Running on 100,000 Miles

Running on 100,000 Miles

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I began dreading turning 60, oh, about 11 months and 29 days – give or take a few hours – before my odometer actually turned to the big 6-0. When I noticed that I was fretting about this upcoming milestone birthday, I actively began looking for ways that I could turn my attitude around and begin to embrace this golden marker.

It was a few months after I turned 60 when I was so proud of myself for how well I was accepting – if not totally embracing – this age, that I realized I needed a complete overhaul on my thinking. I not only had to learn to embrace the number – but the whole aging process. I wasn’t quite prepared for that.

Granted, it’s not like this was a total revelation to me. For many years I’d already begun the joking and mild complaining about aging. Wrinkles appearing. Skin starting to sag. Energy levels beginning to wane. Hair turning silver instead of a golden hue. But an unexpected diagnosis really brought this unacknowledged part of the equation to my attention.

For several months I’d started noticing some circulation problems in my feet. Rather than improving with time, it worsened. I passed it off to a secondary effect from high blood sugar or high cholesterol. About fifteen years earlier, the doctor wanted to prescribe medications for elevated glucose levels and high cholesterol. I countered with the suggestion to give me three months to see what changing my diet and adding exercise would do. It took me a little longer than that, but six months later a healthier diet and riding my bicycle twice a week brought my test results into the normal ranges.

But, the years passed. I moved to Texas – the nation’s BBQ capital – and I found myself eating more beef than normal, and not being quite as good with my diet as before. It had been several years since I’d been tested, so I presumed that one, if not both, of these, were probably running high again.

When our local Walmart promoted a free health screening one Saturday morning, I was there, bright and early.

Much to my amazement, my blood sugar and my cholesterol were well within the normal ranges – better than they had been for years.

However…the lady doing the screening took my blood pressure three times. It was high enough that she wouldn’t let me go until I signed that I would see a doctor about it.

WHAT?

I was stupefied.

My brain repeated the incredulous question. WHAT?

Where did this come from?

I’ve never had high blood pressure. In fact, it’s usually run low most of my life.

And it hit me. This was more than just a wrinkle, or a jiggly underarm, or wanting a short cat nap in the middle of the day.

This was ageing.

My body was changing.

My body was wearing out.

I was getting old.

Yikes!

This was more than just a number that kept getting bigger.

I had to learn to embrace more than just the number 6-0. I had to learn to embrace ageing in its entirety, which meant a body that could easily betray me at any moment.

I contemplated how this compared to my car that has over 100,000 miles on it. No, it’s not a brand new vehicle. It’s now considered a high-mileage vehicle and as such requires more care.

I make sure and get my regular oil changes done as scheduled. I’ve upgraded the oil to a higher grade, one meant for cars with over 100,000 miles. When I start it up, I let it run for a few minutes to make sure the oil is circulated throughout before I put it in gear and pull out of the driveway. I don’t stomp on the gas or accelerate at high levels of speed. I baby it more than I used to and make sure to soothe it with large doses of TLC.

Using my typical M.O. of ‘what can I do about it to avoid taking a prescription?’ I set about making a few changes.

When one kickboxing session lessened the numbness in my feet, and three sessions almost totally got rid of the symptoms, I knew that some type of regular cardio exercise was necessary. I noticed an immediate correlation between increased exercise and lowered blood pressure. That sealed the deal. I don’t particularly like to exercise as in physical exertion, huffing and puffing, and sweating. I prefer walking, gardening, or gentle yoga. But, if it comes down to choosing between exercise or medication – it’s a no-brainer. Exercise wins.

I also returned to my previous healthier eating habits. Less sugar. Less fats. Less salt. Less fast food. Less processed foods. More real food. More fresh fruits and vegetables. More whole grains.

I may be running in a model that has over 100,000 miles on it, but I’m going to take care of this vehicle and get as many more miles on it as I can. I don’t want to trade in this model just yet. I also want to enjoy the journey that I’m making in this body while embracing every moment of life –even the parts about the numbers getting bigger and the body model getting older.

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Martha Reynolds
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 08:07:53

    Great correlation, Trisha. I’m right there with you. It’s a daily struggle, but once go! 💚

    Reply

  2. Cindy McCabe
    Jan 29, 2019 @ 15:36:50

    What a great article for your upcoming book! I’m way ahead of you, but you gave me lots of GOOD food for thought!

    Reply

  3. Natalie
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 00:46:23

    Good on you, Trisha Faye, for taking care of your health with exercises and healthy eating. These natural ways are much better than prescriptions. On Feb. 13, I have a Wellness link up on my blog. Optional prompt is Healthy Heart. Please feel free to join in. Have a wonderful week! #MLSTL

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:16:24

      Thanks Natalie. I agree, natural is better than prescriptions. I put your blog on my calendar. Will post something for it.
      Thanks for stopping. Have a wonderful week!

      Reply

  4. Terri Webster Schrandt
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 01:23:23

    I just love this metaphor of aging, Trisha! I too am staring at 60 in December, but I enjoy the sweaty cardio and other outdoor activities! But what a surprise to get the news about your blood pressure! I’e always had low BP too, I wonder if that will be my 60th birthday present to have it go up! Hope not. Sounds like you’re on the right track toward your overall health. I shared this comment on Facebook “Like our car, we may need a look under the hood of our own health!” LOL. Nice read for #MLSTL!

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:14:40

      If you’re enjoying some of the sweaty cardio, you may sail through with no problems. I’ve noticed with just twice a week, it’s brought my BP down to better readings.
      Thanks for sharing! I love the comment you put on FB. Perfect!

      Reply

  5. Jennifer Jones
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 03:44:36

    Love to hear that youre taking care of yourself Trisha. I had a couple of health issues also around age 60 that a few tweaks to the diet took care of. I think we have to be more aware of what’s happening with our health at this age. Long may you remain healthy #MLSTL Shared on SM

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:12:16

      I like how you phrased that – a few tweaks to the diet. That’s what it is, and better to be proactive about it rather than ignoring it & hoping it will all go away. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  6. leannelc
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 10:03:42

    My husband is one of the fittest and healthiest people I know – but he just got his blood test results back and now has high cholesterol – so he’s looking at cutting his sugar and fats to try to avoid taking meds down the track. Aging isn’t for sissies!
    Thanks for linking up to MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:10:43

      No it isn’t Leanne! I had to chuckle at your comment ‘Aging isn’t for sissies!’ Nope. That old engine starts to show some signs of wear the more miles we put on it.

      Reply

  7. Michele @liferedesign101
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 15:23:29

    I am facing 60 this fall. I don’t exactly dread it, but I am not looking forward to it either. I do feel the effects of aging, but like you I am also taking more precautions with eating and exercise than I used to. I applaud your exercise rather than medication attitude. So often the medical community wants to just throw some rugs at the problem, not stop the problem in the first place.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:08:24

      I agree about doctors wanting to prescribe so quickly. When I look back, I would have been on medications (which also means MORE medications to alleviate their side effects) for over 15 years if I would have taken their advice. It sounds like you’re facing these years with the bigger numbers with the same healthy habits. Good for you!

      Reply

  8. patwdoyle11
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 18:00:11

    Love the car metaphor! I am healthier now (in retirement) than I had been in the 10 years preceding. However, reminders to focus on “healthier eating habits. Less sugar. Less fats. Less salt. Less fast food. Less processed foods. More real food. More fresh fruits and vegetables. More whole grains.” is something I need a constant reminder of! Visiting from #MLSTL

    Reply

  9. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    Jan 30, 2019 @ 22:55:36

    HI Trisha, I have always wondered why many of us will make sure the family get medical check ups and we service our cars but we don’t look after ourselves as well. I had a recent health scare and although I am fit and healthy with good blood results I do have a problem with my genes. It certainly brought me down to earth that perhaps I have to continue with my health and wellness lifestyle and yes, make a few tweaks to my diet. We put our bodies through so much but if we look after them, they will continue running smoothly and purring along enjoying life. Thank you for sharing your story with us at #MLSTL and have a great week. xx

    Reply

  10. Christie Hawkes
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 02:25:30

    I loved the car comparison, Trisha. I have been maintaining my body for the last 15 years or so in hopes that this model will age well and keep on running. I really want to be independent and enjoying as much of this life as I can for as long as I can. Here’s to 60 and beyond! #MLSTL

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 21:24:42

      I’m constantly amazed at how many people do NOT give care and maintenance to their own bodies. Although I know at the end of the trip, this body will cease to function one day, I’m with you – as much as we can for as long as we can!

      Reply

  11. Deb
    Jan 31, 2019 @ 03:21:44

    Well written! A better diet and exercise sounds much better than pills.. never good at faithfully taking those things.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Jan 31, 2019 @ 03:33:24

      That’s what I kept telling myself today as I did 30 minutes on the treadmill. I caught myself starting to moan and groan, then reminded myself….this or a pill….this or a pill. Kept me going LOL

      Reply

  12. Molly Totoro
    Feb 01, 2019 @ 02:56:56

    LOVE this! I am at that “less than 11 months until the big 6-0” point in life, and I know my body is aging in ways that I can’t see. Your mental attitude is contagious! While I don’t particularly enjoy sweating, I am going to try to adjust my mindset toward exercise. I, too, would rather huff and puff than medicate. Pinning to my #mlstl board for future reference.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 01, 2019 @ 04:27:38

      You’re right behind me on this journey. I hit that milestone marker last year. (7 months and 11 days ago…but who’s counting? LOL)
      We can huff and puff our way down this path with the others and be in very good company.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  13. Karen at Reprobate Typewriter
    Feb 06, 2019 @ 13:48:33

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like you’ve got plenty willpower to drown your health problems in.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 06, 2019 @ 13:52:48

      Thanks Karen! Although I was grumbling a bit on the treadmill yesterday, I kept reminding myself it was better than popping pills to keep me going.

      Reply

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