This is a picture of me and my sister Jen taken in (I'm guessing) 1975 or 1976. She turns 60 this coming year and I'll be 46 tomorrow. So we've grown up and moved on (she's living in Scotland now), and we don't talk as much as we used to, but we had a nice long conversation this afternoon. After making our way through various topics, she asked me how my health is. (I've come to love it when people ask. That's something new.) I told her that, to my surprise, I've been doing really well. Then she asked me if I ever have any trouble keeping to my diet and everything else that I'm doing? I had to think about that.
My ultimate answer? No trouble, really, but that's not to say that it isn't hard. And given how foodways work, it's particularly hard around the holidays. My "MS diet" (as we jokingly call it around our house) is pretty rigid, and it's not the kind of thing where I feel I can deviate even the slightest bit and still be following it. So I don't deviate. As in never.
And that pretty much goes for the other rigid plans I'm following: the vitamins (D especially), the rest, the approach to exercise and stress, the heat management. So just like I don't indulge in hot baths just for kicks, I don't indulge in the foods that are not on my food plan. I just don't.
And I'm not really sure how I do it. Up until about a year ago, I always described myself as someone without very strong will power. I'd say I'd have one beer and then I'd have two. And the same went with cookies and everything else that I really wanted to eat or do or indulge in. But now I simply don't. Before, I didn't have the fear of God in me. Now I do.
I guess a good way to explain it is that my actions are informed by the same dueling forces I talked about in a previous post: fear and hope. I fear what might happen if I deviated from the track that I'm on, and I hope that the track that I'm on has promise (which is why I stay on it).
May fear and hope, then, guide me into turning 46 and well through this holiday season.
(This is another pic of me and Jen; this time from 1980 and in Greece, where she was doing some kind of internship as an archeologist. She's led a pretty cool life!)