my annual ‘health check’
I’ll cut to the chase, but here’s the story….
Stopped weighing myself, ages ago, my clothes paint a clear picture.
Stepped on the scales and indeed the number shocked me.
The pretty awful finger prick test for cholesterol – revealed; it was high.
I did get the teeth sucking, disapproving head nod and that comment.
I breathed deeply as the health advisor started explaining that I needed to watch my diet and exercise more. Of course, that’s where the conversation ended.
Here’s why deep breathing helped because here’s the whole picture:
- Yes, I’ve gained weight, I’m about 7kg (stone) heavier than I’ve been for a long time
- Yes my cholesterol is high, but so is my ‘good’ cholesterol
- They didn’t check my triglycerides (fat stored in the bodies fat cells)
- I’m 44 so closer to peri-menopause than I was 4 years ago, with declining oestrogen levels comes increased LDL cholesterol
- The main change is that since moving from London I’m not walking as much as I used too
- However, I run, do yoga and cycle most days
- I walk the dog every day for a minimum of 20 minutes
- Don’t smoke (trust me, I used too in my wild days)
- Meditate every day for a minimum of 10 minutes (training to be a mindfulness teacher)
- My blood pressure is 106/70 (pretty low)
- Resting heart rate is 59bpm (ave for women my age is 71bpm)
- I’m not poor and, not discriminated against
- I love red wine, gin & tonic and champagne
- I also love bone marrow on toast (I’m from Africa)
- High cholesterol is in my family
My first thoughts were, “Oh wow, I’ve gained a lot of weight, I should really keep an eye on that,”
Then “oh &^%$ my cholesterol is high, what does that mean?” and “maybe I should cut down on….everything”
This kind of thinking can send us down a rabbit hole and easily spiral out of control toward:
“I’m fat, I’m unhealthy, I have no willpower”
I’m a failure, and I need to go on a diet” diet – mentality.
Do you get in your head when you see a number on the scale?
Or when you see the tiniest snapshot of your overall health? Like a cholesterol finger prick test.
Before searching for the next wholly grail of diets or health regimes.
Stop, observe and take a deep breath, follow the breath on the out-breath then…..
- Thank your body, for one thing, it enables you to do
- Be thankful for your privileges (having choices and a fridge full of food, is a privilege)
- Tune in to what your body needs, maybe you needed more hugs and fewer cookies in times of overwhelm
- Maybe this is where your body is happy
- Eat what you love
- Move your body because it feels good
- No foods are off-limits and don’t stress about everything that goes into your mouth
- The anxiety caused by restricting foods is worse for you than the cookie. (the link between stress, high blood pressure, lowering stomach acid, and weight gain is real)
- Respect, nourish, care and honour your body as it is right now
- Include foods, movement, people and activities that serve you, not punish or deprive you.
- Ask yourself; what kind thing can I do for me and my body today as it is right now?
Pause for thought…..
Taking steps to be more mindful of what we buy. Where we shop, how we eat and noting what our bodies really need is in my mind the starting point.
It’s important to take our health serious, but not to the detriment of our mental health.
What we eat is such a small part of our overall health and wellbeing.
I would love to hear your thoughts…
Please add a comment below
With wild-hearted love