Lent Meditation Series 2015
A Time of Reflection

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Saturday. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. It is time for a lent meditation.

Day 4 – Body: Care

Yesterday I looked at how time has ravaged my body. More critical, though, is the effect my lack of care has had on my body. Bad food, alcohol, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, environment and attitude all play a part in my physical health.

My toes have been going numb. At first I just dismissed it as not important. As it slowly spread I started to look into what could be happening. It is a symptom of type 2 diabetes. No! That cannot be right! I cannot have diabetes! I am healthy and fit…

About fifteen years ago I applied for a keyman insurance policy to protect my business should anything happen to me. After a straightforward medical I sent off the application. The response shocked me.

I was offered a very high premium because I was at risk for diabetes. My blood sugar (the indicator for diabetes) was normal, so what was the problem?

My two brothers had diabetes, therefore I had a high risk factor, the man from the insurance company told me. The cause for my brothers was lifestyle choice, I told him, food, alcohol and exercise. I persuaded him that none of that was true in my case and that because my reading was normal in my early fifties I was clearly not going to suffer from the disease.

Yet here I am with symptoms, what has happened and what is going on?

♦◊♦

I have started monitoring my blood glucose levels and, indeed, I have very high levels and am probably suffering from diabetes. Why?

Food and alcohol seem to be the main factors. I am overweight and have been for some time. I am technically obese, although I do not see myself as that. (That is a warning sign right there.) I have been enjoying myself and ignoring the signs that have been there every day.

Sugar is the big offender, sugar from alcohol and sugar from food.

I drink a lot of wine and beer, although I am not an alcoholic. I know about this because I have at least two family members who are self-confessed alcoholics with serious side effects, not least being the serious effects of diabetes, such as compromised eyesight. I do, however, drink more than the recommended levels. I enjoy my wine and would happily drink it with every meal. The problem comes from the excessive amounts of sugar this puts into me.

I love marmalade, mango chutney, chocolate and ice cream. In fact I have come to realise that I crave these ‘foods’—a clear sign of excessive blood sugar.

I have to change what I see as healthy and fit, it goes deeper than being able to climb mountains—something I love to do. I need to recognise my problems and incorporate the solutions into my daily living.

♦◊♦

My lifestyle has become about enjoyment rather than care and the effects prove to be dangerous for me. So I have decided to change. I have instituted a programme of eating, drinking and exercise that is not a diet but is a lifestyle for the rest of my life. I am changing what I enjoy so it no longer conflicts with care of my body.

This is serious and this is a challenge. Reverse diabetes, reverse neuropathy (numb toes) and return to a balance in my body that I enjoy and that looks after me.

  • What is happening in your body that you are not aware of?
  • What is your lifestyle, what drives it?
  • Do you have balance in your body?

Photo Credit: Flickr/Moyan Brenn

2 comments

  1. Joy Bandy says:

    Hi Graham!
    As you may know, David has had diabetes for more than 20 years. When we first got together, he was having quite a bit of numbness in his feet. We found that daily foot massage brought back as much feeling as is possible and has slowed the progression. He is also quite good about diet & exercise which is critical, of course. Glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself. You’re worth it! Hugs to you both.

    • Graham Reid Phoenix says:

      I didn’t realise that Joy, thanks for telling me and thanks for the tip. Now to have a word with Urmila… 🙂

  2. Lion Goodman says:

    Thank you, Graham. At 62, I feel young-at-heart, and wiser than I was as a youth (having chalked up so many mistakes, and hopefully learning something from most of them). However, my body is not healing as fast or as well from my second hip replacement as it did from my first one six years ago. I’m not used to being wracked with pain for weeks and months on end. My chiropractor told me that I had to get my muscles back in shape to support my back and hips. I finally believed that this was required, so I’ve joined a gym and am committed (finally) to a daily practice of strengthening, stretching, and physical rehabilitation. I now know that – although I’ve been avoiding it most of my life – a physical discipline is required for the rest of my life. Ouch. I hate to even say it. I’ve been a desk jockey, sitting at my computer for too many years, and it’s taken a toll. I was never athletic, and now I have to focus on my physical body to get out of pain – the signal that something ain’t right… Growing older is not for sissies – that’s for sure.

    • Graham Reid Phoenix says:

      The Trouble is that it takes more of your time when you’re happier thinking and writing… I find yoga great for stretching and strengthening the muscles.

  3. Old age is a luxury denied to many. Becoming an elder is an honor and I am so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know you. You reveal and share yourself from a deep place of authenticity and I would assert that it has a lot to do with your own growth in addition to the accumulation of years. Your body may age but your mind heart and spirit will stay young forever.

    • Graham Reid Phoenix says:

      Thank you, Michael, I appreciate the honour you bestow on me. I love connecting with you and experiencing your passion.

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