Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now you see it, now maybe you don't...

I really hate the whole ageing thing. In the old days I could rest easy, knowing that my blood pressure was incredibly low and that I was fit, fit, fit! Now I'm suffering from stress, I'm a little bit overweight, distinctly less fit than I used to be AND it seems that the pressure inside my eyeballs is increasing, putting me at greater risk of glaucoma. I went to the optometrist in Coffs Harbour recommended to me by my optometrist brother-in-law, Tony, and was told that I'd got high pressure readings in my eyes. This isn't good news. Ten years ago I lost the sight in my left eye for nine months and had various other episodes of unexplained bleeding into both eyes so I already know what losing my eyesight is like... Since the first bleed I have spent many hours in the optometrist's chair and this is the very first time that my eye pressure has been elevated, and it marks a distinct change from the situation two years ago when I last had my eyes checked. The days when my doctor used to tell me to start smoking and drinking in order to increase my blood pressure are clearly long gone!

What does this tell me? Well things have clearly changed! I'm older, probably fatter, probably a bit less fit than I was two years ago. I've experienced a lot of stress - possibly no more than usual in my up-and-down sort of life, but still lots of stress. I've started drinking a cup of real coffee most days, but I don't drink as much alcohol as I used to. I've been on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet for most of the last twelve months.

I think it also tells me that I should be taking my efforts to change unhelpful aspects of my life seriously. I've been following the CSIRO with great results, but I still eat too much meat and I haven't put great emphasis on the low fat part of the plan because I shifted a lot of weight by just dropping carbohydrates. I eat too much chocolate. I probably don't eat enough potassium, magnesium and calcium, mainly because I'm lazy about ensuring that I eat bananas every day and/or take a supplement. This is particularly short-sighted of me as I'm on HRT and need to ensure I ingest enough calcium to avoid osteoporosis. I have started taking more exercise, so we'll see if I can keep up with two Pilates classes per week and two gym sessions per week, and I will need to increase the length of gym sessions and the variety of weight training and cardio work I do.

In the spirit of taking responsibility for both the good and the bad in what I do, I think I've made a start, which is good, and now I need to stick at it. I need to recognise that what was true when I was in my twenties and thirties is out of date now I'm in my early forties, and adapt accordingly. I need not to slide into a pit of depression about how wrong everything is and focus instead on being calm, reducing my stress levels, getting my chocolate cravings under control and improving my overall health. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Pilates. Wow. I have only done pilates via dvd video. Hard stuff. I wonder if a class would be any ...hmm..... more pleasant? Good luck!


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