The most important lesson 2018 taught me is nothing is more important than your health. I have said it many times before, Health is Wealth. Having a fantastic career is worthless without your health. Having the financial means to travel, owning the opulent possessions, fancy cars, gorgeous mansions, it all means nothing without your health. Having a beautiful relationship with another will be challenged without your health. Having a gorgeous slender body is nothing without your health.
I cannot drive this point home enough to all my readers, friends and family, you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. You need to look after your physical health and your mental health.
We can become so busy with life, such as working long hours, tending to young children or elderly parents, putting time into friendships and relationships; we forget about doing good things for our bodies, our minds and our souls. We go to a doctor and receive a referral for blood tests, and we let a couple months pass by before we go in for that half hour wait to have blood taken within two minutes, and why do we wait so long? What do we say? We’re busy.
We don’t go to the gym at lunch hour because we’re busy and we don’t go after work because we’re busy or too tired. We fuel our bodies with ready made junk such as fast food, or processed foods which are easy and generally cheap, because of our busyness, but at what expense? Weight gain, fatty livers, oversized omentums, all the while fueling our lethargy and lowering our already damaged self esteems.
I have watched my parents who are both over weight slow down rapidly and struggle with their mobility due to their age and then also for not being very active. They eat a lot of processed foods now because it is easier than making meals from scratch. I have preached and pleaded for the past two decades for them to become more active, to try and lose weight, to not eat junk food, to go for little walks with me and I see two beautiful parents of mine being trapped in bodies which continue to fail them. I have seen men and women in their 70s and even 80s running marathons or walking marathons, and I want to be like that if I am so blessed to reach these decades.
In my 20s and 30s, I just wanted to be “hot”. I wanted to be attractive to others, and I wanted people to notice me, to think “oh she is pretty and she looks good”. Now, in my 40s, I just want to be healthy. I want to be slender not because I want a “thigh gap” or to look amazing in a bikini, I want to be slender because I don’t want to be carrying extra weight around which my poor tender feet & joints have to carry around. I don’t want to develop type two diabetes which my Mom has recently developed. I don’t want to have to go on cholesterol medicaiton or blood pressure medication. I don’t want to be skinny, but I want to be strong, lean and healthy. Now if I were to think of a compliments I desire, they would be, look at how strong she is for her age, look at how mobile she is for her age, look at what she can do for her age.
I haven’t had the healthiest year for 2018. No, I am not sick, nor am I dying, but the future is unpredictable as it is in all of our lives. I had my blood pressure checked and my doctor said if I go up any higher, he will have to treat me for high blood pressure. I was devastated, but I plan to get it down through diet, exercise and having more calm in my own life, whether through meditation, or going for nature walks. I am not sure how, but I am going to get it down. I also had a mole removed shortly after my trip to South Korea, and it turns out I “had” melanoma, I had to be rescheduled for a second surgery to remove more skin and tissue from around the edges to make sure they got it all. I used to use tanning beds in my 20s wanting to look like a blonde California beauty, but I am naturally pale, pasty and anything but sun kissed.
I am waiting for the second pathology report, and my surgeon is confident I will be fine. I am scared. I am not going to lie, I am scared. Two weeks today have passed with no word, no news is good news, but we are in the midst of the holidays. I won’t feel good about this until another two weeks pass. Not knowing initially what the surgeon wanted to discuss when I received the call for the pathology report was absolutely awful, as I knew I had melanoma, but I didn’t know how bad it was, and my mind automatically went to the darkest place imaginable. When it comes to cancer, there are no guarantees, and it disturbs me to no end that I had cancer on my body. I am told I should be fine… Still terrified. We shall see.
Aging parents, melanoma, high blood pressure, a few more grey hairs and staring straight into the eyes of my own mortality, I realise now, all I want is to be healthy.
All I want is to be healthy and all I want for those I care about is for them to be healthy. Nothing else matters. I cannot love my wonderful, kind Brian the way he deserves to be loved if I am not healthy in my mind and soul and if my body is not healthy. 2019 is going to be about Rachel becoming the healthiest version of herself. Losing weight to not only fit in my wedding dress (June 15, 2019 is the date), but losing weight to hopefully help lower my blood pressure. I want to eat to nourish my body, not to just merely fuel my body. I want to take care of my skin and for once not care about looking like I “got some sun”. My healthy look is pale and pasty.
I also must ask God and many of you to forgive me for ever having said “I wish I were dead”, what a stupid, selfish thing of me to say in my moments of despair and first world problems. Life can be incredibly hard and painful at times. Life can be utterly unfair and cruel, but there is so much good out there. I want to live as long as I reasonably can and I want to be healthy.
Me in South Korea in early November 2018.
2019 will be the year Rachel is a bit more wise and understands health is a gift, but I must work towards.
Think about the future, yes, be present, but if you have any health issues or concerns, do not delay addressing them. Your life is a gift, but good health makes life so much better.
Peace & Love – Rachel