Monday, May 02, 2005
My dad died at 45, and my mom at 55. And my day job is to promote health. This last winter I just got fed up with being tired and feeling like crap. My motivation for community work had also declined like crazy. My body just didn't feel right.
So first I decided to work out, just to skip the heart problems and diabetes my parents had - it was all about avoiding something like that. My blood pressure was going up, and so was my weight. Then after a little while, I started thinking that it would be great to be in good enough shape to have high activity fun with my kids and someday - hopefully way away - my grandkids.
From there I emailed some friends and let them know I was pulling back on activism and trying to take care of my health. I developed carpal tunnel, and my knees were not used to working out. So I was on a bummer for awhile. My hand is getting better, and since I skipped my doc's advice about avoiding working out, my legs are getting stronger. I've been doing only lower body work for the last few weeks and got about three more to go.
I'm trying to get up to an appropriate weight and still not hurt myself more. Being patient about this sucks!
Since I play music, I've also been seeing a chiropractor, who is a musician, and she's helped me alot in figuring out to avoid the surgury and other things my doc didn't really talk to me about.
In all of this process I noticed that there were some chingon seniors who were way up in age and lifting weights. That has helped with the patience to some degree. I'm going up in weight at a moderate pace right now and will slow down once I get to a reasonably heavy weight on my exercises.
I've pretty much cut out sodas, fast food, and extras. I'm eating about 5-7 small meals a day, with increased salads and leaner meats. And learning things like if you drain the tuna can, then add water and drain it again you get rid of some of the extra sodium that's in the can. But I still eat Chicano food! Just smaller portions and with salads. =)
This all feels weird and self-indulgent as an activist used to thinking about other people most of the time. But there's something about taking care of ourselves that is not present in movement work. So as I get healthier, I'll keep writing. This seems like a big deal for many of the activists and organizers that I've talked to.
There's lots of systematic issues around health, like media, poverty, racism, sexism, and much more. But as my kids get through high school (I'm trying to spend more time with them) maybe I can try and support those who are dealing with the systematic issues deal with their individual well being. It's worth a try.
Amor y Rebeldia!
Thanks for the inspiration!