One of the downsides of being adopted and having no chance at knowing your history, is also not knowing your medical history.
When I was in my 20s I knew that this would end up affecting me more as I grew older. But as most 20 years olds in the prime of life, I felt the strength and promise of a long life. So, I smoked my Marlboro lights, drank wine, ate lots of red meat, and shelved it for a much later time while I enjoyed my youth. I thought that as I grew old gracefully, blessed with somebody’s Asian genes, my mortality would continue to elude me.
It’s been quite a few years later and unbeknownst to me, mortality has been sneaking up on me for awhile. Since my 20s, I’ve successfully moderated my intake of wine, red meat, and cut out the Marlboro lights. I’ve substituted with chicken and hot tea, but I’ve certainly enjoyed a good steak and a nice bourbon Manhattan on occasion.
But after a recent trip to the Doctor, my mortality has finally caught up with me and in full force.
After telling me about a medical issue that I have that won’t go away. Ever. My Doctor’s instructions were to “lose weight, exercise, cut out fat, carbs, sugar, and alcohol.”
Yes! Lose Weight, exercise, cut out fat, carbs, sugar, anything with flour, and alcohol.
Then he handed me a sheet with some “helpful” diet instructions and left the room, I’m guessing before I threw something at him. After all, the tendency is to shoot the messenger, is it not? I read the “helpful” diet sheet and it basically said “no pasta, rice, bread, donuts, cookies, cake, chocolate…” In other words, nothing good to eat… ever!
It was a little overwhelming, to say, the least. And when I consider that there are people who receive MUCH WORSE news from their Doctor than that, it gives the “No (bad) food or (alcoholic) drink allowed” sentence to seem like a walk in the park…
Did I mention that my career for the past 20 years has been in the Hospitality Industry, and that I work around Food and Alcohol everyday??! 😦 😦 😦
I’ve been VERY crabby for the past couple of weeks.
But I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, spinach, romaine lettuce, fish, and wasabi peas, and I haven’t had any alcohol for over a week. I don’t even know if the wasabi peas are all that healthy, but since they don’t contain any carbs, sugar, or alcohol I decided that they were safe. I’ve also eaten a lot of almonds, hummus, and broccoli. And I’ve also lost 4 pounds.
I haven’t fully embraced my new “healthy” lifestyle, but I have a beautiful family that I’d like to grow old with, so I don’t have a choice. My diet wasn’t that horrible to begin with and I didn’t drink alcohol every day. After talking to my Doctor and doing research on my own (I’m not a Doctor, but I play one on the Internet) I’ve discovered that I can have one drink at a time, on occasion. I just shouldn’t have more than one.
The next step is to start working out again regularly, and to gradually change how my family eats as well. With my husband’s family history and now mine, we can finally start creating a picture of what we are passing on to our children. My side of our family history begins with ME. Finally having some information either good or bad, to begin with is at least that… a beginning.
So for now… I have to take a day at a time and stop thinking about all of the things that I can’t have, and start thinking about all of the things that I WILL have by changing my lifestyle.
But I anticipate that I will still end up crabby from time to time. I don’t think I’ll be able to help it. After all, I do still love bourbon, good beer, wine, ice cream, chocolate, and pasta. I just don’t ever see that changing.