May 6, 2020
Happy Wednesday! Yeah baby, half way through the work week, although, anyone else feeling like their weekdays look like their weekends, and vice versa? If that is the case, then EXCELLENT! And, I say that now more than ever because this is one of the foundations of how I coach clients in the realm of lifestyle and behavioral change. To find out more, check out the health and wellness company I co-own in Baltimore, 2 Health Nuts!
You know that feeling of being "super strict" with your nutrition and exercise during the week, and, mentally, "good" for 5 days that, come Friday, willpower goes down, time to TREAT yourself for all the bland chicken and broccoli on top of 2+ hours in the gym, AND, before you know it, you are head first into the chips, candy, polished off 1/2 a pizza, cheeseburger, French fries, etc. You name it, all those fun foods are now fair game! And, you better eat them ALL in the course of 2 days BECAUSE, come Monday, guilt, dread, and feelings of being "weak" and "bad" take over, and the vicious cycle starts all over.
Relatable? Wouldn't it feel a whole lot better enjoying those fun foods over the course of the week than over 2 days? If this kind of coaching excites or interests you, reach out to me and we can continue the conversation. Link is above but you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, a lifestyle is FOREVER - one that has ebbs, flows, and even pandemics. And this is where I want to focus my thoughts on today.
Let me start by prefacing, reminding, WHATEVER, that I am by no means a doctor by any stretch of the imagination. What I share here, on my blog, are my thoughts and opinions ONLY. I welcome the conversation but I kindly ask you respect what I write and I will, absolutely, do the same in return. Today's post is not about science, or what I am hearing or seeing in the media, BUT it is coming from my own beliefs and education as a health & wellness professional. While I can tell you that I hold a B.S. in Exercise Science, as well as 4 other certifications, right now, I want that off the table.
Last Wednesday, I had a really amazing appointment with my holistic doctor with whom I, hope, to collaborate with in the future. This woman is f-ing brilliant; talk about needing to "level up" when having a conversation (although she never makes you feel that way) and when reading her emails, blogs, etc. After our discussion last week, and reading her latest blog post - yes, it was a few times reading it and digesting it too - I came to the conclusion that, on some level, we have the same belief when it comes to CoVid-19.
Over the past 2 months, I have touched on the virus here and there in my posts - more about "anyone else ready to get back to hair appointments, manicures/pedicures, Brazilian waxings, date night, cocktail parties, etc." - but that is it. I don't find this is my platform to speak on it because a - there is a whole lot of "stuff" being thrown at you about "what it is," "where it came from," the number of cases, flattening the curve, etc. and b - I want my social media to be an escape from all of this! We hear about it enough; is it out of the realm for me to say we are all over it? With all due respect, we are ready to still practice safety, social distancing, and take precaution when it comes to the health and well-being of ourselves and others, but it's time. Anyone else feel like a caged animal?
Within the last 2-3 weeks, I had been hearing about the CoVid-19 Antibody Test becoming available. I even have a couple clients who were sharing that it may be a mandatory protocol if/when they go back to their respective offices. I can, honestly, say I did not give this much thought nor was obsessing over getting it either. I feel like I could have sold the script I was written for millions of dollars. Just kidding!
At the beginning of our telehealth appointment last week, my doctor shared how the ability for her to write the labwork script had just become available and would I be interested. Not only was she curious to see the results with her patients, especially those who travel internationally, but she thought it would be good information for me to know, in general, as well as for my profession as a health & wellness coach. So, I said, sure, why not? And I will come back to this.
Back in early March, when all of this was coming to fruition, I remember being in the company of some clients who were just OBSESSED with the thought of CoVid-19. I mean, could not stop talking about it, hoarding, "omgosh, what if I had/have the virus and am a carrier," sharing that basically they are social distancing and no one else around them is doing so, "Janine, you have no clue; be prepared for the worst," "I don't intend to go back to work or my kids go back to school," and on, and on, and on. I remember walking away from appointments - headache and head spinning - saying "either I am way too calm about this OR, for privacy, 'Jane Smith' is going to totally talk herself right into being infected."
Hysteria. A word that I have used from the beginning; a word that you are hearing in the media; and one that my holistic doctor absolutely agreed with too.
By definition, it means two things -
i. exaggerated or uncontrollable emotional or excitement
ii. a psychological disorder whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms, selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.
If I had to pick one word out of both definitions, it would be STRESS.
WHAT IS STRESS, beyond us saying on a daily basis "I am so stressed!?" It's the body's natural defense against harmful situations. Interesting to read that when we are finding ourselves stressed about throwing a party, the Holiday's, an upcoming Wedding, etc. There are 2 different kinds of stress - eustress and distress. The examples I just gave fall in the category of positive stress or "eustress."
The one that causes physical symptoms, and is quite negative on our health, is distress. Examples include depression, anxiety, autoimmune disease, heart disease, weight gain or loss, digestive & reproductive issues, physical pain, and the list can get lengthy.
Now let's talk about STRESS and how it affects our immune system. While not all of the above I shared are directly correlated, a majority of them are in the driver's seat when it comes to weakening our immune system. And what does the immune system do?
It protects your body from viruses and bacteria.
WAIT, isn't CoVid-19 a virus?
Please know, I completely understand, and acknowledge, this is a real thing. I know there are individuals with compromised immune systems, prior to the hysteria, who have been at a much bigger risk from the gecko, and my goodness the media does not help at all! It breaks my heart to hear about all of these individuals who are fighting for their lives or have lost their life due to this pandemic.
My point in sharing all of this is to remember that, beyond the virus, this is coming down to the health & wellness of each one of us - individually, as a community, and as a society. Do what you can to take care of yourself & your family. Continue to social distance, wash your hands regularly, and do a little self care. Yoga, meditation, leisurely walking, and then some, all work wonders for lowering stress.
Are these absolute preventative measures? Not at all BUT I want you to focus on getting out of your own way- and out of your own head - and just try to stay positive. Just try to keep calm & carry on. Yes, easier said than done, but let's get this stressor off your plate. Believe me, I am one to talk when it comes to stress. We all have too much and, while this may seem like the icing on the cake, it does not have to be that way!
As for my test results? I did test NEGATIVE; I do not have the antibodies and have not been exposed/infected to CoVid-19. There is a definite "catch 22" with the results. On one hand "YAY for not being infected and NAY for not having the antibodies."
For those who do not TRUST the process, and want to CONTROL everything and anything, having a positive test would have been more favorable (in their eyes). Basically, okay, I do not have to worry about being infected. I am "immune." Take that off my plate. Not so fast. The jury is still out on that one. Possible immunity, yes, but that is still not a fact or has been fully proven.
Honestly, I was going to be fine either way. Am I happy/relieved? I am indifferent. What I am the most happy/relieved about is that I would not have exposed anyone that I had come in contact with beyond the shelter in place set forth 8 weeks ago. You are hearing cases of people possibly having had this months ago! Listen, I was one of those who was really sick the beginning of January - a LOT of the same symptoms patients are showing - so this was always in the back of my mind! I traveled to California in December, Park City in January, and was in St. Maarten for 2 weeks in February. Anything could have "happened."
I did ask my doctor if it is necessary for me to get tested on the regular. Her response - not necessary. This virus is, likely, going to mutate and, therefore, no way for the anitbody tests to keep up at this time. With anything though, time will tell though.
And, as for the vaccine they are looking to roll out by the end of the year? Great! Is it for me? Probably not. I don't even believe in the flu shot! Why would I get an unknown vaccine? I would much rather take the necessary steps - from a health perspective - to keep my immune system in check, and to build up the virus immunity, naturally. Could my mind change on this? Sure, especially if it were to become mandatory for my job BUT for right now I need to do what feels the best for ME.
One more time, remember, these are just my opinions! Do what is best for YOU, YOUR FAMILY, and YOUR COMMUNITY!
Phew! Go grab another coffee - if you are reading this in the morning - or another glass of wine or libation of choice if this material has become part of your Happy Hour. Regardless, I thank you so much for reading! :)
I hope today is nothing less than FANTASTIC, and I hope you are not in too much of a Cinco de Mayo hangover!
Chat soon! Stay healthy & safe!
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