Tips to Live Longer that I Learned from Almost Dying

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Ever think you might want to live longer than the national average life expectancy? It’s 79 years old, by the way. That doesn’t work for me. I’m aiming for 103. Life goals people. I want to live longer, bolder and fiercer. I want every moment to be packed full of living.

There are very few things that can get me to change my entire life. My children are the reason I want to live longer but other than that, I’m a creature of habit and not all of those habits are good ones. I mean, I’m not smoking crack or anything but I’ve been known to say (on more than one occasion) that I’d rather work out for 3 hours than give up my carbs and I meant it, every single time.

The thing is sometimes those things are taken out of your hands and your only option is to give up the proverbial carbs, or in my case, the literal carbs. That’s what happened to me. Can you say morbidly obese, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetic and anemic? Yeah, that will make you change your, “I’d rather workout for 3 hours than give up my carbs” mantra really quick. I thought I was special.

It reminded me that time is fleeting and I want to live longer… a lot longer.

Well, not really special but I thought, it can wait. Like you, I’ve always been the kind of mom who puts my kids first sometimes to my own detriment. It’s just I want them to fondly remember me as the best.mom.ever.

I don’t pretend that we are friends. They hate my guts sometimes because I am “so mean” because I make them do things like eat vegetables and get their homework done. There will be plenty of time for bonding like friends when they are grown. Right now, my mission is to love them, keep them safe and raise good human beings so sometimes I have to be unpopular. Eye rolls be damned. Besides, I know they love me because they hug me while they are rolling their eyes.

Anyways, back to me, because I am embracing this new “selfish mom” era of motherhood. I had an incident recently, that I truly thought was a heart attack. Went to the doctor with 187/107 blood pressure. Was literally freaking out. Suddenly, no carbs in exchange for my not-quite midlife sounded pretty damn good. I was beyond bargaining and was begging the universe to let me have another chance.

Are you there God, it’s me Deborah and I’m going to need to live longer!

Well, after lots of tests, I found out that I did not have a heart attack. Thank Goodness. But everything else I’d feared was right there in my chart confirming my suspicions, I had been ignoring my own health for way too long.

Eating cold food on the run or late at night after everyone else is taken care of is not good for you. Never taking the time to work out to lose the baby weight (for 11 years) because you are too busy rushing kids to their sports, definitely not good for you. Never looking at labels because you know what’s good for you, surprisingly not good for you. Eating out…so terrible for you. But I live in the real world and I want to keep doing so. So, I’m changing all of my bad habits with the hope of being able to live longer.

Here’s how I am making little changes that will help me live longer and be healthier.

Shaking my bootie

I’ve started at the bare bones. I’m moving. No, not across the country to a weight loss commune. I’m moving my body, morbidly obese as it may be. I, like you, don’t have a lot of extra time in my day so I am designating 30-45 minutes a day where I dance all over my house with the music blaring. I know I dance like Sam Rockwell but I don’t care I am moving. It makes me happy and it feels good.

A couple other things, I’ve gotten myself a Lotus desk stand so that I will no longer be sitting all day. In fact, I’ll probably be dancing at my desk. I’m probably dancing right now. Another thing, I’m walking. Why sit or stand when you can walk. Park further away, take the stairs, just do it.

Writing stuff down

Also, like I told my mother (who was not amused at all) thanks to my past history with eating disorders, I am a dynamite list maker and a pretty damn restrictor. I’ve channeled that into something good, I am logging all of my food into my phone and then I am keeping an actual list of all the calories, carbs, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber that I am getting. Sounds daunting right? You know what’s even more daunting, being dead. Missing my girls grow up, so lists it is!

Making better choices

I am making informed decisions about what I put into my body. I have my guidelines and I am following them. I do believe everything in moderation so if I can fit what I am craving within the parameters of what I am allowed to have on that day, then I have it. I’m eating cleaner with lots more fresh fruits and veggies, no red meat, lots of lean meat and being very aware of the dairy I put into my body and only eating whole grains. Yes, it is an adjustment. My family is ready to murder me in my sleep for all the sneaky veggies that I’ve been feeding them. My daughter was not amused when she found out that her popcorn chicken was actually baked cauliflower with honey garlic sauce. She thought it was amazing until her sister ratted me out.

Letting it Go

Last but not least, I am letting stuff go. I am a long-time, Type-A perfectionist. I have doctor verified control issues but I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to issues that bother me. I can’t let anything go. I’m a fighter but with that comes stress and worry, which are two pointless emotions. They serve no purpose other than to make your situation worse so I’m stepping back, counting to 10 and recognizing my limits. If kids don’t get their homework done, I can’t stay up until 3 a.m. finishing. If the house can’t be perfect, so be it. I can’t make everyone happy. If you are someone who stresses me out, I’m probably not going to be answering the phone or interacting anytime soon.

I want to surround myself with positivity. That’s it. I want to live and I want to be healthy so I have to make it happen. I have to be selfish so that I can be around to be a good wife and mother. My dreams will never come true if I’m dead so I am embracing my new lifestyle.

It’s only been 11 days but I’ve lost 11 pounds and I feel better than I have in ages. This change is not only good for my mind and body, it’s good for my soul. I can see things more clearly when my mind is still and I can focus. So this is me becoming the best version of myself.

Since beginning this journey, I have found a lot of great family-friendly healthy recipes and discovered new and exciting ways to be active at home, with your family or by yourself and I will be sharing them all here along the way. It’s not as hard as I thought, with the right motivation.

What are you doing to live longer so that you can see your little ones grow up and you can grow old with your special someone?

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Comments (14)

This is a great reminder that we do need to take care of ourselves. IF we are not healthy how are we able to help the rest of the family. I am actually doing similar things that you are doing! I am hoping to get a lot more healthy.

Sometimes it takes a big scare like that to get you on the road to being healthy. I’m glad to hear you’re on your way to being a healthier you!

I’m glad to hear you’re okay. It’s actually a blessing that you had such a scare I suppose. It got you on track to a healthier life.

I need to get better at shaking my booty. I need to get out of the house on days I don’t work. Great reminders and great post!!

I have been making a lot of changes to get healthy. It is so important to take care of myself so I can be my best for my family.

I have been through some serious medical scares this past year as well and it has inspired me to change my ways. Mine was due to an autoimmune disease that almost killed me so it wasn’t necessarily lifestyle changes that caused the issues but it did inspire me to live everyday to the fullest after spending 2 months in the hospital and almost dying.

I love your attitude and how you are embracing life and keeping negative away. It’s a great thing to be in control of all of that. Keep this up!

I have been dealing with some health issues myself and it has had me to re-evaluate what I deem is important in my life. I am glad that you were able to make the hanges you needed.

I used to read labels all the time and then I got lazy. Then recently I started up again and I forgot how much company lie on the front of packages. You really gotta look at ingredients because a lot of times on the front of the package it is all lies.

Most of us would wait for a big scare like that before we take care of our health. And more often, it is already too late.

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It’s so important to take care of ourselves, especially with all the energy and health we need to take care of our families. I would love to live as old as my grandparents were when they passed away (77 and 78). Thanks for sharing.

These are some great tips! It’s so important to take the time to really focus on what matters, and what will keep us going and living and loving life. Great post!

Marielle Altenor

Love this! I just wish it doesn’t take use getting so sick to the point of almost dying for us to take better care of our body. There’s a lot of bad habits that are hurting my health and I need to change that.

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