Middle age is a funny concept because we don’t truly know how long we’ll live. It’s an estimate at best, but also a clear indication of moving through childhood and young adult years. Perhaps the coolest thing about this time is noticing our growth, and how our perspectives shift and evolve.
From Weight to Health
As a child, teenager, and young adult, my focus was on body image and weight. Growing up in a Hollywoodesque environment in Los Angeles, the overwhelming awareness of my body shape and size was practically inbred.
Anything to do with food or eating, I instantly paired with body image and poundage. Was it “fattening?” and would it create weight-gain or weight-loss? These incessant questions sprung from society, and found their way into my home and family-life. Depressing for sure.
Fast forward to age forty-five: Instantly my lens shifted from body image and weight-loss-weight-gain-crazies to health and survival. You might consider my type 2 diabetes diagnosis a slap-in-the-face-wake-up-call; I did.
While the type 2 diabetes diagnosis arose at age forty-five, it’s likely insulin-resistance (the core of diabetes) built up over a decade. Yup, that’s how it works, friends. In addition to high blood sugar, my other symptoms (conditions) were high blood pressure, excess belly fat, fatigue, and candida.
Behind the scenes, heart disease was brewing, and reared its earth-shaking rumble at age fifty. I experienced chest tightness/burning, left arm radiating heaviness, mind-bending, time-is-of-the-essence angiogram procedure, and a stent placed in my left coronary artery.
Hello! Let’s get real. Post-surgery, I believe the doctor making her rounds said I “dodged a bullet,” as one area of my artery had a 90% blockage. She also said my ancestors, my “tribe” knew how to store carbohydrates well. Her words I’ll always remember—top-of-mind.
I’ve reversed diabetes twice now. It came back a second time simply because I abandoned my practices. It’s not hard to reverse diabetes if you adopt a Holistic Practices Lifestyle (HPL) and stick to it mostly. The cool thing is that you get to design your practices, preferably with the guidance and support of a health-life coach or other holistic practitioner.
The funny thing about symptoms is that they fall in line together. For this reason, it’s always smart to focus on health, and never necessary to go on a diet. When I got healthy, I dropped forty pounds. When I took my self-care practices seriously and committed (perfection not necessary) to my program, my blood pressure and blood sugar dropped, as well as high triglycerides (fat in the blood) and fatigue.
Holistic practices change and evolve as they should, as you change and evolve. I had to let go of preconceived notions from the past in order to accept this phenomenon and let it serve me. What worked last year may not be effective today. What felt inspiring previously may be a thing of the past.
Reversing unwanted health conditions and maintaining a quality level of wellness calls for a lifelong, deep-rooted approach.
Here’s the thing… reversal of symptoms is awesome. Anytime you can rid your body system of toxicity and inflammation, you’ll reduce pain and the systemic growth of damaged cells and organs. This is cause to celebrate. Stop here and you’re ahead of the game.
However, if you choose continued transformation, there’s another existence available that can blow your mind. This is the place of optimal health. This is where you move beyond symptom-reduction or elimination, and enter a new foundation of health-life. I can’t provide a clear definition of optimal health because it’s unique to who you are and how you dream.
In my own experience, and working with clients over the years, I’ve pinpointed common themes surrounding optimal health that might apply to you. In addition, contemplate what qualities you would add to the mix for your own level of holistic—mind/body/spirit—optimal health.
Taken directly from my book, Wave Goodbye to Type 2 Diabetes: 16 Holistic Practices to Prevent & Reverse Diabetes & Reclaim Joy, Vitality, & Plenty:
In body: You feel rested and have energy when you need it. You are digesting well. Your vital signs are in range, and you are free from diagnoses. You feel little to no pain most of the time. You experience inner vitality. You sleep well. Your mood is steady. You are hormonally well-balanced. You feel magnificent.
In mind: You are able to live in the present moment. You think positively. You make healthy choices for yourself. You are able to choose your thoughts and responses. You feel a sense of calm.
In spirit: You see life’s lessons and challenges as blessings. You practice self-love and self-forgiveness. You are at peace and grounded. You feel connected to yourself, others, and the Earth. You use your creative self-expression to give value to others and to yourself. You experience a strong sense of purpose. You see the loving essence in all those along your path.
I do my practices daily, and this is my best advice to you. In fact, it’s my only advice to you. My practices are nowhere near perfect, but I’ve deemed them high-priority, and allowed my life to wrap around them. My Holistic Practices Lifestyle (HPL) falls into four major categories: Nutrition, moving your body, stress-reduction, and sugar addiction.
How would you rate your health-life on a scale of 1-10? I’d love to hear where you are on the spectrum.
If you missed part one (childhood) or part two (young adult) of this series, just click below to read: