This post was originally written on February 1, 2015
Today, we are celebrating my husband’s 38th birthday. We have more reasons to celebrate his birthday now. This isn’t even because it fell on the same day as the Super Bowl. We celebrate his life because he almost left us shortly before his birthday last year. My husband, like me, is very cognizant about taking care of himself. He is an Exercise Physiologist and he married me, a Registered Dietitian. People have called us the “healthy couple” because of our lifestyles and our chosen careers. We both care about what we put into our bodies, and we are both very active.
On November 30 of 2013, Ricky had a major heart attack. He left us for 90 seconds before his medical team brought him back. It shocked everyone that knows him, knows us, and knows of our lifestyle which we are passionate about.
He was unfortunately affected by his genes, but his lifestyle helped save him. We give glory to God–it was not Ricky’s time to go, and he spared me of sorrow. His cardiologist said his consistency with cardiovascular exercise helped his blocked arteries form natural “bypasses” (or collateral). This is usually only seen in people of more advanced age. The blocked arteries were inserted with stents to open them back up. One year later, they checked everything and said there was no progression of the disease.
We are very grateful to God that he is here with us. Every birthday since the event is even more of a celebration. He continues to take care of himself the best way that he can. He still exercises regularly. He eats foods that support keeping his arteries open and clear. He chooses lean protein from plants or lean meats such as fish, chicken, and turkey. He loves foods that grow from the earth–fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. In addition to keeping him healthy, he feels better eating this way. Most of the time, we make meals from scratch so that we have control over what goes into our food. Our eating habits sound very basic and what you may commonly hear or read about, but it is what we live by.
The key to taking care of yourself is being consistent, and having self compassion along the way. Don’t let setbacks stop you on your tracks–use them as a learning experience. When you are tempted to abandon self care habits, think of your loved ones. Taking care of yourself is not just for you to feel better, but also for your loved ones. I am so grateful that Ricky chooses to take care of himself. Consider every healthy habit as an act of love–love for yourself, and love for those who love you. Treat your body like you love it!
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