Saturday, September 13, 2014

On being healthy and taking care of my body

Is my body healthy because of  these newfound habits I've listed below?

1. Drink 1.5 liters of water daily

2. Eat a bowl of oatmeal daily (high fiber for good digestive health!)

3. Hit the gym for an hour, two to three times a week

4. Run a total of 10 kilometers a week

5. Quit smoking

6. Drink alcohol moderately

7. Sleep 6 to 8 hours a day

But I still eat all the junk food I want because I will burn it off anyway. 

Three years ago, my habits consisted of: 

• Smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day; up to more than a pack if I go out drinking at night. Oh, and I also started the habit when I was 13 years old. Ugh.

• Going out to drink any day of the week. I loved mixing beer and hard drinks. 

• Not sleeping. Getting rest was not something I needed. I can function perfectly at work and be competitive in sports even with just 2 hours of sleep. 

I have since quit doing these things. 

However, to my surprise, my harmful lifestyle still caught up with me despite my new healthy practices. A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with cholesterol gallstones and had my gallbladder removed. Prior to diagnosis, I had to go back and forth to the hospital to find out what was causing the piercing pain in the upper right area of my abdomen. The pain attacked sporadically but it was very distressing. I was hospitalized for four days and had to skip seven days of work.

What causes gallbladder stones? According to my doctor, it may be hereditary or the person's lifestyle (most specially diet). In my case, it was the latter. Like what I said, I don't hold back with what I eat--sisig, pork chop, liempo, crispy pata and bacon are just some of my favorite go-to foods--and I used to go out and drink a lot. If it isn't obvious already, my favorites are pulutan dishes.

It was a wake-up call for me to be mindful of what I eat and what I do to my body. Now I know that I can't make up for binging on non-healthy food and beverages, and the chemicals from cigarettes. I have smoked too many Marlboros and drank too much Red Horse beer already. But I am still hopeful that by living a continuously improved lifestyle, I can still reverse the damage I might have done to my body since I was 13 years old.