You can’t outrun your genes, you’ve just got to wear them.
Genetics often play more of a role in our physical well-being than some might think. For me I learned that my genes and I aren’t quite compatible. I was 31 years old when I first began taking blood pressure medications. My doctors words were, “I think you must retain water.” Yep, let’s blame that. Not the poor lifestyle choices I was making. You know, fast food in my car in between home visits, my hatred of physical activity, or the insane amount of stress I was under. I was completely unhealthy. My weight has always been a struggle for me, whether it be water weight or pizza and wine weight, whether I was too thin or too plump...it was a struggle.
When I was younger I struggled with anorexia and when I became pregnant with my oldest child my relationship with food changed and I was able to regain some control over the foods I ate. Since the birth of my second child, I had fluctuated between being a size 10 and 14. Never truly satisfied with the size I was. After my hysterectomy in May of 2018, I battled with losing any weight as menopause and weight loss aren't entirely compatible, at least not for me. I began coming to peace with my new body and embracing the size I was. Sitting at an 11/12 and knowing I could easily lose 20 pounds to improve my overall health and increase my energy levels. But, I wasn't going to beat myself up anymore. I was going to give myself a break because I deserved it. That was the plan, at least until I went to see my doctor last month to discuss menopause and what a horrible human I was becoming (to my husband). During that visit she informed me I needed to go on a cholesterol medication. Me, 38 years old, deep into menopause, already battling high blood pressure and body image issues, and now cholesterol medications were being tossed at me. Damn. Her words were, "Clearly you aren't managing this on your own." Whoa, what happened to the "its just water retention?!" Now the gloves are coming off. She was letting me know I needed to make a change and take my health more seriously.
My mother and father both have high blood pressure and have taken cholesterol lowering medications. I joke that I am the one out of four children who got all of the bad genes from both parents. Almost like the movie Twins, I am the Danny Devito of the family. Chiari Malformation, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Endometriosis, Menopause in my 30's....awesome. What else does my biology have in store for me?
Despite the fact that I am genetically screwed and I have to wear these genes, I will not use it as an excuse and sit back and do nothing. I began the cholesterol medications and despite some achy joints I have responded quite well. The blood pressure can still creep up from time to time despite being on 3 medications, but my life is stressful and I have Chiari, which is likely to blame as well. So for now I am loading up on vitamins and pushing myself to drink half my body weight in ounces of water a day (there is water in coffee, that counts right?) and getting up and moving more often. I have to start somewhere. I may not have skinny genes but it doesn't mean one day I wont be able to wear some. Challenge accepted.