Since watching several of my apparently healthy friends succumb to things like cancer, I have gone on a health quest. It really started about three years ago when I learned I had basically killed my thyroid gland. It probably was a consequence of very poor hygiene in India resulting in my constantly being sick with either sinus infection or digestive woes that involved either Hershey squirts or the opposite. This, combined with a very high-stress lifestyle. When I didn’t like the food the natives were serving up, I simply didn’t eat, and could go all day without feeling hungry. I stayed up all hours working like mad on umpteen projects and didn’t get proper rest. In the villages I ate and drank all sorts of obnoxious stuff like brown water with stuff floating in it dipped from open wells, priding myself in being able to live like one of the natives. Finally, I neglected exercise and had gone for months and even years mostly just sitting sitting sitting with no aerobic activity.
So the thyroid awakened me to the need to take better care of myself and I began to improve my eating habits. When in India I started drinking filtered water and brought healthy snacks from the US to supplement my diet whenever the food was too spicy or when the lentils and rice became unswallowable for my natively carnivorous palate. I made rest a priority and trained myself to refuse stress like I refuse anything else that is not good for physical or moral health. And, more recently, I started exercising. That final leg of the journey back to a healthy lifestyle was catalyzed when one of my Indian leaders pitted me against two hefty nurses half my age to see who would kick butt in an arm wrestling contest. He did this knowing that I was thus far undefeated. I thrashed one easily but the second gave me a good fight before I finally took her down by sheer endurance. That did it; I was not going to become a weak flabby old maid at 40 and started exercising seriously, jogging each morning and regaining my biceps without much effort.
Recently though I have learned some very interesting and shocking things about the food we eat and the stuff that we’re putting in our bodies that would make our skin crawl if we realized it. I’ll be talking more about that in forthcoming posts.
Whenever I leave India for the US I send my weights over to the children’s home for the boys.