30 July, 2017
Such an obtuse question for an article title, hey? Though just to mess with you even more, say the title but also think of Basement Jaxx's song "Where's Your Head At" and suddenly you cannot escape it unless of course you don't know the song or you're too busy with the "Murder, She Wrote" theme song in your head - to both I ask - WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
A question that we should all be asking ourselves is indeed - Where are we at with our own health and more accurately - are we looking after it?
Is Your Health Coming Last?
It generally IS the same old story. You didn't get enough sleep because you have a work project that simply MUST get finished.
You couldn't get to training because the kids MUST go to sports practice 4 times a week.
You didn't have time to make up a batch of meals for lunch because you simply MUST go and see your Aunt Beryl - whose casual racism and obvious disapproval of effectively EVERYTHING you do is tabled within the first 30 minutes of being in her presence.
And just like that, a week of attempting to look after your own health is in the drink. Be it an alcoholic one or worse as the image below so metaphorically illustrates.
This can happen to all of us. So how exactly do you intend on tackling all of the above if you are so run down from neglecting your own health requirements and you get sick? And by sick - it could be a cycle of being sick once every few weeks or it could just hit you like a sledge hammer and you are out for the week.
I dare say it won't be pretty or easy.
The First Step
How do you fix a problem if you refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem to begin with? With everyone seeing you as the amazingly organised mum, the focused and reliable GO TO person to get shit done.. how could there be something wrong with how you might be approaching your health?
I am now completely open and honest about my previous complete and utter denial regarding overworking myself. I was fit and eating well! I don't get sick!
But then I did. And when I do something.. you all know I don't do things in halves.."Of all people, I can't believe this has happened to you!"
Yep - I got this a lot. A LOT. And it's flattering but let me be honest - while I may have been eating incredibly well, diligently training and working hard, that's probably all I was doing. I was over-worked. Working 16 hour days (enjoying it though!), averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night, likely not hydrating as well as I could and I was not giving my body the rest and recovery it needed and deserved. I was so excited about the studio and my clients doing well, I was excited about building a website that everyone could use and to a fault - I was so busy putting these things in front of my body's need to get some down time.I think this short comic strip sums it all up rather nicely.
Now - let's be clear here - we don't know why I got cancer. "Shit bad luck" was the phrase that my always eloquent surgeon used but if I was to ask myself was there something I was doing wrong back then - I was putting my business before my own health - which is odd since my business is HEALTH.
Now I was pretty lucky. Lucky in that when I hit the floor, Liam stepped up and ran my business. I had Al who was amazing in his love and support. I had an amazing squad of family and friends who banded together to help and provide support. I didn't have children or family who were dependent on me.
While it may be great and noble a sign of love to put everyone before your wants and needs, you could be sabotaging your ability to provide love and support in the long run.
Perhaps saying NO to overtime and going and getting that massage because your shoulders have been feeling tight could be the difference between you having improved work productivity for the week or having the next week off due to pulling a muscle and in turn developing a vomit-inducing migraine.
Perhaps coming to training and not worrying that your baby might cry could be the difference between you getting exercise and feeling some well deserved accomplishment or that niggling lower back pain not being addressed and you just feeling terrible and grumpy which doesn't help anyone.
You won't get the results in the gym if you keep putting everyone else before you.. but considering the long term effects of always sacrificing your needs rarely ends well.
Don't Ignore The Signs
We all get tired from time to time but rarely do we ever stop to ask ourselves if we are in fact run down and flat out exhausted?
- post-exertional malaise.
- impaired memory or concentration.
- unrefreshing sleep.
- muscle pain.
- multi-joint pain without redness or swelling.
- tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes.
- sore throat.
Yes, Mum.. I am looking after myself
One evil, cancerous kidney gone, a few random spleen tumors and 12 months later and I am definitely a different person. I mean how could you not be? I halved my working hours, I am no longer working split shifts and being up early every morning. I believe my sleep is a lot better since I get to sleep in on Tuesdays, Thursdays and finish early on Wednesdays and Fridays. Granted I still go home and do some work - but thankfully my member site is completed now and I have clients busily chipping away at the course I wrote post surgery and also the 200+ achievements nestled in the Challenge Section. I won't be going back to doing the huge and crazy hours I was doing. I just can't risk getting run down again.
I was sternly told to take it easy and give my body rest and recovery it needs. I do simultaneously appreciate and amuse myself when people question whether I should be working as much (Paul from S.T.A.R.T. Training in particular - so stern and dad like!) but I can assure you - I do take it on board but I have one piece of paper that makes me refocus. If you like, you can read it HERE.
This article has been 12 months in the making but it coincidentally I also received a text message from someone who thought it would be a good idea to write about this topic though possibly they were inspired for different reasons. Learning from someone else's misfortune isn't the nicest way to be educated but since it happened to me - I am all for you having a moment to consider the following:
- If you aren't feeling well - seek professional help
- Ask questions. Be informed.
- Still unsure? Ask again - and if that doesn't help, consider a second opinion.
- Don't be embarrassed about your body.
- Don't be ashamed or feel guilty asking for help.
- Guys - Macho bullshittery doesn't impress anyone. It counts for NOTHING. Especially when you are getting your clothing cut off you from peeing yourself due to huge blood clots blocking you up. See a Doctor if you don’t feel well. Get help.
- Not happy with your GP? Ditch them and find a better one that you connect with and trust. Cannot stress this point enough!
You are human. You need good food, good rest and exercise and the time and ability to de-stress. If you compromise on these and continually put everyone else first - something about your health and life will fall
So this happened today...
I know right? Pretty awesome given I was a stage 3, Grade 4 cancer person. Feeling pretty lucky and very grateful for all the amazing support I've had in the last 12 months. I'm not one to accept help from people but it has been a very heart felt experience and I cannot thank everyone enough! It's been a challenging road for everyone but I think also it has been an eye opening experience for us all.
Now go and have a glass of water and have a rest. :D
Jon is a Metabolic Precision Transformation Specialist working from his Studio EPIC WIN PT in Newmarket, Brisbane. Follow all the fun and adventures by liking the Facebook page here