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How Healthy Are You, Really?

Posted May 12 2011 11:09am

So you feel, well, okay. But is okay good enough? Could you do better?

Time to be honest…with yourself. Because prevention, in my book, is far better than waiting for symptoms to appear.

Below you’ll find some questions to answer. Now, this is not a multiple choice quiz, with a cute classification scale at the end. These are open-ended questions. That’s because I’m assuming you’re a smart cookie. More important than a tidy little category is how you feel when you look at your answers all together, when you read them over, when you really start thinking about it.Most of us know, deep down, what we need to work on…we just need some prodding. And someone to pose the questions.

One further note: these questions are not intended to make you feel guilty. They are intended to jostle your brain, to give you something to think about. Perhaps to serve as a wake-up call. To get you thinking about what you are doing great (yay!) and what you could improve upon. This is a starting point. A time for reflection.

So, get out a notebook and get ready to jot some stuff down. Ask yourself:

Lifestyle

Do you get enough sleep for you? This might be 8 hours, or more, or less. More important: do you wake up feeling groggy? Check your eyes: just how dark are those circles, darling?

How is your alcohol intake? One glass of wine a day = purrrfect. More than that? Hmmmm…

Do you smoke? Sweetheart, you really gotta quit. Gonna quote Skinny Bitch on this one: smoking is for losers.

Exercise: are you moving that bod enough? Come on, fess up.

Any idea what your BMI is? Here’s a handy little tool  for ya. (no excuses)

Testing

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? High blood pressure is silent. You would never know, unless you checked.

When was your last Pap? Here are my thoughts on this: Yes, Pap smears are uncomfortable. Know what’s more uncomfortable? Cancer.

Have you had screening bloodwork done lately? Here are some things to consider having done, depending on your risk factors:

  • TSH level (a thyroid screen)
  • hemoglobin & ferritin (iron levels)
  • vitamin D levels
  • lipids (cholesterol)
  • fasting glucose
  • others…depending on your personal profile (which you need to discuss with your doctor)

And speaking of screening, if you’re over 40 have you had a mammogram? (screening recommendations might be different if you have a family history of breast cancer)

How about STD screening? Once again: silent. With nasty repercussions if left undiagnosed + untreated.

Prevention

Look at your family history. If there’s a strong history of CAD, cancer, etc…are you being proactive about not following in their footsteps?

Are you taking care of your bones? Not just for the elderly–you need to build bone mass now.

Do you wear sunblock? All. The. Time?

Body + Soul

What about stress? I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’ve got stress (we all do, don’t we?)…but do you have a plan in place to cope with that stress? Short-term and long-term coping, I mean.

How often do you have sex?

Are you happy? Like, really content in your life? Here’s a quick test: how do you feel on your birthday? As though you’re exactly where you should be….or, vaguely dissatisfied/anxious/frustrated?

Do you do stuff that’s just for you? Like, go to the spa, read a book for pleasure, fill in the blank…?

Do you feel fulfilled? Are you bored? Are you pursuing your dreams? Are you working too much?

Nutrition

Eating habits? Big topic. Here’s some food for thought (ptp=pardon the pun)

  • do you eat breakfast? every day?
  • do you eat because of boredom?
  • do you eat when what you really need is sleep?
  • does food make the good times better? And, um, the bad times better?
  • do you have lean protein with most meals?
  • is processed food a staple in your diet?
  • do you drink enough water?
  • do you drink lots of soda or sugary drinks?
  • are you in control of your cravings? (or are they in control of you?)
  • do you skip meals?
  • do you eat when you’re not really hungry?

Now how about Vitamins + Supplements:

  • are you taking the right ones for you?
  • are you taking too many (popping unecessary stuff and going broke in the process?) 
  • do you really know what you’re taking, and why? Or are you just throwing capsules at your fatigue, bloating, etcetera?

Okay, ’nuff for now. There’s more, but I’m going to leave it for another day. Hope you’re not feeling too overwhelmed. Keep in mind: it’s important to take the time to reflect on this stuff and take stock. It’s your body, after all. And it’s your life.

Ya get but one.


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