Have you ever had a wake up call?
What was it for you?
My most recent one was Saturday.
I sat in my doctors office as she looked at my phone at some results I was showing her. Results for a test I should’ve had done 6+ months ago that my specialist ordered, but I’m really terrible at being “sick”. Firstly I never think I actually am, I convince myself that the way I feel is all in my head and that I’m totally fine and then I forget to do the tests… Anyway, it was a bone density scan.
I had spoken to my specialist about it over the phone already, so I knew the results were bad. I was already on a supplement to try and help, but I also wasn’t sure exactly how bad it was. Until my GP was reading and I saw her face change and she looked at me and I said “my specialist said they are pretty bad” and she replied “yeah, like really, really bad. This is your wake up call you need to turn this around – like now. Or in 20 years time your life as you know it will be gone.” And she went on to list possible future scenarios for me.
And I sat there numb. To be honest I am fucking sick of feeling numb lately, it just seems to be my go to coping emotion.
I just get so defeated in doctor’s offices, I continually go to appointments expecting my results to be “not that bad” and guess what, positive thinking doesn’t do anything for me obviously – because almost every time it’s a pretty bad result and it totally smacks in the face and I’m left sitting there alone & stunned.
So what is the diagnosis? Osteopenia.
Not osteoporosis thankfully – but it could one day be that if I don’t change this. Basically my bone density level is awful. Like it’s maybe 20+ years ahead of itself. So now is my time to get my ass into gear and do something.
How do I fix this? By some diet changes, taking supplements, trying to avoid steroid use (so keeping my IBD under control) and working my ass off with fitness.
I was told to start running immediately, but I feel like that isn’t going to be right for me so I will hold off on that (though I did go for a run Sunday morning and my body crashed around lunch that day, so I don’t know if running is the right exercise, but I may start adding in a few walks with Tommy during my week).
I do yoga most days of the week in the morning already, but I am going to have to step that up a lot with some weight bearing exercises and strength training. Basically I need to build up muscle – not lose weight, I am stressing here that I do not need to lose weight because I am aware I am tiny – like >42kg small – and I don’t want to lose anymore weight, but toning and building muscle is something I am actually looking forward to. I think it may even boost my body confidence level a bit (hello, better butt! LOL)
Thankfully this has been caught now, I’m under 35 and can drastically change this part of my life. I am feeling ok about it now, but I wasn’t on Saturday.
After that appointment I slipped into a funk. Gosh I was miserable, all I could imagine was me at 50 being useless, my ideal visions of life at 50 – gone.
I was sick of being “sick” – like what gives – as if having bowel disease, which is honestly the most humiliating thing ever to have isn’t bad enough, now my bones are terrible and I’m at a high risk of fractures. Awesome – my life is going great this year. I thought honestly maybe with everything being thrown at me lately, maybe I’m not meant to survive 2019… I felt that defeated, that I let that thought slip into my mind and it sank down to my heart and it broke a bit more this year, at this rate I’ll be surprised if my heart even exists come Christmas. I thought what type of good Mother can I be for my kids when I’m “sick”… So I sat in silence on my couch, feeling sorry for myself. Because you know what, sometimes we need to do that. Just sit and agree that right now, at this very moment life is shit. And it is, my life is crumbling.
I went to bed with tears pouring down my face and feeling so broken but I woke up, got out of bed, ate breakfast and went for a 3km run, I came home stretched, did yoga and some weight bearing exercises and showered off that sweat, put my makeup on and went to church… This was now part of me and I have to tackle this new journey with grit and grace.
It’s a part of my life I am not impressed by at all, I have never been the type of person who loves to work out, I’ve never been a member of a gym and I just don’t get the appeal, but I need to learn to love it. I need to do this, I need to turn this around, to survive so I can live my best life and be my best self for my children and the people I love.
I don’t want to become a burden to the people I love in 20 years, that’s not even an option for me. So I will bitch and moan about working out for the next few months and one day it will become natural to me, I will wake up and do it without thinking and it’ll be part of me. Like writing is. Well, that’s what I’m hoping…
Friends I want to encourage you today, if you get thrown a hurdle in life that sets you up for a new journey – ride the emotions. Feel the sadness, the shock, the grief – it’s important. But don’t dwell on those emotions, feel it – but don’t hold on. Let it go and rise up and throw your whole self into this challenge. Tackle it and own it.
And if you are thrown a wake up call – do not ignore it. Do not. Do what you can to be your best self for you and for your loved ones.
You matter, take care of you.
We cannot be our best selves and take care of our loves if we are ourselves are falling apart, put your oxygen mask on first!
And if there is a test you’ve been putting off, please go get it done – now. Don’t be like me, I could’ve had these results 6 months ago and be well on my way to turning this nightmare around, but instead I put it off and stupidly told myself it was a waste of time because I was fine. I’m not fine, far from it – but I will be ok soon enough.
So back to positive thinking and strong thoughts.
I’ve got this, I will be strong and heck at least from this my ass will hopefully look awesome – bring on a tropical holiday so I can rock a bikini.
(gotta look at the positives…)
I would love any recommendations for exercise programs that target muscle building/weight training or even ones you just love, awesome work out songs that motivate you (gotta build the perfect playlist!) and any foods or recipes you know that are loaded with bone building goodness… And just any advice would be appreciated – please?