Friday, July 2, 2010
Successful, Healthy Me
When I read the book that started me eating vegan food, The Kind Diet, I read about people who experienced amazing health changes in their lives. I also posted a couple of days ago with links to some more "success stories". I was reading a blog with another such story just yesterday. Underneath the story, one of the comments posted was from a lady who was a little sad that she didn't seem to have experienced any major health changes once switching to a vegan diet. I gathered from the nature of her post that she also didn't have any health challenges before changing her diet. When one already seems healthy, a switch in diet maybe won't do anything profound, but it is possible that you might miss what does happen because it is small or maybe you weren't paying enough attention to that kind of thing. I find that a lot of time, the bad things are much more noticeable than the good. You are likely going to remember the day you threw up and felt like you were going to die as opposed to the day you just felt really great.
My first thought when I read the comment was, "oh, me neither". Now that I have had a day to process that thought, I feel a little differently. This morning I went for a run for the first time in two years. I often will start running every year around June, do it 5-10 times and then quit until the next June. I have had asthma since I was 12 years old. I have always needed an inhaler every time I exercise (and when I am exposed to allergens and sometimes in cold weather, but otherwise I don't need it very often). Today I didn't need my inhaler. I have always developed an extremely red and flushed face every time I exercise. I returned from my run to day to find that I was slightly pink in some very minor areas of my face, and otherwise I looked completely normal! The first time I go out running for the year, I can usually only make it once around the track and then I walk once around, and I continue alternating walking and running for about 8 times around the track in total. The second time I go running I can make it 2 times around and then one walking, making it about 9 times around the track. However, I have always felt like my legs were going to fall off and like I might get nauseous if I didn't stop. I really had to push myself to keep going. Today I did two and a half times around the track with then a half track of walking (x2). I never once felt like I had to push myself. I did not feel nauseous at all the entire time. I can't imagine how good it might feel the second time out! I definitely could have gone longer but I didn't have the time.
While I was running, I was thinking about all these things and I realized a few more. For about the past year or so, I have been waking up in the middle of the night coughing uncontrollably and gasping for air. It is really awful and scary. I asked a couple doctors about it and they thought it was acid creeping up to my lungs from my stomach while I was lying down (basically glorified heartburn). It was probably happening about 3-5 times a month. I have been eating almost entirely vegan for 6 weeks (?) and this has not happened once. I also realized that I have not used my inhaler once since I changed my diet.
I am feeling like I have a success story afterall. Yay me.