"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted- One moment. Would you capture it, or just let it slip?"
Usually rap is not what I would turn to for emotional support with my disease. However, I turn there all the time for rhythm support with my workouts, and today I was struck by how profoundly Eminem's intro connected with how I've been living.
Here's the dealio: I am lazy, and I love instant gratification. If I'm thirsty, it is mildly easier to open a can of coke than it is to put water, ice, and lemonade mix into a glass. If I want something sweet, taking a package of Little Debbie cakes out of the cabinet is faster than cutting up strawberries.
Also, I love cheese. (That's gonna make more sense in a second.)
So I've known I had RA for 6 years now, and have kinda sorta tried to eat right and exercise. Except when I'm tired. Or have a bad day. Or when there's cheese. Or Coca-Cola. I sort of fell off the wagon a lot.
But I decided a while ago to get my ass in gear and take care of my body, even if it wasn't doing a great job of taking care of me (yes, I'm looking at you, immune system.). So I started using an app called Noom, which helps you not only track your exercise and calorie intake, but breaks foods down into green, yellow, and red, forcing you to see that even if you met your caloric intake for the day, it does not mean you made good choices. It accounts for health problems, and encourages more frequent, smaller bursts of exercise instead of focusing on that one run, or a trip to the gym four days a week. It's meant to help change your whole mindset about you, your body, your food, and your activities.
And about a month into this, I went for my yearly with my PCP. That's when I found out I had high cholesterol. (damnit cheese, stop tasting so good and comforting!) Now I had no choice, there are no longer corners to cut. The grains must be whole, the sugars must be low, the saturated fats must be minimal, and the trans fats must be non existent.
Which means: no cheese. I mean, ok some cheese, but not enough cheese. No Thomas's everything bagels with chive and onion cream cheese. (oh wait, would that go under the cheese category?) And, virtually no soda. My beloved Coca-Cola... Ripped from my non grasping fingers...
Then I heard this intro to a song while working out, and everything just... Clicked. The song refers to Eminem's own struggle to reach his goal, but truly, it applies to us all.
Because our best quality of life is what we have got to focus on seizing! Sure, it might not be great every day, but if we don't put forth effort, it's never going to be great, any day. Capture this day, seize your healthiest body.
By eating well and exercising, I am keeping from letting my ultimate happiness slip by me. Eminem managed to put into full perspective the reason it is worth the sacrifice and the hard work if it means that my overall life will be better. It's cliche to say that your body is a temple, but this is -literally- our one shot to "make it". We don't get a second body to try again.
I think he also advocates for heavy drinking and drug use, but I'm not sure that's advise I'm ready to take yet, or give. I'll get back to you on that when the jury is in.