Fun Fact: I’ve lived in this body of mine for a grand total of 25 years this week.
That being said, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on what my body has done for me, and what I need to do for my body.
My body has put up with A LOT. I look back at high school, where I would put my body through vigorous two-a-day track practices. Never allowing myself an off season, lifting weights with terrible form, running, jumping, stress fractures, ruptured tendons, surgery and a bad diet that went unnoticed thanks to my high metabolism.
In college, I drank and ate like crazy, polluting my body with toxins. Alcohol, processed foods, stress, late nights and early mornings caused my body to respond with increased body fat and constant exhaustion.
While the added 20 pounds I put on in college was a huge wake up call for me, having always been slim and in shape, I still tend to put my body through a lot. Sure, I’m lifting consistently and eating well, but my travel schedule has to mess with this precious body of mine. In February alone I’ll be leaving the country three times in three weeks, ouch. I’ll cross the dateline into Asia and be in four different time zones in seven days. Yikes. Sounds stressful. How resilient are our bodies? I’m so thankful that at a young age I’ve learned to care for my body, and that the stress of travel can be counterbalanced with rest, relaxation and a healthy diet.
But at 25, having recovered from a major mosquito virus that affected my joints this year, I’m so aware of what else I have to put back into my body as I take it around the world and stress it out. I want to continue to eat well, fueling my body and giving it what it needs to recover. I’ve added a joint supplement to my daily routine to help me recover from Chick-v (the virus I acquired in Haiti this summer). I’ve also started consuming bone broth to help with my testy tummy and overall health. But there’s one other thing I’m going to do at 25, and it’s a BIG one. I’m going to get a mammogram. What? Yep. My mom had breast cancer, her best friend had breast cancer, so many of us have someone in our lives who’ve battled this. I want to be proactive, and while the idea of flattening my boobs like pancakes scares the crap out of me, I think it’s time.
I’m also going to start traveling with compression socks because the cankles I get on long flights scares the pants off of me. Whether or not that affects my body, I have no idea, but it brings me peace of mind to look down at my ankles after a long flight and recognize the joints that keep my feet and legs attached.