Healthy living and eating
There are exactly six months to go before I turn 40!
This age has always been a magical milestone because of the fuss that everyone makes about it. I must admit it is not at all daunting because the forty year olds I keep seeing are looking fantastic. The other day I spent time with an elderly lady - she is 75 years old and she has really beautiful skin. She has worked in the beauty and fragrance industry most of her life and I took the opportunity to ask her about her skin care regime and how she was still looking so radiant. She had two simple answers - eat properly and drink a lot of water. I must tell you I was a bit taken aback because I had been expecting a long lecture about beauty products and anti-ageing concoctions! Instead I got a very simple and straightforward answer. I must also admit that even though I am a medical doctor, and give out healthy eating advice I have not always followed that advice myself.
I come from a family of obesity. I am also overweight and have been so all my life. My great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother were all obese and to be honest I grew up thinking that this was the norm. Sadly they all passed away due to some or other complications related to either high blood pressure or diabetes. We call these diseases Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) – meaning that you cannot transmit or acquire these diseases.
In a way we bring them upon ourselves by our lifestyle choices. December 2014 was a turning point for me. I was at home resting and I just was not feeling well. It was difficult for me to put a finger on what I was feeling but deep down I knew that the time had come for me to change my life and start living and eating healthier. I remember wondering if it was a good idea to embark on a healthy eating plan in the month of Christmas festivities because temptations would abound. I stuck to my decision and basically made the following changes to my eating habits.
I cut down drastically on starch, processed foods, junk food, fizzy drinks and sugar. It was extremely challenging especially because I do not like drinking water. BUT I had a goal. I told myself that I do not want to die from a Non-Communicable Disease. I want to live well into old age and if I make the investment now, I shall surely reap the benefits. And I am definitely reaping them.
There are not enough words to describe just how much my life has changed since December 2014. The texture of my skin and the blemishes have improved – and I attribute this to the fact that I now drink at least 1.5l of water a day. I have a lot more energy these days. I can now walk longer distances and I can tie my own shoe laces because my belly has gone down in size. It is a journey and every day I remind myself that I am making the correct food choices for my own benefit.
I wish I had started much earlier when I was younger BUT it is never too late! I have started and there is no going back!
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