Recovery Mode

Yesterday was an “old school” kind of day that involved a long rehearsal in the morning followed by grocery shopping, early dinner preparation, and then helping out at evening auditions for a new community theater group. I’m moving a little slower than normal this morning, but after doing a three mile walk with my buddy Leslie and downing a 10 ounce bottle of water, I’m well on my way to a solid recovery.

For many years, when days like yesterday were the norm, I’d slog an extra cup of coffee into my empty stomach and head out the door. At 55, I’m finally learning to listen to my body and honor what it’s telling me about its needs.  I have to credit my daughter-in-law with inspiring me toward a better diet, and toward developing a new attitude about the body’s powers of healing and rejuvenation.  The Asian culture has ancient wisdom about the body and how it works, and how to use nature to help it work better. Having been raised in the latter part of the 20th century with all its advances in medical technology, I was steeped in the outside interventionist mode of treatment.  When something is wrong, you take a pill for it. If it doesn’t get better, you go to doctors who can blast it with chemicals.  If all else fails, they’ll happily cut it right out for you.

Now I’m more inclined to give my body a chance to heal itself, and to do what I can to help that natural progression along.  I’ve made exercise a part of my daily life, I drink a lot of water (from a BPH free plastic bottle, or even an actual glass!), and I eat smaller portions of healthier foods, I try to get at least seven hours of sleep.  I’m not perfect at any of this, but I’m getting better.  For the past 18 months I’ve not been sick once – not even one of the chronic sinus infections that have plagued me for years.

Like so many things in life,  self-education and responsibility are key. Dr. Andrew Weil, a long time advocate of natural health care practices and integrative medicine, wrote something that makes a lot of sense to me. “We are too occupied with managing cases of established diseases, most of which are lifestyle related and preventable. The essence of prevention is not colonoscopies and mammograms; it is understanding how our life choices reduce or increase the risk of disease.” Obviously there are times when modern medical treatment is necessary and valuable.  But I’d like to do everything I can to avoid that situation in my life.

 

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15 thoughts on “Recovery Mode

  1. I have always been a health nut to some degree, played sports of all kinds and ran outside on pavement for about 25 years with hardly any days off. I adjusted my diet fairly substantially when I was in my late 30’s, no red meat, lots of veggies and smaller portions of everything. It definitely pays off and you’ll continue to feel better doing the right things for yourself.

    I still feel like I’m 25 or 30 physically except for a little knee pain from all that pavement pounding. Prevention is the key and getting an annual check-up to make sure nothing is sneaking around inside that shouldn’t be.

    Hats off to you, “Young Lady”, keep up the healthy regimen.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I aspire to the kind of diet you’re talking about – and I’ve even added a little bit of running into my morning walk 🙂

  2. My acupuncture doctor recommended me to drink 2 glasses of water after you getting up every morning(not cold water) to help with my digestion and bowel movement in my pregnancy. Surprisingly it helps! I am sure it would help though in non-pregnant women.

  3. Water, water, everywhere – if only we’d remember to drink! I’m not certain of the statistic but I know muscle is about 70% water. That’s one reason fatigue is a first sign of dehydration.That’s the kind of knowledge that can help initiate change.

    One of the unexpected benefits of my varnish work has been being outside all the time. I’ve had one whomping case of bronchitis and two cases of flu in 22 years – not a bad record, and surely due to not being in a lot of enclosed spaces, breathing bad air.

    On the other hand, I don’t worry at all about wiping off grocery carts, sanitizing my hands a hundred times a day and all that. I’m convinced that life in a bubble’s no good, either. We’ve got to encounter those germs to build up natural immunities.

    • I agree – I think you have to eat a certain amount of dirt to survive and build up some immunities!

      Interesting factoid about muscle and water. I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. As you say, all the more reason to drink up!

  4. My husband has heart disease in his family; cancer in mine and we do our best to focus on prevention. The way I see it, I may predisposed, but I’m certainly not going to help it along. I’m not a fan of the fix it when it’s broken mentality in our culture.

  5. Kudos to you Becca! I am writing you from Bundi, Rajasthan in the heart of India. This morning, from my hotel room window, I watched three middle-aged men, perform yoga on the roof of their house. Their flexibility was incredible. It has obviously been a part of their lives for a long time.
    I think that same physical flexibility translates into a mental and emotion adaptability. in how we go through our lives.
    Our bodies and minds are not separate entities. As Dr. Gabor Mate said in his book, When the Body Says No, “…body and mind are only separable at autopsy.”
    Keep breathing, walking and drinking that water. You have a cheering section over here:)

    • You’re exactly right – physical health is a vital part of emotional health, and flexibility is certainly important to both. Other cultures, especially the Eastern ones, recognize and honor that better than we do in the West.

      I’ve been enjoying following along on your journeys lately! Thanks for stopping by here along the road…

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