It is super easy to get overwhelmed with all the shit going on in life that sometimes you just have to take a step back for a day or so to regroup and find your bearings… just don’t stay in that place for too long.
One thing I have learned in Reiki and yoga is listening to your body for “stuck” energy. For me, ever since I started yoga, I had noticed I had problems with anything to do with “heart opening” postures. I could only hold them for a few moments before I had feelings of anxiety and had to stop. It doesn’t have to be a deep heart opening, either. I thought it had to do with loving myself more – as that’s what I had been struggling with over the past year. And yet, I love myself more now than I have in decades – and yet, I’m still unable to do heart opening postures for more than a couple moments and, if anything, that anxiety is getting worse.
And then I realized it didn’t have to do with needing to love myself more – it meant that I needed to take care of my heart health.
Ever since I got sick at the end of June and given the home blood pressure kit to monitor my heart rate, I realize now that my heart health is not healthy at all. My heart rate has been so high some days that I’m impressed I wasn’t in the hospital. I came to the realization that if I didn’t do something about my blood pressure, I’d be sentencing myself to an early grave.
Okay, a little dramatic, but you get the idea.
The fact is, I need to change something in order to improve my heart health and reduce my blood pressure. And, honestly? It scares the crap out of me. I initially started looking at ways I can adjust my diet and either cut out foods or add in foods that improve blood pressure – except I already do most of them! I don’t eat much, if any, processed, packaged foods which are notorious for sodium. I make most all of my meals and I typically don’t add any salt – or a very small percentage of what they actually say. I also don’t eat meat (hello, vegan!) and I consume a lot of the foods that “reduce blood pressure”. I exercise 5-6 days a week for minimum 30 minutes, though normally closer to 60-90 minutes. I do yoga 4-5 times a week and trying to incorporate meditation back into my day. When my blood work came back, it was all good – insulin was excellent, blood glucose was excellent, cholesterol was excellent, thyroid was good, iron good (but could be better) I did have the B12 deficiency but that can be supplemented. Indicators for liver and kidney function was good. Everything is good.
So, despite all this, my blood pressure is still all over the place – and never in a normal range.
So it leaves only one thing: lose some weight.
Now, I know, for myself being 210 lbs (there about) is heavy and though I was hoping to lose some weight, I was hoping it would be because of my healthy lifestyle and not actively trying to lose weight… but I’ve been sitting here for 6+ months and though my weight has stabilized, it’s still not decreasing – so, now, I need to make an active effort to actually lose weight for my health and for my heart.
I know I’m not meant to be at this weight. As much as I accept myself at this weight, I know my body doesn’t like it. My knees hurt more than they have in almost 3 decades since the last time I was diagnosed with patella femoral syndrome when I was 14 years old and highland dancing. I’ve been snoring more than I have ever – and though I snore because I’m sleeping on my back, it’s never been this bad. Despite all this, I never made an issue about my body nor my weight. I knew I needed to heal my head and heart and that my body would fall into place where it wants… and I would accept that, too.
Unfortunately, as much as I want to go to the gym, I’m exhausted and unmotivated to exercise because it hurts… but there’s so much I want to do that is complicated from the extra weight. I’ve been here before and I know I can get my body/weight into a range that will make it, not only easy to maintain, but will make my heart happy and allow me to participate in activities that would be otherwise challenging with my extra chub.
I’m afraid of the actual process of getting me to a “healthier” weight. I’d like to get down to 150 lbs, but my first step is 175 lbs. I believe that 175 lbs will get me into a healthy range that will make my heart happy and will allow me to get into activities that being lighter will be beneficial – cause, let me tell you, indoor rock climbing at 210-ish lbs was VERY hard! Plus, yoga can be challenging at a heavier weight. I can do it, sure, but it’s harder than it needs to be.
The worst part is how this reminds me of my dad. Quite a few years ago, when I was in grade 7, my dad got diagnosed with diabetes. He was given a “lose weight or your going to die” ultimatum. I resented the fact that he seemed to do the bare minimum to get the doctors off his back. He had an opportunity to take active responsibility of his health, but he didn’t. Of course, this was all perception… and now that I’m faced with the same thing, I can now understand him more. When we (the royal “we” as in humans) are told we HAVE to do something, it’s human nature to dig in our heels and not want to do it – no matter how beneficial it is.
However, when it comes right down to it, I need to lose weight. If not, I’ll likely have to go on medication. I am on the edge of a decision that only I can make: continue how I am and have to go on medication, or take action and reverse the course my health is currently taking. I have the power to make changes for the positive – no matter how scary it is going to be! After 2 years of intuitive eating, anti-diet, and watching my body pack on the pounds, I need to lose it. I need to try to undo the physical changes without undoing the emotional and mental changes and it’s scary.
I’m afraid of falling into old bad habits.
I’m afraid of undoing all that hard, hard mental work.
But most of all, I’m afraid of failing.
What if I try and try to lose weight and it doesn’t come off?
What if I DO lose the weight but my blood pressure doesn’t change?
What if I still have to go on medication?
You know what? These emotions are natural. I need to remind myself that these feelings are okay. And, most of all, I need to remind myself that I’ve overcome worse things that I never thought I could! If I lose the weight and my blood pressure doesn’t settle into a healthy range, then that will indicate that my heart rate and blood pressure simply runs a little high and it will be addressed at that time – but in order to rule that out, I need to actually do the work and lose the weight.
So… here, today (06 Jul 19) I start living my life for my heart.