I’ve been pondering self care lately. About two years ago I reluctantly accepted that I would need to take prescription medication for high blood pressure. It was MADDENING to say the least. Even my doctor was confused by my diagnosis since I do not fit the typical profile. Western medicine is very good at symptom control, but I was left wondering what was actually causing my need for medication? Was it really just ‘genetics’?

At our annual health screening my now-medicated BP numbers were fantastic, yet my cholesterol was high. I decided to pay more attention to exactly what I was putting in my body for the next six months and see if I could improve everything and get off my medication for good. I’ll spare you the inner dialogue that moves at a lightning pace around my brain, but I started reading about nutrition, watched way too many Netflix documentaries and decided to switch to a vegan diet.

So here I am, a reformed cheese addict living the vegan life. I was monitoring my BP numbers this entire time and then decided to do a six day juice cleanse after watching yet another Netflix documentary. This combination proved to be very impressive (for my body at least). My BP numbers took a positive nose dive quickly.  The numbers from the fast combined with the vegan diet made it possible for me to come off the medications! (Doctor approved I should add) She asked that I monitor my numbers for two weeks to be sure it was stable.

Fast forward to day ten of being off medication and the numbers started climbing back up. To say I was angry about that would be putting it lightly. This anger is what leads me back to self care. If I’m being honest, I started eating a vegan diet only to see if I could change my numbers. And that is not a bad reason, but I’m human and I’m sure you can relate when I tell you that when the numbers didn’t reflect what I wanted anymore… I mentally started ordering cheese plates and buying ice cream. It’s this funny thing we do to ourselves. We diet or get up early to exercise or save money for one purchase and then as soon as the goal is reached, we tend to drift back to our old ways. OR even worse, when things don’t go as we planned then it’s almost like we take revenge upon ourselves. Like when you are dieting and gain 2 pounds, there is this mental sabotage that starts telling us that we might as well just eat whatever we want then since this is not working anyways.

I started thinking more about what self care means as the disappointment wore off. Why was it that I only took the time to nourish my body when I was motivated by an end goal? Truth is that my body craves the nutrition and self love all the time, not just for the numbers. I feel better when I take care of myself. I’m more energetic, my body has less inflammation, my weight stabilizes along with my moods. My skin is clear and my body recovers better from the demands I put on it. I deserve this daily. (Plus now I’ve learned far too much about large commercial farming to EVER go back to eating meat.)

We all deserve to treat our bodies well regardless of where we are at RIGHT NOW. My body still deserves regular massage, a healthy diet and regular exercise even though I have to take this medication every day. It’s not failing me, I’m failing it when I put my head in the sand and get lazy with my choices. We all deserve to live in bodies that serve us well because we work in partnership to get the best results. That is true self care! What are you doing daily to treat your body right?

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