The healthy hypochondriac seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? It sort of is I guess. If you’re healthy some people might wonder how you can be a hypochondriac. I’m not even sure myself so I can’t answer that question. I just know that I am.
I haven’t always been healthy…and I haven’t always been a hypochondriac. Let me break it down….
Most folks don’t realize that a hypochondriac isn’t complaining about a fake symptom. The symptoms are there…they’re real. Hypochondriacs are actually very in tune with the small changes in their bodies. The problem is that we don’t ignore a tiny pain behind our ear…or just assume that our leg hurts because we had to walk so many stairs yesterday. No, we immediately decide that we are dying and there’s nothing we can do about it. I can tell you that it is a horrible and stressful way to live. It pushes you away from friends, family and doing the things that you love. You stop making plans because what’s the point if you’re not going to be around in a few months or a year. Hypochondria robs you of joy and fun and life.
I wasn’t this way 5 years ago. I also wasn’t healthy. I have struggled off and on with weight issues almost my whole life. I’ve tried EVERY diet that has ever been written about, spoken about, or done. If you’ve heard of a diet I’ve tried it. I’ve lost weight and gained weight. I’ve done it all. So there I was, 5 years ago, not worried about a thing. I wasn’t dieting at the time because I had given that up years before. I was married, a mother, and I didn’t have a care for my health because I felt young and invincible. Then the bottom fell out. My job was downsized and I was let go. It was then that my health anxiety began. So not only was I stressed about no money and mouths to feed, I was worried that I had an incurable disease and was dying at the same time. This wasn’t a good time for my family.
I went on like that for 5 years. I got a new job, but that didn’t change my anxiety. I did holidays, birthdays, vacations… EVERY day of my life feeling like it was the last. It was exhausting and frustrating and awful. I saw a doctor and was prescribed anxiety medication and antidepressants. I hated taking pills and the side effects from them. I hated that I couldn’t control this myself. I felt weak, and powerless, and hopeless.
Then one night last year I ran across a blog written by a woman who had lost half of her body weight and achieved the best health of her life. And I had an epiphany. I can’t control if I’m going to get a life-threatening incurable disease… almost no one can. BUT… I CAN control the way I treat my body and health. I CAN control my weight and eat healthy. I CAN save myself from a myriad of other PREVENTABLE diseases by being in charge of my health! I saw a future that might be un-medicated and happy!
The very next day I signed up for my first Beachbody challenge group. I honestly wasn’t sure that it would even work. I was going to drink a healthy super-food powered shake every day. I was going to follow the 21 Day Fix workout program every day. I was going to eat clean and use color coded food prep containers every day. But if I’m honest with you I can say that I really didn’t think I would lose weight. I thought that at the most, I just wouldn’t be eating garbage all the time.
In the first 3 months I was able to lose 40pounds! I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t starving myself. There was no gimmicky crap diet. The workouts were insane and crazy hard to do. I was actually losing weight and taking control of my health! The power I felt from this was intoxicating! Everytime I stepped on a scale, I felt a feeling greater than the almighty sexy-gasm! I was drunk with the power I had over my own body. Nay, LIFE! I had spent so long feeling comepletely helpless that I was HIGH with the idea that I was helping to prolong my life and ensure that I was a healthy person! I was able to stop taking my medication and mostly control my anxiety with exercise and a healthy diet.*
I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times since then…what can I say, I’m human, but I’m chugging ahead on this journey. I started this blog for accountability and to maybe show other hypochondriacs that there is something you can do that isn’t inside of a pill bottle. I have bad days….anxiety days….but I know that I’m doing everything I can so that helps.
I hope you’ll check back and follow this journey. If you want to join me I hope you’ll message me so I can tell you how! I know how life changing it can be to take control of your health and I’d love to share that!
*I want to note that this was done under a doctor’s supervision. I realize that this is not what could or would work for everyone, but it worked for me. If you feel debilitating anxiety and are on medication for that do NOT stop taking your medication without the advice of your doctor.