If I had to choose just one word to express what my wish is for the rest of my life, that word would no doubt be HEALTH. Obviously, I wish for physical health, because, well…who doesn’t? But I also hope that all the other aspects of my life will be “healthy.” Healthy relationships, healthy living environments, spiritual health. And of course along with actually being healthy, I want to look healthy, and feel healthy. No matter how you slice it, health is a commendable goal in almost every area of life.

But let’s get back to this matter of physical health. Physical health is one of those things you take for granted…until you lose it. When you’re young, you tend to be relatively healthy, and don’t think about health so much. But as you age, certain systems start to show wear and tear, and your physical health slowly deteriorates. At this stage in my life, I have several issues, and thankfully, by the grace of God, they are all relatively small concerns. I’ll probably spend a lot of time in this blog discussing all these little health issues and outlining my strategies for dealing with them, but right now, I’m just going to touch on a couple, because today I had an excellent report at the doctor’s office, and that’s something to celebrate! A great way to usher in my 6th decade!

First of all you should know that most of my life I’ve struggled with my weight. At my highest, I was just over 200 pounds, which is a lot for just about any woman, but especially one like me, who measures in at only 5’1” or 5’2” tall. I’m happy to report, though, that through careful attention to my diet, over the past year or so, I’ve brought that weight down to the mid 150’s! On the scale yesterday morning at home I was 155.6, my lowest adult weight since my first child was born. Quite an accomplishment, don’t you think? Today at the doctor’s office, I weighed in at 158.9 (after lunch, and wearing more clothes than I usually wear while weighing myself at home.) The last time I was at the doctor’s office about a month or so ago, I was 161, so even in the last month I’ve made some progress. Yea, me!

The other amazing number I had at the doctor’s office this afternoon was a blood pressure of 120/68. You see, blood pressure is something I’ve struggled with for the last year or so. My highest reading in September 2016 was 160/90. That was an anomaly, with my “normal” high being more in the 130’s over 80’s. At one point the doctor wanted to put me on meds, and I actually tried one, and it made me feel like crap, so he prescribed another, which came with a warning that it could cause a heart attack, so I said, “Thanks but no thanks, I’ll take care of this myself!” And I pretty much have.

I monitor my blood pressure at home at least twice a week, more often if I’m getting high readings, and employ a number of strategies that have helped me get my numbers down. Every once in a while those numbers creep up again, and I have to renew my commitment to my strategies, but so far I’ve had pretty good success in keeping my numbers in a fairly reasonable range. Which is quite an accomplishment when you consider how high blood pressure runs in my family. My mom had it, and my three siblings have it, and two of them take meds. But so far I’ve been able to manage this myself, so my reading today of 120/68 was just about the best thing to come out of this doctor’s appointment.

I keep using that word “strategies,” and eventually I’ll talk about all my strategies for health in every area of my life, but as I’ve said, today I’m just celebrating!

Because guess what? I’ve got even more good numbers! This was the yearly visit where they do a basic blood panel, and when the doctor came in with the results, I believe the word he used was “outstanding.” Everything was normal, except for the good cholesterol, which was abnormally good, and the triglycerides, which were way better than normal. I told the doc, “That doesn’t happen by accident. I’ve been working on it.” And he said, “I can tell.”

Again, eventually I’ll talk here about how I “work on it,” how I do what I can to lose weight and feel good and stay healthy. For today, though, it was enough to get that confirmation that all the hard work I’ve been putting in is ACTUALLY WORKING.

And one more thing before I go. I hope all of this doesn’t sound like I’m bragging. That’s not my intention. But my intention is to say to anyone who might be reading these words: I’m living proof that it works when you work it.

I know that some people can do everything right, and still, some horrible illness may befall them. It may turn out that down the road, that may happen to me. I don’t know. All I know at this moment is that if a horrible illness befalls me, it WON’T be because I LET it happen. I’m making the effort to do the right thing, and by the grace of God, it’s paid off today with numbers I can be proud of, and enjoy, and celebrate!

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