Friday, March 18, 2011

Tales of An Enterprise Rent-A-Body

"You treat your body like a rental car," my ex-boyfriend told me that Sunday evening in late July 2005. He had returned from a weekend business trip to find me drunk and sunburnt after partying all day at the apartment complex pool.  Moreover, I was 100 pounds overweight, eating all the wrong foods and getting limited exercise.  Looking back now, I can see that my body had more than just a few fender-benders. It needed to go to a repair shop... badly. 

When we think about our health, the obvious factors that come to mind are diet and fitness.  But there's so much more to "taking care of yourself" than just eating fruits and veggies and hitting the gym. Oftentimes we get so caught up managing our waistlines that we forget about the other 90% of our bodies.  Here are a few health matters that sometimes can fall by the wayside:

1. Oral health:  I recently had my six-month cleaning and the dentist told me I should be on the cover of Teeth magazine.  Okay so that didn't actually happen, but it might as well have--my teeth and gums are in excellent health.  It hasn't always been that way though.  I used to begrudgingly go in for my cleanings, always getting a lecture on flossing more.  Now that my teeth are in as good of health as the rest of me, I want to keep them that way.  If you aren't getting your cleanings regularly, might I suggest that you make an appointment before your need dentures?

2. Reproductive health:  A few years ago, I had my first abnormal pap smear. My doctor showed me a chart where "1" was no big deal and "5" was full-blown cervical cancer.  Then she told me that I was at a 3.  The possibility of my condition growing into cancer frightened the bejeezus out of me, but I took comfort in knowing that my doctors caught it early and were doing everything they could to make sure that it didn't get any worse.  After two years of yucky tests and procedures, I've had clean paps for over a year now.  But after that little scare, I wouldn't dream of missing my yearly appointment.

3. Internal health:  Aside from the OB/GYN, when's the last time you've been to a regular doctor?  If it has been more than a few years, congratulations, you're healthy!  Great, now make an appointment.  "But why?" you may ask.  Because the time to start doctor-shopping is not when you are already sick.  Do some research, and find a doctor that you like now while you're well and not when you are vomiting into the trash can in the waiting room.  You'll thank yourself later.

4. Mental Health:  I think women, especially, tend to spend so much time taking care of everyone else in our lives that we neglect taking time out for ourselves.  When I was particularly stressed out as a teenager, my mom would call in sick to school for me, and declare a "Mental Health Day."  We'd go shopping, or to the salon, or just stay home and watch movies.  What I missed in chemistry class those days has never affected me adversely (since I'm not now nor will ever be a chemist) and it's probably a contributing factor to why I'm not a total basket case today.  Thanks, Mom.

Today, while I still have a few areas that need improvement (my skin and my hair could still use more attention), I try to treat my body more like a sleek new BMW that I just drove off the lot than the battered up hatchback I used to tool around in.  While the rental car got me from point A to point B, I decided it was about time for an upgrade. Why?  Because I'm worth it.

1 comment:

mthorn2000 said...

Aaahhh, but the chemistry that takes place inside the human body is the most complex and intersting of all. So, in fact we are all doing chemistry - just some of us get paid for it :)