It’s odd how many years can go by without realizing something. Reflecting on pieces of life in a new way. The little things, by my point of view, that compose each of us, as people. The subtleties. Some of them feel like definitions of who we are; those initial words that come to mind when a name is spoken. The things I think of for myself are: girl with the nut allergy; especially peanuts🥜 (all nuts except pecans), Anne M. Or Anne with an E, pale, and thin. I can remember these titles as a child…..said over & over. In school, by friends, relatives, and on occasion; strangers/new people. All are names/descriptions except one. The nut allergy is a characteristic/trait & a serious safety issue, as well.
This is something I was born with, 36 years ago, and live to write about. It’s a hassle at times but makes a child very responsible for themselves & their health. If you do it right, it can make everyone responsible for the health and safety of a particular child or children with allergies. The person with the allergy learns how to be cautious, investigate their food, and create awareness about the risks of allergic reactions. Others around them are like castle guards, keeping the nuts from getting too close or through the gate. I had vigilant friends who were always really good at being protective of me😍!
When we educate, make everyone responsible, and teach the importance of self-care; this lasts for the rest of a person’s life. It is why, I believe, I have never had to use my EpiPen to this day. It is always with me, I’ve had a prescription since I was 2 and almost died (my parents rushed me to the hospital; finding out after I was stable that 5 minutes more & they would have lost me), but since that incident, there has never been enough of an immediate emergency to have to use it.
I also have IBS, Menorrhagia, low iron if not getting the right nutrition, I’ve had high cholesterol on & off which I continue to work on, and in addition to my nut allergy, I am also allergic to cats, bunnies, latex, dust, and I have some seasonal allergies. All of these health issues have now been reduced symptomatically, improved; like my cholesterol and low iron, or almost seem non-existent when I am eating right; exercising; drinking plenty of water (this made a HUGE difference in reducing the occurrence of horrible/painful/gut clenching stomach aches); and incorporating herbs into my diet.
From the time I was a young child, I ate too much sugar, was dehydrated, and ate waaaaay too much gluten. On the flip side, I always slept well and was very active. It must have been from watching my dad run, stretch, and always do physical tasks that gave me the urge to stay healthy and want to exercise from early on. Having a teenage sister focusing on appearance all the time, when I was little, I’m sure also had an influence on my body image. Yet I did have a natural tendency to never sit still. If the TV was on, I was building something, doing a dance/gymnastics routine, playing a game, pretending something, or even doing homework (this one is not recommended while watching TV=).
I still have a hard time doing one thing at a time; especially when it’s a sedentary task. My favorite thing that I’ve started doing recently is riding the exercise bike and reading. It is the only time where I get a set amount of time to be active with my body, which helps me concentrate on reading better. I really look forward to it! So much so, if someone is talking near me at the gym, and yes I do realize it is not a library and I can’t expect any differently, I get frustrated and irritated.
This is a consequence of motherhood. It is almost as if everyone should just know, “Hey, this woman does a lot all day and just wants 10 minutes to read her book in peace!” My dedication to this, me time, has led me to leaving my ear buds in and getting used to soft music while I read. It helps to drown out the talking, which my nosy ears just can’t ignore😏.
Implementing a lot more water into my diet when I was pregnant, with my daughter, helped me to realize the vital importance of staying hydrated. Those horrible, cramping, painful emergency stomach aches I was used to getting weekly, suddenly, were occurring less and less. Just when my whole intestinal area was starting to be squashed and kicked at by a fetus. The time when I believed I would suffer the most from these lifelong “sensitive stomach,” stomach aches. Yet, they were diminishing?
My stomach and skin looked and felt the very best by far during both of my pregnancies–the same time I was eating and taking the best care of myself. Since then I have continued the healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and herbal remedies that were so vital and life changing during my pregnancies, especially since my son was born, 3 1/2 years ago.
Then there was my stomach. The body fixation of my adolescence up through the time I had a baby. After having a baby, I realized how ridiculous it was to focus on something that now had been stretched out in order to give life to another human being. Yet now, at age 36, my stomach is as flat as I had ever wanted it. Flatter than when I was a teenager or in my twenties. I’ve come to realize it was always bloated.
All the activities: swimming, softball, track, basketball, volleyball, exercise routines; doing sit-ups, running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or yoga ball core exercises. All this effort and my stomach still looked bloated and stuck out even though I was thin. The main change that caused the biggest impact was diet. Increasing water intake, cooking with coconut oil, cutting down on gluten (this is a big one I just started recently which has also reduced skin breakouts), eating and drinking herbs, and having a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day.🍵🥗🍋🌶️🥑🍛
Yoga, cardio exercise, lifting weights, and getting enough sleep are also key factors in all of this. Yet if I were going to pick one wellness initiative to stick to over the others, other than sleep🛌, it would be diet and what goes into my body. It makes a difference in how angry, frustrated, tired, or self-conscious I am. Balanced☯️ for me means more in control, less spastic, and able to control my actions a lot more. Taking deep breaths is also a huge one for me. LEARN TO BREATH; REALLY ACTUALLY BREATH! It does wonders, especially in times of chaos.
Think about the importance of health for your sanity and well-being. Don’t wait until you have to; start now!