Almost 18 months ago I embarked on a health crusade to help my husband reverse his pre-diabetes. Along the way, as a side effect to the new way of eating, I inadvertently dampened down my chronic low grade inflammation, lost the pain in my hands, hips and feet, started sleeping like a baby and shed 31kg! You can read about this here.
This started me on a crusade. A crusade to be as healthy as I could. A crusade to help others to achieve the same improvement in quality of life that I have experienced. My zest for life is greater than it was in my 30’s.
My personal quality of life has improved beyond my wildest dreams. No magic potions, no magic pills, no intense cardiovascular exercise, just good, wholesome, nutrient dense food, avoiding inflammatory foods and foods to which I am sensitive to and buckets of persistence! And boy has it all paid off. I am pain free and motivated to keep going for the rest of my life. I never want to suffer like I did before. Nothing is more debilitating than chronic pain and lack of sleep.
We all know that with the tremendous advances made in medicine regarding the treatment of trauma and disease, that our lifespan has been significantly increased. We will all be living longer and can be kept alive for longer, but my big question is what about our health during this time? Factors that influence our lifespan include our genes, environment and behaviours. I don’t want to be living longer if I have no quality of life. I want to live longer and still have the same if not better quality of life. I still want to do the things I love doing. I want to get out there and walk on the beach, swim in the sea, take photographs, play with my grandchildren and travel even more than I travel now. I have lots of things still in my bucket that I want to do and believe me I am doing them as fast as I can, because we never know what the future holds for us. I don’t want to slow down as I age. Life is for living and I intend to live it to the full!
….and so to get back to where I started this entry from, by me dampening down my low grade inflammation, I worked out what had caused or contributed to it. I healed my gut and changed my diet drastically. Yes, hindsight is an exact science and I’m so glad the way things worked out and I was fortunate enough to work it all out! Diet, exercise, sleep, stress and hormones. All of these need to be optimal in order for us to function optimally and have a healthy lifespan or “health span”!
Why oh why do we think we are untouchable? Why do we think we are invincible? Why or why, do we wait until the last minute before we make changes? Sometimes this is too late. Why do we wait until tragedy strikes in the form of an incurable illness before we make the changes? Why, why, why??? As I write this I’ve just been told that someone I studied with has end stage lung cancer. Yes I know that the dietary and lifestyle changes I have made is no guarantee that some illness won’t strike me, but hey, I’m giving it my best shot. And in case something does strike out of the blue, well I want my body to be in the best possible position it can be, to beat whatever it is.
Just today I listened to the most incredible podcast…I stumbled onto it by mistake. Ironically it was a podcast with a longevity doctor that I have consulted. The podcast reminded me of how much I have changed in my everyday life, how far I’ve come at biohacking my health and how I should be ready to have a healthy lifespan (all things withstanding) or “health span”, a term that I feel sums up everything so well. A frightening static that was shared on the podcast: at the age of 40 we have the potential to have 10 undiagnosed medical conditions, waiting in the wings, so to speak. At age 70 this escalates to around 23. This is frightening. On a positive note, we are capable of living up to the age of 120, provided of course we make the necessary changes to promote our longevity. We are also on the cusp of people living healthily for much longer, up to 150 years. It is of the belief that the child has been born already who will reach that age. You have to listen to the podcast. Make the time, it’s about an hour long. Here is the link.
So God willing, I think I’m good to go for many more years…don’t know how happy my family will be to hear this as I know I’m a pain…but no pain, no gain, the squeaky wheel get the grease, etc, etc! I’m always looking out for them and of course my nearest and dearest friends. I almost feel as if I was “lucky” enough to have been given a second chance and that my job now is to help as many as I can to achieve their own “health span”. I have this insatiable, impatient desire to learn and understand everything…
So please, don’t wait until it’s too late. I wish I’d started 20 years ago. If I can do it, anybody can. For without “health span”, what good is a long lifespan?