It has been a year since my very scary acute pancreatitis episode. Where during those days of ultra sounds and blood tests, I thought I may be in real trouble. I hated that feeling of not knowing what was wrong and allowing my pessimistic imagination to take over any sanity I had. Was it cancer? Was the organ failing? I have to have that organ. What about my family? My precious children...I wasn't ready to leave them yet.
I swore if it were something I could repair or reverse I would do everything I could from within myself to make it happen. I wanted to be around to watch my children grow and have the chance to have more experiences in this life. I wasn't taking good care of myself, and I wanted another chance to make things right.
It ended up not being a short countdown to the end as my imagination created, but important enough for my doctors to give me the "You need to omit and change this or else..." speech. "Or else" being the end of my life story that I wasn't ready to stop telling yet.
Though I'm not sure if it was the Welchol cholesterol meds or the drinking or both, but something went wrong and my body acted naturally by giving me a warning. And I was told I was pretty lucky. So I would have been an idiot to ignore those warnings.
It's been a year that I stopped drinking almost daily. It's been a year since I consumed mass quantities of dairy and meat. I don't even notice fast food chains anymore. They don't exist. In that time I went from a size 16 to a size 4 (depending on the brand). Today I am in a pair of 4 jeans that my friend gave me. Lucky find as I believe I'm really a size 6 now. That's five dress sizes!
It's been the most transforming and soul searching year of my life so far. Well, other than the birth of my children of course. I can't even identify with the individual that I was back then. I thought drinking would calm my nerves but only masked my problems and who has time for exercise?
This year has changed everything about my life. I eat better and better every day, I found that I can control myself and say no to unhealthy temptations. I wasn't going to perish without that second helping or piece of pie. I learned that if you want it bad enough, you can make your body do it and you can get your ass up and move . Only I can control and take responsibility for my own health.
An awesome quote to share from Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr that fits at this time:
"Genes load the gun but it's lifestyle that pulls the trigger."
I took that warning seriously. I am stronger, fitter and hopefully healthier on the inside. I have made new connections through Jazzercise and also facebook. I am not perfect by any means. No way. I would rather consider myself a work in progress. Just as I tell Bella. Just keep trying, even after you fail.
Here are just a few individuals that have helped guide and inspire me along the way for better health: My better half Chris, Michael Pollan, Kelly Brownell, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Janet Knight, Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., Marion Nestle, Kimberly Blake, Eric Schlosser, Dean Ornish, M.D., Junshi Chen, Matthew Lederman, M.D., John A. McDougall, M.D., Jessica Fife-Johnston, Rip Esselstyn, Joel Furhman, M.D., the Jazzercise girls, Megan Newton Naile, Dave Burris, and my family to name a few. I thank you.
I will continue to stay on track and strive to get even better. This coming year will bring even more learning, changes, some struggles I'm sure and hopefully many more improvements and I love that I can be a youthful healthy mommy that hopefully has many more years to experience life with my kiddos, my husband, my family and friends.
Chris and I are currently embarking on two new adventures for better health. That I'll have to save for my next posts! Stay tuned.