That is Mary Anne Blake. She has been practicing medicine for 27 years, and guess how long she has been my doctor? 27 years! She is an amazing person and doctor, and I love her with everything in me. She has been with me in some of the most difficult moments of my life, and she has celebrated some of the greatest joys of my life. Five years ago, she changed my life, and I want to take a minute to tell you about that!
I had asked my family doctor about my dizziness issues for a few years. I would get really faint and need a candy bar and coke to feel normal again. This had gone one for several years, and there seemed to be nothing wrong with me–he did blood tests every time I asked, with no problems showing. Five years ago, Dr. Mary Anne Blake heard my plea for help, left the room, and came back with two sheets of paper and a challenge: “You give me two weeks, and I’ll change your life.” I devoured the pages, as I practically memorized the foods listed. The list was based on the glycemic index of foods, and while some might have appeared to be healthy choices, I could see that their glycemic indexes made them deadly to me. And that was how I looked at it: Life or Death. I chose life that day and have spent the past five years educating myself to make the best food choices I can.
She’s right, she changed my life. Today, I still choose not to eat breads and sweets. Today, I am five pounds heavier than I’d personally like to be and 35 pounds later than the day she challenged me. As someone who was interested in health even as a teenager, my life today reflects my belief that we can choose to eat to live, take care of the incredible body we have been given, and spend the rest of our time living. I’ve come to believe that if the body is going to be healthy, it will need to be absent of many things.
There is no definite way of eating that is right for everyone, but as I have grown in my knowledge and understanding of many things health-related, I have adjusted my own eating habits. I will always believe that foods that have been highly processed (boxed foods, for instance) are absent of almost anything that would be good for a person’s body. I believe that food that is fresh and free of pesticides and genetic alterations are the best foods to sustain life. The rest, I’m still learning.
I have been so fortunate to have a family doctor who doesn’t totally disagree with my stand on health, he understands that I don’t think pills are the answer to every problem. I am so thankful for him. I have Dr. Blake who, along with her nurse Judy, continues to encourage me in making the best choices for my body. I have a family, and they choose to eat differently than I do, but I know they see the difference my choices have made for me, and I trust that one day they will embrace the same practices as a way to live healthier lives–when the time is right. I have made friends who share my passion for health–they encourage me. My own mother, at 78, embraces health care with many of the same ideals that I do. We have learned much together. I am incredibly thankful for her example of living without medications. Yes–78, no meds!
My life is not perfect health-wise; I have aches and knotted muscles; I love the practices of massage, reflexology and energy work. Our bodies are so much more interesting and involved than most of us imagine. I embrace all there is to help me be healthier and smarter about the human body and mind. I challenge you to do the same. My friends Gayle, Ginger, Gilda, Amber, Elizabeth, and Christina have been big parts of my journey–each in her own way. Most recently, I’ve discovered a cousin who is so wise in the area of mindfulness–and I’m soaking up all I can. Health is what it’s all about. There is nothing I don’t want to know.
Some people will say “Life is short. I am going to enjoy what I can, take whatever meds I need to fix my problems, and die happy.” Go ahead, I won’t fault you for a minute. Life is short, and you are not wrong in what you say. But for those who want to have vessels that are clean and ready for the challenges ahead…Open your eyes and challenge yourself today: What can you do to make a difference in your own health? Educate yourself, challenge yourself. This is your time to step out of your safety net and walk the highwire of health!
Susan…amazed by grace