Health, Getting Started on the Right Track

Beauty is more than just makeup and hair, it’s also feeling good and being comfortable with who you are (inside and out beauty).  I want to talk about health because I feel that health is one of the keys to the inner beauty.  If you are healthy you feel good, and if you feel good you not only feel good about who you are but also about your self image.  This is the story of how I was able to get myself back on track and finally be me again.  This is a bit of a long post, but I wanted to post this first and continue to post updates on my progress to becoming “me” again.  Without the backstory it’s hard to see why things are working for me this time.

Finding the Problem

Over the last several years my health seemed to get worse, year by year.  I’ve talked to the doctors in the past about some of the individual issues, and each time I tried to look into one of them nothing really worked.  At one point I had a hard time breathing, so my doctor thought it could be asthma.  I’ve also had issues sleeping at night, always feeling tired, and constant pain (back pain and headaches).

I always assumed the issues were mostly from me being out of shape and not taking care of myself like I should.  Having two kids can easily do that to anyone.  The one thing I wish I had done was take a high level look of all my health problems and try to work with the doctor to see if any could be connected.

I ended up scheduling surgery in the beginning of November, this surgery was the tipping point.  During surgery they found two issues, my appendix had to go (and they took it with the first surgery), and my gallbladder looked like there were large stones in it.  The first few weeks after surgery all I wanted to do was sleep, I was told that was normal.  I also ended up having more back pain and more headaches.

Later in November I had an ultrasound scheduled to see what was going on with my gallbladder.  They didn’t find any stones but they found a lot of sludge.  I immediately did some research to see what them meant, how can I fix it?  I saw a lot of natural remedies listed, but knowing who I am I didn’t think I could really follow through with them all.  The nurse on the phone said I should be just fine and if it got worse I should schedule an appointment to talk to the surgeon.

Then the gallbladder attack happened.  It also happened on one of the worst days possible.  There were times I thought I was going to die (maybe not, but it felt like it), it was bad!  I immediately scheduled an appointment and talked to the first available surgeon.  My online research made me lean towards wanting my gallbladder removed and my surgeon conformed that.

I couldn’t wait to get my health back to normal anymore, I could have kept waiting and trying to change my diet but those were all short term solutions.  Either way I had to change my diet (at least for short term), but with having my gallbladder removed I would return to normal faster and have a greater chance of being able to eat normal again.

On a side note, I did look into the liver flush that many say “fixes” the problem.  I just couldn’t (and didn’t want to) put my body through that on an off chance it *could* help.  I read just as many comments from people saying they wish they hadn’t done that vs those who claim it cured them.  I know my body and this wasn’t what it needed.

Problem Fixed!

My surgery to remove my gallbladder was later in the afternoon.  As soon as I woke up I felt groggy, but with much more energy.  After they released me (a few hours after surgery) we even went shopping for Jell-O and Gatorade.

The first night after surgery I slept better than I had in years!  I woke up at my normal 5:30 am when my Husband got out of bed to get the kids to school and him to work.  I couldn’t sleep, I felt like something was wrong with me.  After my previous surgery I slept so much, why am I so awake now?

The day after surgery I was so full of energy, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt that good!  I made salt dough ornaments and got them ready for the kids to paint.  It may have taken me hours as I couldn’t stand in the kitchen for too long at once, but I did it!

At one point my husband even said that I seemed like I was back to my good old full-of-energy self.

Moving on

After surgery I needed to go on a low-fat diet for at least two weeks.  I ate a lot of fish and chicken along with steamed veggies with spices.  After a week and a half, I started to increase the amount of fat and other foods on the “don’t eat” list.  I could tell things weren’t back to normal on the insides yet, but I could eat bacon without being in pain!

At the moment the only thing that is causing me problems is coffee and too much cheese.  Instead of the coffee I’ve been making Chai tea and mixing it with some milk and flavored syrups.

Up until now, my main goals have been to do what I can to let my body heal and to learn what life without a gallbladder is like.  I think I can finally check those off and move on!

Next Steps

I have started to set a few goals for myself for both working out and as it relates to food.

Goals for myself

  1. I will be getting at least 10,000 a day by the time spring rolls around. When the weather gets nicer again I want to be able to go rollerblading and other fun activities.
  2. Find new ways for the entire family to get more active. I want to do something with the entire family at least twice a month.
  3. Get back into crafting. This is more for my stress relief, but having “me” time is really important to everyone!  I want to do crafting at least twice a month.
  4. Change my eating habits by doing more food prep for lunches and suppers. This will help not only me, but also the rest of my family.  By spring I plan to cut the number of times we go out to eat in half.
  5. Portion control. This is one of my biggest challenges.  I’m not going to count calories, but I will start looking at what a portion is and ensure I don’t “overeat”.  If I’m still hungry I will fill up on veggies and fruit.

What will you see in future related blog posts?

  • Food! I will post more about what I’m doing for lunches at work.
  • Food! With a busy schedule, I’ll talk about some food prep for supper’s and how I have reduced the need to go out so frequently. (And by saying “I”, I must note that my husband is the cook, so “I” also means “him”.)
  • Tips on how to fit more activity in busy days.
  • Tips on different family friendly activities and how to follow through on them!
  • Organization – If you’re not organized it’s hard to follow through on activities and plan ahead for meals. If I really get into this, I might even include some printable templates

The moral of this long post/story is don’t stop trying to get healthy.  Sometimes there could be something else going on that makes it difficult for you to get healthy.  There is more than just eating right and working out to becoming healthy.  If your body isn’t ready or can’t take the changes you won’t be able to have the positive outcome you are hoping for.

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