It’s important to take care of your body at any age, but especially as we begin our 50’s. As women, often we put ourselves last and forget about taking care of our own bodies. I know I don’t need to remind you that our bodies are with us for our whole lives and if we don’t take care of them, then nobody will! But apparently, I needed that reminder myself.
In the past 2 months, I’ve learned the hard way that I have to take care of my body. As a mom and caretaker, I was taking on more than I was able, but I kept pushing through and setting the bar higher and higher for myself. I was not letting my body get the rest it needed. Holidays, family responsibilities and thinking I was superwoman (like many of us do), I ran myself into the ground. Figuratively and then physically. I am a cancer survivor already, with chronic fatigue that has lingered, which for me felt like normal life now after so many years. But this was extraordinary fatigue, coupled with nausea and the inability to keep food down for weeks at a time. In a word, it was HORRIBLE.
I suffered. The kids suffered because I didn’t have the energy, nor inclination, to make dinner or grocery shop. After I spent a day in the hospital with dehydration, I was able to get some friends to help me. Of course, if I had asked or let them know earlier how sick I was, I know they would have been there for me, but I thought I could handle it, until I obviously couldn’t. So I finally threw in the towel, cried “uncle” and raised the white flag in surrender. The kids took over the running of the house, laundry, feeding the pets and grocery shopping. In the end, now looking back, I think it was a great bonding experience for them, but it was also worrisome for me as I wasn’t sure if the cancer was back. Thank goodness, it wasn’t. But, boy did I learn my lesson! Suffering isn’t worth it!
I am still not up to par yet and according to the doctors, I have a few months of taking it easy before I return to my normal (which isn’t anyone else’s), but I’m used to it. It was scary there for a bit though because my body was so out of whack. I realized that when we push and push and think we are superwomen, we are only hurting ourselves and we forget about the repercussions that eventually happen when we overdo.
And the sad part is, that all the extra hard work I did, pushing my body to the limits over and over, wasn’t appreciated at all. So I did all that damage to myself for nothing. I won’t be making that mistake again.
Have you been taking care of your body?