WHY I STARTED MY HEALTH AND FITNESS BLOG..
“Experience is the best teacher,” they say, and my experience with Hemorrhoids surely taught me one of the best lessons I would never have learnt otherwise, the painful way.
Lifestyle conditions will catch up with you when you least expect. One day you’ll be all fine and smiling ear to ear, and the next day you will dread sunset because these conditions make your nights so long you’ll feel like its been dark for 365 days!
The Road Not Taken.
It was back in the year 2014 when my campus life led me to the most careless diet of my life, one that really got the best of me. Eating was like a hobby to me even though my relationship with food was clearly ‘un-reciprocated love’.
Yes, I didn’t even know (or bother) about making food choices. I literally ate anything and everything. For me, vegetables were way too bitter herbs and why on earth is water so tasteless?
Being a student in the coastal region of Kenya, Swahili delicacies were all over and we all know they are some of the things you just can’t ignore. You just can’t pretend you’re having a bad flu and miss to smell them around (mshkaki, bhajia, viazi karai, pilau, biryani, samosa, and name it…), and how those Swahili mamas are so perfect at preparing them you just can’t resist.
If only I knew my daily bread was turning out as my slow poison.
Working out was my worst nightmare and I basically knew nothing to do with a workout routine.
I definitely had wild fantasies, fantasies of having that sexy, flawless body of a supermodel. You know how every girl in her 20s dreams of being a Kim Kardashian? Yeah, I too built those humongous castles, and some of them are still hanging somewhere in the distant skies.
I weighed a whooping 67kgs, but I had mixed feelings about this. Being the great victim of peer pressure I was, the way I felt about myself depended on the people around me. Being around skinny girls, I admired how flat their tummies were and how they looked like supermodels, then suddenly I wanted to be a model too. When around big and ‘fleshy’ girls, I was just comfortable and even wanted to add more weight .
Paying the Price.
Before long, started experiencing frequent constipation (very hard stool and taking 3-4 days without going for long calls). The worst hours of my days were when my digestive system rung bells in need of some ‘offloading’. I would say a brief prayer before visiting the washroom since I knew hell was right there waiting for me.
With each passing day, my stool got harder and long calls became the most painful experience of my life. Some days I would even take close to an hour in that tiny room, until someone would come looking for me (as if I ‘accidentally’ flashed myself into the toilet bowl. Hmmm! talk of intimidation!)
Pain and Depression!
About a month on constipation and all I wanted was to die. Consequently, I started denying myself food for fear of the ‘offloading’ times. As expected, I drastically lost weight and everyone who knew me before became curious about it.
As if that wasn’t enough, I started having frequent stomach upsets until I couldn’t enjoy food anymore. I actually thought someone had cast an evil spell on me.I had never been so traumatized before!
However, I never thought of visiting a doctor all this time, and all I did was buy some over-the- counter constipation pills which were never of much help.
Finally, I went home for the long vacation and I had to talk to my own mother about this as things were getting out of hand. She realized I was always gloomy, low on appetite and had lost too much weight. I even had sleepless nights and depression was gradually setting in. The pain was simply unbearable.
I was only too ignorant to notice something uglier was developing out of this.
The turning point was when my loving mother saw it wise to take me to a doctor and so we visited some private doctor. He did his examinations (how uncomfortable this was!) and then, Lo and Behold! I was diagnosed with full blown hemorrhoids.
What the hell was that? I was skeptical. I think I had only heard of ‘Fibroids’ before but not hemorrhoids!
The doctor prescribed some medications which were quite expensive but for the love of her daughter, mother sacrificed as much as she could to get them for me. I felt a little relief during the medication period but unfortunately, after the drugs were over, the nightmare was fully back.
On visiting the doctor again, he suggested a surgery. Wait! This doctor must have been out of his mind. I stared in disbelief for a couple of minutes.
That word rang a loud bell since in my mind, the words ‘theater’ and ‘surgery’ are the closest cousins of death. Maybe my belief got its roots from the fact that those three merciless words robbed me of the only dad God ever gave me.
Am yet to understand if dad was another victim of unhealthy lifestyle, or his death was just one of the ugly plans of fate.
As much as the doctor claimed it would just be a minor surgery, it still scared the wits out of me. I mean, a surgery is a surgery, whether minor or major.
I had been in the theater before for what had also been termed as a minor surgery and believe me it wasn’t minor per say. Who was going to risk her life in that deadly room again? Certainly not me! The thought alone was gut-wrenching.
I wasn’t for the idea of surgery and so, only heavens knew for how long I was going to be using suppositories and taking the boring tablets.
Before we left though, this doctor was generous enough to explain to us the causes of such frequent constipation that resulted to development of the anal swellings called hemorrhoids.
Sure enough, it was a lifestyle condition; a gastrointestinal disorder.
I was guilty as charged!
Never had I thought about these internal and cumulative effects of poor dieting since in my mind, the only effect was adding weight, and that bothered me the least as long as there were fitness clubs around me that I could join anytime.
My Recovery and Come-back.
After taking a daily dose of tablets and doing sitz baths for what seemed to be the longest month of my life with no significant improvement, I gave up!
Apparently, the only way I was going to heal myself was to change my dieting habits and my overall lifestyle.
Did I ever backslide?
Yes! I helplessly fell back into the open arms of junk food a number of times, but each time I just picked myself up, dusted and kept trying. The change of events wasn’t a walk in the park, it was a struggle!
Besides having new diet resolutions, I had to be more physically active.
I invested in gym membership at a nearby fitness club, Kilifi Health and Fitness Club. My very able trainer, Walter, helped me through the journey of keeping fit, toning down the excess fats I was carrying around, and adapting to a healthier diet.
Apart from the daily evening and sometimes morning gym sessions, swimming became my weekend routine.
Back on Track!
Two years down the line, I experienced no more constipations, and my hemorrhoids disappeared (mysteriously!) I didn’t even notice the healing process. All I know is that my diet and lifestyle resolutions became my savior.
Basically, I do regular gym at intervals of 2 months, but in between, I have my own in-house 30-minute workouts that I do on weekends and whenever I feel like my spirit needs a boost (makes me feel really good about myself)
Up to now, I honestly can NOT say I’ve become perfect at watching my diet, neither can I advise anyone to be a perfect eater. Occasional indulgence is allowed. The most important advice is to try to be a flexible eater who can easily adapt to his/her environment with less anxiety.
As much as you may want to maintain a healthy diet, it becomes destructive when you become too rigid and deprive yourself too much. ENJOY FOOD! Part of healthy eating is being ok with an imperfect diet at times.
The Birth of My Health and Fitness Blog.
After my experience (and my healing), I felt the need to sensitize someone so that they would not have the same ugly experience as mine.
I started coaching a small group of ladies on fitness, diet, and healthy lifestyle on a private platform which was quite successful. A number of them convinced me to take this to a more public level and that’s why I started this blog.
My goal on this blog is to help more people mend their broken relationships with food just like I did, keep fit and healthy lifestyle routine that is:-
- Sustainable/Budget friendly
- neither confusing
- nor overwhelming
I hope you get the best out of this blog and strive to be the best version of you each and every day.
Remember to LOVE YOURSELF, always!