ODYSSEY – a series of wanderings…

Ja well no fine (as we say in RSA), my series of wanderings will no doubt make the most boring of reading. But, what the heck, it’s my odyssey and I can do what I like with it! ☺

Since being diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome a few months ago, I feel like I am surrounded on all sides by 4 leering dragons that I have to slay with the help of my guardian angels and cunning moves learnt from a number of resources. Cunning moves being sound knowledge of what I should be doing to rescue my health and well-being.

For over 30 years now, I have had an abiding interest in nutrition and the books on my shelves bear this out. A good few of them dating back into the 1970’s and the time of Adelle Davis, Linda Clark and others …

My kids well remember ‘Momsli’ – my own unique brand of muesli and the fact that they drank half fat milk for years when they were in their teens and did not know it! (I used to mix full cream milk half/half with powdered skim milk, refrigerate it overnight and the following day nobody was any the wiser!) Those were the days of wheat germ, digestive bran, vitamins and minerals and all those good things!

I even recall that I drank rooibos tea for a long time until I decided that I could not stomach the smell that assailed my nostrils when I drank it. I have not been persuaded otherwise even though all sorts of good things are attributed to that particular bush tea these days!

The huge problem for me has always been the poor application of the knowledge gleaned from so many worthy tomes. Not so simple for a Type A, nit-picking personality that has always expected everything in life to be perfect. Anything less is not good enough. ‘All or nothing’ – that’s me but I have to say that I have learnt to temper this approach and settle for some compromises along the way…. the series of wanderings has not always been along the path of perfection.

In some ways the nit-picking is helping me now as I struggle to deal with the stresses of a demanding business ruled by constant, unbreakable deadlines and the need to take some time out to give my personal life and health issues necessary effort and commitment.

I have realized, for example, that the more time I spend readings books on diabetes and tracking down the glycaemic index and glycaemic load of the foods I eat, the less time I spend on wandering into the kitchen at all hours looking for something to eat! Recording nutritional information does not increase the size of one’s butt, thank goodness!

Being anything but ‘a broad-strokes person’, I like to get down and dirty and ferret out all sorts of useless information. So I land up being rather well informed about many unimportant things! But it has to be said that the more I apply what I am learning, the more I am succeeding in losing weight and getting my own
personal show back on the road!

Reducing my weight down to an acceptable level is key to vastly improving the other ‘dragons’ I am confronting – Type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels and hypertension that has not always been well controlled.

So, here I am today 15.6kg lighter than I was over a year ago.
Still a long way to go but with a GP who watches over me like a hawk and a dietician who devises eating plans I can live with, I can only succeed.

I have had to seek out the health professionals I need and can relate to and these are my ‘guardian angels’. They deal with my fears and nit-picking questions with humour, empathy and genuine concern. Several of them have also faced life threatening conditions and stressful career/family challenges and their strength is my inspiration and support. So stand up and take a bow one each of you; I cannot do this without you!

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