Being Happy Begins with Being Healthy

31 Dec

It began with a headache.

The headache continued, which made me wonder as I had never experienced continuous heavy headache before.

It culminated in the following words by our family doctor:
“Nauval, you are reaching to hyper-tension level. Your blood pressure is now 140/90.”

There I was, lying down, stunned and lost for words. Deep down I screamed, “It’s always been 100 and not more!”
The doctor, who called me on nickname basis, who has been with me since I was born, further said in a matter-of-fact manner:
“It’s getting common now for people of your age.”

To me, that is a welcome sign to “hello, you are old now. Take care.”

How could I know how to take care of myself?
As I was overwhelmed with the verdict, my Dad offered his insight, “Probably the high blood pressure has been in you all along, but you never realize it because you kept working. Only now when you had some rest, it showed.”

Have I been plagued and carrying the ticking bomb all along?
And if it’s true that many of “my age” are having it, what have we done wrong?

As I strolled along streets of my hometown in its misty air, it dawned on me how we live dangerously, unknowingly.
I realized that as the long walk happened.
What excites me about going home is the chance for me to take a long walk in many of the city’s main streets without being interrupted by cars or other motoric vehicles.
Home is where I escape the immobility of Jakarta: we are stuck in meetings (sitting all the time), work and draft emails (also sitting), stuck in endless traffic jams (inside cab, car, bus, train), with hardly room to breathe and move.
Oh, please count out the fact that I am indeed sitting down writing this for your reading, because I just finished another session of long walk just now! 🙂

Add that with go-getter attitude of consuming whatever available nearby, perhaps we are planting our own bomb.

Like many of you, I make time for exercise. Or so I thought.
At least twice a week, I run and join cycling class. Everyday, I drink minimum 2 litre of water, in addition to hot green tea, at least 2 cups a day.
However, knowing that I do this regularly to be a habit, came the thought of, “stralah nek, makan apa aja, yuk mari. Ntar juga diganti ama olahraga. I can eat anything I want gitu!”

And so I did, along with occasionally breaking the habit as you can see from the immobility factors above.

Looking back the past year as I am writing the words we read above, a strange sense of gratefulness slowly comes in within.
For the past 30-odd years, next year is the very first year that I have a clear resolution, or what I’d like to say as a clear-headed goal: to be healthy.

Yes, nothing else substitutes the need to be in our utmost physical and mental being.
Especially I will be donning a traditional costume for my sister’s wedding in the middle of the year.
Oh I bet you know by now that having firm butts is the key to look good in Javanese fitting!

But beyond that, every opportunity to have a clear goal ahead of us is something to be grateful for.
Something worth taking, in fact.
Meeting Sophie after being her virtual friend for some time now assures me that I’ll be in good hands when it comes to changing diet, vegetable-wise.
I have asked favors from dear friends to remind me on the diet, no matter how hard it’ll be. Well, knowing them so dearly, I foresee the opposite, in fact: reminding them to remind me! Ahem.

Today, December 31st, is the day when we are usually overwhelmed with ideas and plans.
Some make us smile, others may bring us frowns.

And you know what?

I am scared right now.
Scared of saying goodbye to KFC, the joy of smelling sate ayam being grilled, and occasional sips of gin and tonic. Oh, no more chocolate martini!

Yet, looking back, I had good run with those.
As long as there are no drastic changes, I can still point you where the best ayam bakar is (hint: Ganthari, among many), and I firmly believe Kafe Pisa ice cream rocks way much better than Ragusa.

I had good time in those places, as I spent good time there with my favorite F-word in the world: friends.
If you all are reading this right now, well, time to change the gear, folks.
Hey, I put up with your marriages, parenthood, and all, now it’s time to pay me back: watch my diet.
Watch me, watch us, and we’ll have even more challenging time ahead.

Believe me, it’s gonna be fun!

And how do I know that?

Because at the end of next year, I am determined to write:

It all began with a headache. It ended with none.

Have a wonderful year ahead, you all! 🙂

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Posted by on 12/31/2011 in English, Personal


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