NOT TAKING MY HEALTH FOR GRANTED

Do you ever reach a point where you realize your health isn't as robust as you'd always assumed?

BEING A HAPPY HEALTHY PERSON

All of my life I've been basically healthy. I've been to hospital three times in total - two to have my babies and once to have my shoulder stabilized, 10 years ago. I've always taken my health for granted and I've done very little to stay in a state of general well-being - other than to make healthy choices most of the time and to get on with living and enjoying life in general. All in all I just cruised along and took my lack of illness (I didn't even get a cold most years) for granted.

A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE

For all the great aspects of this age and stage, Midlife still brings with it some reminders that we're not as young as we used to be. First it was the little, incrimental weight increases, then it was the aches and pains in the joints - not to mention the creaking knees! There were were the little skin spots that needed to be removed. All small potatoes and easy to ignore.

But....the last few months have brought about a change for me. Midlife and womanhood have caught up with me and I'm not my usual chirpy self. I'm not going to go into the "joys" of what's been happening to my internal workings, but suffice it to say that I ended up at my GP in February and proceeded down the path of blood tests and an ultrasound.

From there I found myself with a prescription for iron tablets (my iron levels had bottomed out), a referral to a specialist, and a hospital date. There was an operation and then an unpleasant post-op recovery (not mentioned in the handouts!) I was tired, and grumpy and not myself and I HATED it! I'm not exactly adventure on two legs, but this person who was sitting around feeling lacklustre and weary and gripey and pathetic was NOT me! I know it could be so much worse, it's not cancer, it's not life threatening, it's not hugely debilitating - but it was still sucking me dry - and wasn't fun at all.

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." - Fannie Lou Hamer

WHERE TO NEXT?

I've made assumptions with each doctor's visit and each test, that they'd be the last, that they'd have an easy fix and I'd be right as rain again. Man, I was wrong! I went from looking for a quick and easy solution to ending up in a hospital bed - and my upbeat, positive, it'll-be-fine-this-time, attitude slowly seeped out the door. I phoned my specialist after an awful weekend post-op, and he put me back in hospital for another operation - exactly one week after the first one! Another GA, another invasive procedure, and hopefully the beginning of a turn for the better.

OLD LADIES

I just want to be well again - my sister-in-law and I commented over our cuppa the other day that we'd become old ladies who discuss their ailments all the time. When did that happen? When did I become an ailing old lady? How do I get "Me" back again? How do I become happy and fun "Me" instead of tired and spaced out "Me"? I'm eternally grateful for modern medicine and our health system in Australia, but I also still want the magic bullet so I feel well again. I am sooooo sick of being sick - and tired of being tired! 

Hopefully by my end of the month round-up post I'll have something to talk about over coffee other than my problems. Hopefully the magic cure will have taken place - or at least I'll be on the way to feeling better - stay tuned (and sorry for the whinge - I'm definitely becoming an old lady!)

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you feeling on top of your game, or is Midlife throwing you a curved ball or two? Do you wake up with a spring in your step or is your pep a bit low at the moment? Got any tips for me on how to get the zippity back into my doo dah?


Do you ever reach a point where you realize your health isn't as robust as you'd always assumed?

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68 comments

  1. Leeanne, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Feeling crappy is the worst. We've had our share of the "downs" over the last 5 years, and my stroke added to it all. I think I understand how you feel, somewhat. I have really worked to put things in my home that I love, surrounding myself with things that make me happy. They don't cost much, but they give me a boost when I see them. Helping to refocus on the good and the happy. I hope that you are feeling more like yourself soon.

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    1. Thanks Nikki - it's so NOT like me to be sick and sorry for myself. I think I'm turning the corner but it certainly made me more aware of people who deal with this sort of stuff all the time - doctor's appointments and hospitals are not fun!

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  2. Hi, Leanne - I am so sorry to read about your health troubles. Sending you warm get-well vibes across the miles. Thinking of you.

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    1. Thanks Donna - it's been lovely hearing well wishes from people - good old FB comes into its own sometimes when you have a crisis situation (and it's easier than sending flowers!)

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  3. I have cancer and it’s a total pain in the A. I spend my life ferrying to hospital appointments while trying to control our family life with six kids. You can never take your health for granted. I wish I had mine. Hope you are on the mend.

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    1. I am SO sorry to hear that - the main thing I console myself with through all this is that it will eventually pass and it isn't life threatening. I really hope you are in remission soon and can move past this awful time - to be doing with six kids in tow is truly awesome!

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  4. After a few years of minor but persistent health stuff, I'm trying to relearn what healthy feels like. Fingers crossed for a continued recovery for you.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa - we take our health for granted for so long and then BAM it hits us out of the blue and we realize how fortunate we were. I'm looking forward to feeling well again - to be upbeat and not tired will be lovely.

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  5. You've certainly had a rough time Leanne so the important thing is to give yourself time to recover physically and mentally. Yes, we are getting older but I know you will feel much better in the not too distant future. Just take care of yourself and all else will fall into place xx

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    1. You are so right Sue - it's really just a bump in the road isn't it? I figure I should be back on top of my game in another few weeks - just need a bit more iron in my system and my hair might stop falling out and I might get a bit of colour in my cheeks again!

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  6. OH Leanne, I'm so sorry for all you've been through. The back to back anaesthetics are the pits too. I went through a year like this last year and at times felt as if I'd become old and useless, just like you're describing. But you know what? I have my energy and mojo back and I'm racing along as before. So there IS life after "old age phases". And technically, I AM old. Way older than you. So hang in there my friend. Life will return! https://shirleycorder.com/thankful-thursday-week-10/

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    1. I'm crossing my fingers that I'm on the home straight now Shirley - I feel better in myself - just need to get my iron levels up and recover from the GA's and hopefully I'll start feeling my mojo is back.

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  7. I just turned 60 last month and have experienced the same symptoms as you have for a long time . Currently I am in the US ( far removed from my home country India) and find that all my aches and pains have gone. I’m not tired any more and am feeling energised . So I would suggest a complete change of scene for a while .....

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    1. I don't think I'll be moving countries any time soon but you're probably right about taking a bit of a break and feeling a little bit less stressed. I'll have to work on a week away in the not too distant future I think :)

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  8. I've been hit with post-menopausal issues. My next Dr. visit will be to plan a procedure to hopefully fix the issue. This is after already ending 2017 with shoulder surgery and I'm still in Physical Therapy for that. Aargh.

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    1. I know what you mean Jennifer - it's like a perfect storm isn't it? You put one thing behind you and another one pops up. I thought I'd sail thru this menopause gig but my body obviously thought it would have the last hurrah and throw me a curve ball - bummer! Hope your next procedure is the end of it for you too x

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  9. While there's certainly much to commend midlife, the unwanted and often unexpected "female" health issues can definitely put a damper on things. Praying you feel much better soon Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks Sue - it certainly threw me for a loop - I just never expected to be lying around like a dying swan when I should be out having fun. Hopefully it's only a small hurdle and then I'll be up and running full steam ahead again.

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  10. Oh boy!! This reminds me of myself 10 months ago as I used to think so too. I was smug about my good health and perhaps gloated over it a little too soon. I went through a horrific bout of aches and pains, weight gain, lethargy and water retention which all turned into 6 specialists being visted by me! At the end of it, I am now limping back to my fitter self but the journey is slow and ardous. I am also in the club of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Hopefully this will all even out soonest and I will be back to my chirpy self.
    I feel for you Leanne as I can just imagine what you are going throught; just take it easy and be easy on yourself too. It takes more than a while to get back but the good news is one does get back.

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    1. It sounds like I'm certainly not alone in this Shalz - and SIX specialists - you make my situation look like a walk in the park! Still, it's not a fun journey to have to take and I think we'll both be looking forward to feeling fitter and happier in the days and months ahead.

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  11. A friend of mine who sadly isn't with us anymore used to tell me that "old age ain't for sissies." It's so true!!! I hope you recover your old energy soon.

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    1. Thanks Lori - I have been having the same conversations lately about a) being a woman and b) getting older - neither would have been an issue a few months ago, so hopefully they'll become less of a big deal in the months ahead!

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  12. I hope you will be feeling better soon! We all take our good health for granted, if that is comforting. When I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer I actually questioned the diagnosis saying I was too busy and fit and young to have cancer! What a priss I was but luckily my doctor had heard it all before. Feeling let down by your body and suddenly it becoming the boss of you really sucks but hopefully you will bounce back to the new you soon!

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    1. Thanks Haralee - I can imagine you telling the doctor that you were too busy for a cancer diagnosis - I think I'd be saying the same thing. The good part of this is that it all happened so quickly once it was in progress, so I haven't really had time to mope too much - and hopefully I'll start feeling brighter soon and it will all be a dim memory.

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  13. Leanne, So sorry to hear you're feeling down - physically and emotionally. Take time to be kind to yourself. I truly believe that your positive nature and feeling healthy will return in time. Maybe not as quick as you'd like...I'm feeling a similar frustration with slow return to feeling like myself.

    Also, I'm beginning to realize my new normal (physically) will be different. I'm trying to tell myself it's not "worse", just different! A bit slower & less flexible (more joint pain), a bit different body image.... but alive. And that new normal will be healthy. Different, but healthy.

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    1. It is a new normal isn't it Pat? We seem to think we still have our 30 year old bodies and I guess they're wearing out a bit around the edges. I've certainly noticed the weight creeping on, the aches and pains, and now this - a bit of a wake up call for me I think.

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  14. I was doing really well till 60. Now . . . yikes!

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    1. I haven't even achieved 60 yet Diane - obviously I'm very advanced for my age :)

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  15. So sorry Leanne..we just aint what we used to be....but we need to make the best of it! And every day we wake up...is a good day! Hope you are back to being you again soon...And my friends and I talk about this at our monthly lunches and I tell them we can't sit there and talk about their ailments anymore...

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    1. It was funny when we realized we'd been sitting there swapping who was suffering the most stories over our coffee Renee. And you're right, it's not life and death, it's just niggling and annoying and when you get run down you feel sorry for yourself - hopefully it will be behind me before too much longer.

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  16. Leanne, So sorry to hear of your medical challenges. Hope you feel better soon. Time heals many things. I'm sure it will help you too.

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    1. That's what I'm counting on Laurie - I figure good treatment + a bit of time to get over it all and I'll be back to normal again soon x

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  17. Wow I totally can feel your pain. Being 60 this year I too was not in a good place and decided to chamge things. I wasnt sure how to fix my sluggish tired body but a friend put me onto cellular nutrition.
    Fast forward 5 months and not only have I lost extra weight I got my zing back. Sometimes it can be just good nutrition that gets our bodies back in tune. I wish you a speedy recovery

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    1. In my case it took two ops and probably some sort of long term hormonal treatment to get me back up to speed Jennifer, but you're right about good nutrition being a focus to keep our bodies functioning as well as possible.

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  18. I've noticed a bit of decline in my health this past year as well, and so has my husband. Sometimes it is hard to stay positive. I hope you recover soon and are back on your feet. Take care!

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    1. Thanks Marcia - I think age has a tendency to catch up with all of us - fortunately we still have time to recover and get some more living done before the really serious side of aging starts to kick in.

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  19. Well that sounds like crap, particularly having to go back for a second round! I hope you recover your mojo soon and can get on with enjoying life.

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    1. Yes I wasn't thrilled when the first op made me worse - at least the second one seems to have done the trick and hopefully it will be the turning point to getting back on top of things.

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  20. Goodness me you have been having FUN (not). I think taking our health for granted and/or doing all we can to stay well is a very typical human reaction until....for instance what happened to you. I know you are not disclosing what is up with your health but let me say, just between you and me, that a hysterectomy turned my life around for the better 30 years ago. And, in my dear daughter who tried a number of things before having hers 3 years ago aged 42. So, be kind to yourself but be your best advocate. I try to learn what I can about my cancer and recovery (even though there is very little around!) and I take the days and nights as they come. I hope you do as well as you can with the health challenges you have. Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 11/52. Next week's optional prompt is "From My Window I See..." Denyse

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    1. You are definitely on the right track with this whole thing for me Denyse - and yes, hysterectomy is on my radar if this second op doesn't work out to be my salvation. I certainly don't want to end up back in the specialist's office for the same thing in six month's or a year's time! I'm reading up on them atm :)

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  21. I feel for you Leanne. I had surgery last June and it really took a toll on me. Aside from that I have some health issues that make me a little *ahem* tired and grumpy too. Surgery is one solution for me but one I'm trying to avoid at the moment. I'd like to feel better too. I hope you've got the spring back in your step soon! xo

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    1. I really don't want to be back for a third op and a long recovery Min so I'm thinking positive thoughts and hoping that the results are long term and get me through the next few years until nature takes its course - now to get my upbeat-ness back!

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  22. I hope you are feeling more like "you" again soon. I've been blessed with good health thus far. I have felt some of the effects of aging, of course, but try to remind myself to enjoy my strong, healthy body. My husband has some chronic health issues, my younger sister survived cancer and the side effects of treatment, and my older sister had a brain tumor (thankfully benign), so I have seen the struggles close up. I'm sending healing energy your way. Take care of yourself.

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    1. I've been the poster girl for not getting sick up until the last few months Christie - now I feel like an expert on hospitals and all things "female". I'm looking forward to putting this behind me and not being tired any more - once I'm well again then I'm sure things will continue to improve.

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  23. I hope that you get better soon. I have been lucky so far. I will admit that I need more sleep at times but I am not doing that bad. #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks Patrick - I'm really noticing the impact being tired has on my life - it makes me a LOT grumpier and less tolerant - I don't like either trait!

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  24. Sorry to hear this. I wish I had some magic answers that could advise you how to get "you" back...but sadly I do not. I notice more and more of the aches and pains. Another "fun" addition to my life has been night sweats. As a former ER nurse, I was concerned about TB..silly me, not TB, it's peri-menopause. So many changes, most do not seem to be for the better I am afraid.

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    1. It's the whole hormonal thing isn't it Cherie? You'd think we'd be done with it all after having kids, but it's like our bodies decide to have the last laugh. I still have the sweats to look forward to - such fun being a woman!

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  25. I know what you mean - when did we become the kind of people who discussed ailments? But on a positive note, isn't it reassuring when you open up about something to friends and at least one of them says 'me too, I had that/felt like that'? Thank goodness our generation is more open than our parents. We are lucky to have such close support networks and don't feel so alone with our worries.
    I do hope that your hospital stays are now over and you are on the road to recovery - be kind to yourself and if the doctor says rest - rest!

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    1. Thanks Debs - I even had a conversation with someone I bumped into at our local primary school. She'd been through a similar journey, and you're right, it was good to share stories and to know I wasn't alone in this. The sisterhood certainly comes into its own when we are feeling less than our usual perky selves x

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  26. Oh gosh, Leanne. Midlife can be scary times, especially as much as our bodies are changing. I hope you get to feeling better soon and get back to your old chipper ways. Hang in there lovey. Muwah!

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    1. Thanks for the positive wishes Bren and yes Midlife can throw us a few surprises can't it? I guess we can't expect to be young forever and bits of us wear out over time - hopefully mine'd fixed now :)

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  27. Leanne as we age it seems like no matter what happens it takes twice as long as we want to recover. Hope you are up and feeling better there is still so much of life to live.

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    1. The low iron combined with a couple of GA's in a week certainly seems to have made me more tired Victoria - I just want to get my zip back again and then I'll be on the ball again!

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  28. I can totally relate to every word of this. I've been seriously ill 3 times in my life, and I've felt exactly you described. The old quote "When you have your health, you have everything" is so, so true!

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    1. It's like being pain free Amy, you don't appreciate it until you start living with pain regularly - then you realize how much you take for granted. It's the same with our health - having no issues seems normal until something falls out of place and you get a rather rude awakening!

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  29. Leanne, I am so sorry you have to go through these health challenges. I took my health for granted for years and ignored health issues until they were so bad that I was struggling with many things and had five surgeries within a couple of years. That woke me up. Now I take better care of myself. It is good that you have dealt with your health issues and hopefully you are on the road to better health!

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    1. I hope I'm on the mend now too Michele - off to the specialist again next week for a long term plan. Five surgeries is a LOT and certainly a wake up call to making the time to live a more healthy life - I guess we can't be 20 forever can we?

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  30. So sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling chipper recently and have faced some health challenges. Probably the worst thing is the not knowing and feeling crappy and having to go for test after test. I think when we're younger we kindof assume that we can control our bodies and instinctively know what's going wrong with them. It comes as a shock when we find are vulnerable and not in charge. I hope you feel better soon and have got to the bottom of your health challenges so that from now on you can concentrate on getting fit again. Sending love x

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    1. Thanks for the kind wishes Jo - I'm hoping I'm on top of things now and that the specialist can come up with a plan to stop me ending up in his rooms again in six months or a year's time! We can control a lot of things in our lives, but sometimes our bodies remind us that things can wear out and we just need to do what is needed to get them back on track again.

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    1. Thanks Donna - I appreciate it xx

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  32. Oh no Leanne - I'm so sorry to hear that you've been under the knife not once but twice in recent times. I'm sending good wishes and virtual flowers and fabulous reading matter your way so that you feel better soon.

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    1. Thank you so much for the virtual flowers and reading matter Kalpanaa - they made me smile and that's a great way to speed up the healing process xx

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  33. Hi Leanne, I left a comment yesterday but don’t know where it went!! Anyway I hope you’re feeling better by now and can get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later. You are inspiring with your honesty and I wish you well.

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    1. The cyber gremlins like to mess with us sometimes Deb - thanks for re-doing your comment and for your good wishes. I just need to get my pep back up to where it was before and I'll be a new woman!

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  34. Leanne, I'm so sorry you're going through all this! Since you asked, I'll tell you two things that have helped me enormously. A couple of years ago I decided to never have more than 6 teaspoons of sugar in a day, and I have stuck with it. You can read about it here (http://www.delightfulrepast.com/2016/09/sugar-toxin-or-treat.html). And more recently I decided to try what is called 16/8 intermittent fasting, which means you go 16 hours without eating and have an 8-hour eating "window," for me that means not eating after 6PM (which I wasn't doing anyway) or before 10AM. You can pick your own hours. Some people do it for weight loss, I do it for health. Wishing you all the best and hoping you've seen the last of the hospital!

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    1. You're right about sugar Jean - it seems to be a lot worse than we were ever lead to believe. I've actually just started the 16/8 diet - it was my January resolution and I'm managing to stick to it 5 days a week (not so much on my work days though - my brain needs more fuel on those mornings!)

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