320/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I am generally a healthy person and try to take care of myself. I try to be active and watch what I eat. Yes, like the best of us, I give in to temptation – okay, like the worst of us, a lot of the time 😉 Anything I put into and subject my body to – these are things within my control but many things that afflict the body are things that are beyond one’s control. Over a decade ago, I somehow contracted a health issue called sarcoidosis. I was gardening – okay, cutting the lawn and pulling out weeds and was just exhausted. Went to school the next day and the principal told me to take the afternoon off. On the third day, I was still tired and went in to see my family doctor who immediately got an xray. I had a form of walking pneumonia. He put me on meds and immediately got me linked up with a respirologist at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Fast forward a decade or more and here I am managing with a compromised immune system and nodules and scar tissues on my lungs – no cure for sarcoidosis, just different meds to see what may help (steroids and inhalers) – no success yet : ( My family doctor has been with me since I was a pre-teen. He was the one who put me at ease when I was 18 years of age and worried about becoming schizophrenic like my father – he told me since I was asking him the question, I definitely wasn’t as I knew my reality. He referred me to a support group for family members. In fact, anytime I have any questions or concerns, he always eases my mind and easily refers me to a specialist who deals in the particular area of concern if need be. He treats me like a family member asking me about my career, my children and also my mom. I’m sure he does this for all his patients but I feel comfortable in his fatherly presence. This past month, because of healing and broken ribs and a major flare-up with my sarcoidosis, I have seen him several times. Alas, I can see him aging and realize he will probably soon retire and give up his practice as his patient hours have also decreased. Upon writing this gratitude post, I have realized that I definitely will let him know of my gratitude for him being my health care provider and also for being there for my immigrant parents and helping them through their concerns and being patient with them. I only today have realized how lucky I am to have a doctor who not only cares about you but has time for you. I raise my cough syrup filled spoon in your honour ; )
187/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. For as long as I can remember, I have been overweight/fighting a weight problem. In elementary school, my mom could not find belts to fit me and I had to resort to wearing suspenders to hold my pants up 😦 In high school, I was 250 pounds and all of it fat which definitely contributed to being bullied. I didn’t learn how to eat well and thus ate anything that tasted good but wasn’t definitely good for me – I mean, I recall eating spoons of salted butter or the fatty rinds of pork chops and my favourite part of KFC was the skin and potato salad. I guess I really didn’t help my own cause. I also remember my mom making me workout (squats for half an hour or running around the yard for half an hour) before she’d let me eat – many times I just gave up and didn’t get dinner. Although cruel, I understand that she was trying to help me out in her own way – not great parenting but hey, it is what it is. With a crazy late start to puberty (yup, Grade 11 – oh how the Gods must have been having a heyday with me!!), I ended up shedding the observable excess weight just before entering university; however, I still had chunk and could and did easily put on the pounds because I still knew nothing about nutrition and healthy eating. Because of the pre-Internet era, I would only catch information through television and the one show that I did watch was “20/20”. I happened to catch and episode on meat-processing which started my vegetarian ways 23 years ago. In the last decade or so, I have given over to watching the occasional documentaries and reading about food online which has helped me to maintain my weight – I’ve been able to curb refined sugar significantly, jump into veganism but quickly jump back out, give up wheat for a while (William Davis), try the 25 mile eating plan, think about McDs and what it did to my body (Morgan Spurlock) and even get into juicing (Joe Cross). As I sit and write this, I am on day 4 of a juice cleanse (but let’s be real, it’s a liquid diet) – I’m doing it to reset my body as I have been making poor choices and have gained weight especially since my injury and not being able to work out. I am very grateful that these documentarians have shared their journeys and influenced mine as without knowing about their experiences, I would not be changing mine. To all the healthy eaters that I have read about via blogs and books and that I have seen on through documentaries and testimonials, I raise my ginger, beet, tangerine and kale juice in your honour – here’s to getting back to my summer weight!