A few days ago, because of the constant chiding from my mother to take care of my health, I went to see a doctor (who happens also to be an elder from my church) at a Weight Management Clinic.
After spending a few hours at Gleneagles and taking a series of tests (which is a rather novel experience for me, really), it was concluded that I am in the pre-diabetic state with two weight-related problems on the line. After a talk to evaluate the root cause of the issue at hand, it was decided that the primary factor is the irregular eating hours, motivated by my unhealthy lifestyle.
To sum it up, there was no fixed (period of) time for my meals. At times breakfast would be at eight a.m., and at other times, it could be as late as noon – or not at all. At times lunch would be at ten a.m., and at other times, it would be at four in the afternoon. Of course this affected dinner as well. As a result, it is said that my body has no idea how to work with my food intake and is confused because of the constant irregularity of my meal times. On some days, after a long day of near-starvation, S and I would have dinner after work – this often happens at eight, and it would likely be a huge treat to make up for the lack of food in the day.
I think our minds play tricks on us too. I feel hunger pangs at the strangest hours – sometimes at seven a.m., sometimes at eleven, sometimes at two … you get the drift.
I am worried about my health. I certainly do not want to be a position where I helplessly rely on others to care for me in my later years, and desperately turn to insurance claims and medical coverage to support me. That being said, my greatest concern is that it is going to be tough to effect any change in my present lifestyle and dietary habits.
Already as it is, there is barely time to reconfigure life and indulge in some ‘head space’. This new healthy diet the doctor proposes requires a commitment in my food choices and in regularising my eating hours. This requires meticulous thoughtful planning, the self-discipline and inner strength to resist temptations when a scrumptious snack presents itself, the thoughtfulness to the little details – such as the kind of coffee, milk and sugar I should have in the morning.
Sometimes there are no options and no freedom of choice. My canteen serves only 1 type of coffee. By the time I finish my lessons and have time for a break, there are only the remains of the day left at the counter – leftover fried rice, curry chicken, fried patties. I am told that I should pack lunches to school – healthy oats, blended drinks, fruits and nuts, salads, and nutritious home-cooked leftovers from dinner… Yet again, it seems that what this new diet plan requires, is a consistent dedication to sticking with it.
What I can say is that I am grateful. I am grateful that people around me care enough to want to make sure that I am OK. I am grateful that God is giving me a chance to reverse the awful habits I have laboured on my body. I am grateful that as a single, independent woman, I have the financial means to support this diet. Above all, I am grateful for the reminder to take care of our bodies for they are the temple of God.