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The Way We Were: Addiction & Secret Surgeries Part 1.

Posted Dec 12 2010 3:52pm

No, I wasn’t addicted to drugs/alcohol nor did I have a gender altering surgery, relax.

Now is the time of year for reflection. It hit me as I climbed the 3rd flight of stairs at work to get to my office. I couldn’t do this so easily last year. With out my heart pounding, being out of breath and being flushed before I even opened my first email. I thought working out was enough to give me stamina, and I’m here to tell why it wasn’t enough.

First stage of my adult life, I only ate things that came out of cardboard or plastic. I wasn’t a party girl, but I knew what the inside of a bar looked like. Since I worked on my feet all day, I equated that to my exercise. Wrong.

Second stage of my adult life, I embraced cooking, gyms, and false forms of energy (which I will divulge into later). Often skipped meals, and slept 3-4 hours per day. Crashing was my game, I was my own personal kamikaze.

I was a joker.. and a smoker and a midnight….snacker. Nutrition played a HUGE part of why I wasn’t at my highest level of performance. A bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner is not a healthy diet make, no matter what the portion. And a relentless sweet tooth to boot. And I smoked ciggarettes. I thought, stay away from take-out, fried food, soda and booze, I’ll be good to go!

I was not. I knew how important nutrients were, but didn’t think my body could REALLY tell if that salad was worth it long term. Just this one sub right? Just a one order of fries were ok? In fact, moderation is just fine. Every day decisions add up.  Time to flex those temptation muscles.

A few years ago, though I was working out, TRYING to eat right… I was trying to lose weight. Not worried about the other benefits of a healthy lifestyle. As soon as I started it the other way around, is when I saw the difference in performance.

I have a secret to tell…..

I was ADDICTED to energy shots and energy drinks. There was a point in my life, I would house 4-5 energy drinks per DAY. I was so neglectful of my nutrients, all I looked for was a quick fix to get me through this exam, get me through the project at work… just get me to the front door of my apartment. Not only energy drinks, but 4-5 espresso drinks, or just plain ole shots. This point in my life, was full time work, full time school. Instead of lunch, sugar free energy drinks… instead of hummus and veggies, energy shot. This point in my life, landed me in the ER with more viruses than I could imagine. Meningitis, shingles, exhaustion, passing out on the train. I still didn’t get it…. I am SO lucky my heart didn’t have any complications.

I do NOT, however believe energy shots/drinks are terrible for you. I just try to stay away from them. My body was running on false nutrients. I certainly wasn’t losing weight, and I was tricking my brain into thinking I was giving it fuel, when I was doing was pumping it with a quick fix.

You can’t live on Quick Fixes forever…

Once I graduated college (YAY!) I could finally focus on  treating my body right. I wasn’t an idiot, I was full aware healthy food = a healthy me. I just didn’t have the motivation to change my lifestyle. Nothing was detrimental enough for a change. I was leaving events around 10pm because I was so tired I could barely keep a conversation. On the weekends, I just slept them away. There were lots of wake-up calls, one greater than the last, to help me retrain myself and drop bad habits.

#1. Diet: was the best thing I could’ve done to teach myself how to incorporate more veggies and healthy grains into my diet. I have since introduced lean protein back into my diet, but veggies are still stars of the show.

#2. Saw a nutrionist: Having an expert tell you WHY you need these nutrients, makes you think of you body as a game. Won’t move onto the next level untill you’ve earned enough vitamin points to score an achievement! (Hello running!)

#3. Sleep. Conan & Leno often times sang me off to La-La Land. TV off, close your eyes and shoot for 8 hours, be happy with 7. You gotta be up at 6am? Bed by 11!

#4. Learn how to cook. Experiment with new recipes. Nothing is as frustrating as wanting take-out and know you couldn’t recreate it at home. (Garbanzo burgers!!)

#5.  Try new things. Kale , almond milk, flax seed, lentil soup, indian food, veggie options at restaurants, spices, salmon.. you may just like it and can add it to your new healthy go-to menu.

#6. Stress. THIS is a big one. You will forever have stress for the rest of your life, the trick is to learn how to deal with it. I did this in 3 ways. addressing the issue head on.  No more sitting back and letting the little things add up. This is MY life and I never wanted to look back and think “Wow, I worried about that stupid thing for so long when I could’ve just taken care of it then and there.” So now, I’ll confront someone, take criticsm better, ask questions and nip it in the bud. How to tell you gotta take care of business: If 3 days have passed and you are still letting it bother you.  Don’t sit back, because NO ONE will fix it for you except YOU.

#7. . After 18 months of that stupid broken tooth, I got it fixed. No more worrying about eating certain foods, no more waking up in pain, no more eating on one side.

And  I will finally tell you what was wrong with me around my birthday (August). I was being screened for Stomach/Colon Cancer. After countless doctors visits, procedures, surgeries, pain, biopsies,  exhaustion and just pure frustration, I officially do not have cancer. It is an on going battle trying to fix whatever is wrong, and I am still not even close to being done. This will go far and beyond the new year. I am head strong, and I know I will prevail. I was too headstrong in avoiding the start of the medical analysis, because I knew months later, I would still be in it. And I am. But if you’re going to treat your body right, and you are aware of a huge issue, you’d be a DUMMY not to fix it.

(to be continued…)

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