You Cannot Take Care of Anyone Else, If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself.

No one else is going to do this for you. You don’t want to wait until that event happens to you and your family and your left saying why didn’t I just get my blood pressure checked? Why didn’t I make time for my wellness check? AND….there are always a million excuses why we don’t. At the crux of just about every excuse we shell out to ourselves and others is time and money.

We are just as important as our kids! I do everything for my children because they mean the world to me. They are my world, but without my health, they don’t have me and I wouldn’t have them. There are too many things we can die of in this world. Yes, we should count our blessings… but how about handling those things that are preventable? The things that are in our control?

The nurse in me needs to tell you because…well….I am so guilty of having neglected myself…taking care of everyone else, but me….and coming up with all those excuses. Excuses such as… My child has his dental appointment and I know its going to cost !@$#$#!; My other son has guitar, basketball, and scouts; My daughter needs new jacket, shoes, and has a birthday to go to; We haven’t gone to the movies as a family in awhile; My husband is out of town all next week and I am sooo busy; Car inspection is due….etc.

It will cost you and your family more if you keep waiting until the choice is no longer yours and you are actually sick. That being said…We love our families. Our families love us. Our dog loves us. They all need us. We have to set an example of health for them because… well…They need us! AND They need us to show them how to be healthy so they can live long lives.This part is really scary…

Childhood Obesity has become a national epidemic. Obesity is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and other health diseases such as Diabetes. “Our children will be the sickest and die sooner than any of us if this issue continues (Lavizzo-Mourey & Mann, 2015).

So here’s some additional quick facts that I have learned:

  • Cardiovascular Disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S.
  • Approximately 2,150 Americans die EACH DAY from CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.  That is about 1 death every 40 seconds from this disease (Pennsylvania Department of Health, 2011).
  • The main risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and lack of physical activity. These factors we can all change! Family history/genetics also play a significant role in the risk for cardiovascular disease; however this is not modifiable.
  • Statistics show in 2011 that approximately 1 in 3 American deaths were a result of Cardiovascular Disease (Mozaffarian, 2015)

The nurse in me wants people to know that this is not very hard to fix…but it is different and most of us freak out at change. Change is challenging, but when you decide to change and stick with it, before you know it, it will become habit. And these are great habits to have and pass on to our children!

Each of us will have our own plan. I like the way the American Heart Association provides the simple 7 step plan :

So here is an account of what myself and my husband have done so far:

Both obtained a physician we are happy with and had our well checks and routine blood work. My husband’s cholesterol was high. Both of our blood pressures were fine.

I started the gardening escapade to change our diets. I figured it would occupy me with trying some fresh healthy foods grown with my hard work… since i hate cooking. I was also hoping it would entice the kids to learn more about what they are putting in their bodies and begin to eat differently. I figured the husband would have no choice but to join the crowd. Its working so far! Husband’s resistance is minimal..Kids have been a little more challenging. We cut out fried foods except on occasion and do not add salt to our foods anymore. Also look for low sodium items at the store. We also are learning that if we don’t buy it (Soda is super high in sodium by the way!) then its not in the house to consume.

My husband has quit smoking with the help of Chantix (YEAH! SOOOO PROUD OF HIM!) I am still working on this goal unfortunately. More to come……..

Being active has not improved as dramatically as I prefer for the rest of the family, even with cutting off the kids from the internet (xbox) in moments of disgust. I am trying to make a limit to the amount of time spent on electronics. The electronics issue is a work in progress. More to come on this too……..I am also working on involving the kids in more sports and am going to have to resort to kicking them outside with a skateboard or basketball in hand.

My husband has decided that POKEMON GO accounts for physical activity for him and the kids. No further comment to that at this point. And yes…I am the only one in the house without POKEMON GO. Well at least they are walking and getting outside…hmmmmm…..

Furthermore, I have attempted YOGA. YOGA in my home behind closed doors. Attempted is the key word here. DO NOT BE FOOLED! 2 minutes of YOGA and I lied on the floor and said enough for one day…It truly is a work out. I am determined to make it through a whole 45 minute video. I really appreciate those YOGA gurus now. My sister is a YOGA instructer. Many praises headed her way.

 

Lavizzo-Mourey, R., & Mann, F., (2015). Stanford Social Innovation Review, Bold but Flexible: How to Effectively Share Your Vision. Retrieved from http://ssir.org/articles/entry/bold_flexible_how_to_effectively_share_your_vision

Pennsylvania Department of Health: Division of Health Informatics. (2014). Pennsylvania County and Health Profiles. Retrieved from http://www.statistics.health.pa.gov/HealthStatistics/VitalStatistics/CountyHealthProfiles/Documents/County_Health_Profiles_2014.pdf

Pennsylvania Department of Health: Division of Health Informatics. (2014). Pennsylvania County and Health Profiles. Retrieved from http://www.statistics.health.pa.gov/HealthStatistics/VitalStatistics/CountyHealthProfiles/Documents/County_Health_Profiles_2014.pdf

 

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