My parents always told me Julie meant “youthful” but I’m starting to believe it has a secret second meaning, “she who rolls with the punches.” Because there are just so many punches these days. And I’m still rolling.
So, first, the derailment: my goal of 10k steps every day in June is already undone … on June 4. I made it 3 days, Sunday through Tuesday, but I won’t make it today. I’m close to 5k and I’ll hit that before bedtime. But it’s been a long day and it’s late and it’s dark and I need to eat dinner and my body is yelling, REST! So I’m going to rest.
Second, the emotional roller coaster. Right now my physical exhaustion from my job and my (unreasonable in the long term) commute are exacerbated by something pretty major playing out in my personal life — someone I love very dearly is in the midst of a severe and traumatic psychiatric episode that is emotionally fatiguing and anxiety-inducing for everyone around him, and he refuses to admit it’s a serious issue or seek advice from a psychiatrist or even a GP. I realize that he is an adult, he is responsible for himself, and other than advise him to see a psychiatrist and listen when he wants to talk, there’s not much I can do. But try telling that to my heart, which breaks anew every day. I think under the circumstances it’s okay to rest. (Or, bury my head under the covers and cry, and wish the BF wasn’t away on a project this week.)
But I also promised a non-scale victory, and it’s a great one, and I am trying very hard to celebrate it, but that’s hard right now. Which is why I’m here this evening, because I need it to be Out There in the world, where maybe someone else will want to celebrate on my behalf.
The backstory: I have taken medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol for the last 3-ish years. My urge to get off these meds if at all possible was one of the things that pushed me to start a fitness program and figure out a healthier relationship with food last year. Before I started my current job, I’d been (unhappily) unemployed — and without health insurance — for about 9 months. Medications without health insurance are expensive. Other things that are expensive: moving. Student loan payments. Gasoline. About 3 months ago I made a choice and stopped my medications, knowing full well I was putting my health at risk. But poor people have to make choices, and with 1 well-paying job and a student loan burden equivalent to 2 mortgage payments between us, the BF and I were very poor. **
My employer-sponsored health insurance finally kicked in this weekend and the first thing I did was schedule an appointment with the doctor to request lab work so I could get refills on my prescriptions. I went in yesterday morning.
The NSV: My blood pressure is normal. Not hypertensive. Not prehypertensive. NORMAL. For the first time in my adult life. Even with medication I was always in the “prehypertensive” range. Now, after 3 months without medication, it’s normal. I don’t have to take blood pressure medication anymore. And this is after a few months of ups and downs (mostly downs) with food and exercise choices — all the hard work I did last year and earlier this year paid off. Even if my body doesn’t look too different than it did 9 months ago, my metabolic health is objectively better.
My cholesterol is still high. But I know it’s possible to change that with continued good choices diet- and exercise-wise. Keep on keepin on. Just as soon as I can dry my eyes and come out from under the covers.
**Now that we have 2 well-paying jobs between us, we are still poor, but slightly less so. This is what it means to be well-educated and “middle class” in America given the outrageous cost of education and parasitic student loan schemes.