Your Health Is Your Wealth

I read that sentence recently and it resonated with me at this time in my life “Health is Wealth”.  I’m practically at the front porch of knocking on forty’s door and this year, this last year of my thirties, I’ve had more chronic health conditions than I think I ever have.   It’s literally been one thing after the other.  I can happily say that I’ve managed to get rid of most of them due to lifestyle change.

I should also note that I have a chronic autoimmune disease, endometriosis, which, even after an operation in 2019 to try and remove it all, has started to creep right back in with a host of symptoms that change from month to month.

So, to cut a long story short, I have realized one very simple thing during the whole lockdown experience of 2020, that if I don’t get my act together now, I am going to spend my next forty years with chronic pain.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a healthy woman in general, however, I can hand on heart say that I learnt consistency this summer.  Gone are the days where I could be really health conscious Monday to Thursday and then just let loose at the weekend, the consistency has to be an everyday thing.

So, as I had a huge amount of time of my hands during lockdown (my therapy practice was closed), I decided to go back to running, every other day.  I also combined this with yoga sessions and the odd online HIIT class.  I up’ed my game with water, like seriously.  Two litres of water (measured out with my special bottle that keeps track) and herbal teas on top of that (I haven’t given up coffee, but I have just one cup a day now).  I’m working on cutting out chocolate and crisps entirely and basically, everything that enters my mouth now is from a fruit, vegetable, pulse or lean meat (I have seven to ten portions a day of veg & fruit now), 98% of every meal I eat is home cooked, with fresh ingredients.  Takeaways are now a thing of the past, or a two-monthly treat, as opposed to twice a week.  Everything is in moderation now, so alcohol is well under the 14 units per week and only on Friday’s and Saturdays.  Even desserts like ice cream I’m saving as a Sunday treat.  Is this too regimented?  I don’t think it is, I don’t feel like I have much of a choice now because as soon as I overindulge in something like white bread or pizza, I feel awful the next day.  I could write a whole blog on exactly what I have been eating, but I will save that for a later post.

With the running and exercise, I make hay while the sun shines.  What does this mean exactly?  My chronic illness means that for one week of the month, I am poorly.  I have what can only be described as a split physical body disorder!  Obviously, I have made that up, but honestly the difference between my heathy days as opposed to my unwell days is startling.  During my good days, I can get up at 7am without so much as a yawn, do housework, do this task, that task, play with my daughter, go for a 4 mile run, come home, prepare a dinner from scratch, do a hobby or something in the evening….with the same amount of energy I started with in the morning.  Then, at around day 19 of my cycle, symptoms begin to creep in.  It starts with nausea after every meal, especially dinner time, it doesn’t matter how slow I eat, I want to vomit for 30 minutes after eating.  Sharp pains intensify, sometimes in my back, mostly on the left side (where my surgeon had to move my ovary that was stuck to my pelvic wall last year), this pain shoots down my leg or constantly grinds in my back.  When my period is due, I have the most intense exhaustion, to the point where sometimes I don’t get dressed.  I can sleep for 12 hours straight but still wake up with the worst brain fog, I forget words, or cannot concentrate, I drop things constantly, I walk into things.  It can be hard for me to hold a conversation….I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I am a complete shadow of the woman that was pacing along the streets with her ear pods in a week earlier!  Sorry for TMI but I have very heavy bleeding that intensifies the pain and lowers my iron levels, meaning I have to up my supplements (and not give up meat, something I have chosen not to do yet until I get my endo under control).  I haven’t got it under control yet, because nothing works for me (from a medical point of view), so I am trying every avenue at the moment, as that one week that it takes from me add’s up to a lot of time in the bigger picture.

As much as I hate this illness, I understand that endo is not the worst illness to have and in comparison, to others, I am very lucky, someone with a life threatening illness would take it any day of the week compared to what they are going through.

So why am I telling you all this?  Is it to gloat about how I’ve managed to stick to a healthy practice routine or that I’ve lost over half a stone by doing this?  No, it isn’t .  Because it has taken me half of my life to understand the importance of good nutrition and proper care for my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs and this year, during one of the worst times in our recent modern history, I cracked it.  I tell you this because if you, like me, are approaching the mid-life years, or are well into the your winter years, if you are not educating yourself about your health and trying to do better, then you need to bear the consequences of what that means to you.  I understand that some conditions are not our fault (as you have read, I have one of those) but, we are all responsible to make healthy choices to ease what we have been dealt with and to prevent other things from starting, because believe me, if you neglect your body now, they will come.

So, today is the youngest you will EVER be.  Why not make hay whilst the sun shines and start implementing some better choices, practices and plan how you want your future to look?  I personally want to retain the feeling I have, on my well days, for as long as possible, well into my golden years!  It is a fact that we are all living longer now.  It is so easy, when you are in your twenties and thirties to think you have all this time and that cause and effect doesn’t really apply when you are young…..well actually, you are wrong.  I think for a the lucky very few, they can get away with drinking, smoking, eating crap all their life, but let’s face it, we are not all Keith Richards are we?  So I say, do it like the French do, everything you love in moderation, find the balance, know what foods your body wants and needs, avoid those that make you feel awful and move your body (if you don’t use it……you lose it).

Until next time,



10 thoughts on “Your Health Is Your Wealth”

  1. Hi Tanya, Kate here. I just wanted to reach out – for years I suffered with Endo, only getting a diagnosis quite late (I was always told I was one of the unlucky ones to get bad periods!). Years later I found a great consulant at Colchester Hospital – Barry Whitlow; he runs a Centre for Excellence of Endometriosis. If you’ve not had a second opinion for your Endo please look him up; he literally changed my life. I had to have two big ops for Endo, the first a bowel resection and around three years later I had a total hysterectomy because my Endo had caused a frozen pelvis – not the path I’d hoped for, but one that has given me back my health. That op was four years ago and (touch wood) no Endo has returned. Before my hysterectomy I received fantastic support and care under Mr Whitlow and his team, they totally understand and help.

    Sorry, my comments turned out to be a bit long! Stay strong and you are so right – heath is wealth. If ever you wanted to have a chat feel free to contact me.

    1. Thank you so much Kate, your comment has really helped! Things were great after my initial operation and I went on mini pill but that didn’t help, so Mirena coil is the next step (apparently!). I may look up that surgeon though…thank you! X

  2. Just a fyi – Mirena coil did not work for me (caused me to bled constantly for months and made PMT really bad), I believe that because Endo is worse due to changing hormones each month and the coil sent my body into overdrive! – the only drug which worked (after trying all the others) was Zoladex (it puts you in a medical menopause)….. Something to ask about when you meet your consultant? Good luck xx

    1. I’ve heard of Zoladex but thought it was strong pain relief. Can I ask how old you were when you went on it and what was the menopause symptoms like (zig you had any at all)?

      1. Its used to treat prostate cancer in men, but is very effective for Endo as it shuts down your hormones – I was about 36 when I was on it and prescribed for just under 3 years; I only really had the odd “hot” moment the first 6 months – the relief from not having periods and pain was fantastic (it starts to work properly after the second injection).

        For once I’ve been lucky and no menopause side effects 😊. You dont realise how much you put up with (and how high your pain threshold is) until you get to the other side.

        The injection is monthly (I won’t lie – its big needle and painful when nurse adminisers – however, it was worth it to feel “normal”). Its a good thing to try before any surgery as if you stop the injection your periods will return.

        (I think you know Kim Pelly? She is my best friends’ sister and lives around the corner to me, I’m in Fir Park ☺️).

      2. Is this Kate Larter? Apologies it just says your first name and I wasn’t sure which Kate lol!
        That’s really helpful info, I think part of me is scared about bringing on a temporary menopause but it seems to have helped you a lot, thanks for the info! I’m certainly going to considerate it if my next step doesn’t work!

        Yes I’m opposite Kim! My sister also lives in Fur Park, number 87 xx

      3. Yes, I should have said 😁…. I’m at 34 Fir Park.
        Happy to help, if you have any other questions later on just ask.

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