Five weeks ago today I was spending my first day in hospital trying to come to terms with having just had a Heart Attack. It seems like only yesterday, and a lifetime ago at the same time.
Lots of things have changed without needing to make an effort change them. The cumulative effect of many small alterations have resulted in some big differences: differences to what I do. differences to how I do it. I’m still the same person, although you might find it increasingly difficult to recognise me.
Is it sustainable? Will I change back?
People say that over time I’ll forget what’s happened to me, what everyone has been through; I’m not convinced. Apparently only a very small percentage of people who have experienced Heart “Events” actually make lasting, positive changes to their lifestyles. Will I be one of them?
There are lots of reminders out there… since I’ve been out of hospital the unfortunate deaths of James Gandolfini and, only yesterday, Mel Smith, have hit the headlines. A few weeks on from Gandolfini’s death, it’s unfortunate to see that more lessons appear to have been learned (more correctly, reported) about Estate Planning than the cause of his death (which I suspect is more relevant than the vast majority of us!).
In a lot of respects I’m a novice at many of the new features of my life: healthy eating, regular exercise, weight loss, relaxation, medication. but I’m not making any new discoveries. The things that I’m learning are obvious to many if not most people. I guess I was aware of them myself to a certain degree, somewhere below the surface, buried deep enough not to influence my day to day actions.
Remind yourself: Preventing Heart Disease
The single biggest “awakening” for me is what I eat and drink. Given I’m trying to eat healthily (Healthy Heart) and also trying to lose some weight (Calorie Control), I’m very aware of what I’m eating now. The scary thing was how unaware I was before. I’m quickly starting to realise that anything that has been “prepared” (by others) is likely to have been “abused” in some way… addition of large quantities of Salt and Sugar.
There are so many examples of seemingly healthy or wholesome foods that are really not great for you, it’s unreal! And that’s only looking at the “healthy” choices… a fraction of what’s available.
I know I’m late to the party. I’m sure you were aware of the hazards lurking in our supermarket aisles, but there are plenty of people that aren’t… aren’t aware, don’t care or are hiding from reality (as I was).