We made it through 2020, a year that was certainly nothing like we envisioned this time last year. Along the way, we found out that we’re more resilient than we could have ever imagined, more resourceful than we thought possible, and now more than ever, more hopeful for brighter days in this new year.
This is RFM’s annual health and wellness issue, timed to start your year off right and help you set healthy lifestyle goals for yourself and for your family. I have a few goals, including moving my body in some at least semi-challenging way every single day and making sure my family spends time outside every day, even on the rainy days.
I found lots of inspiration as I read through this issue, with some of my favorite tips coming from Melanie Bean on page 30. She’s the co-director of the Healthy Lifestyles Center at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and her advice to focus on diet over dieting, along with her sound explanation as to why you can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet made a lot of sense to me.
In spite of all of its challenges, 2020 did provide me with the opportunity to tackle several health procedures that were hanging over my head, and all in one week as it turned out. As much as I was dreading them, the thoughts of the impending events were much worse in my head as I pondered them in the weeks leading up to the appointments, and afterwards, I felt silly for putting so much energy into worrying about them in the first place.
If you’re wondering what I had done, first, I had a filling replaced (I hate needles in my mouth so much – but who doesn’t?!). The next day, I went to the dermatologist for a full-body scan and had some precancerous cells zapped off of my face (I’m so glad those were nipped in the bud!). And the grand finale was the dreaded first colonoscopy. That one gave me the most angst, of course, but I’m here to tell you it really was no big deal, and I feel so relieved to have it behind me (no pun intended – ha ha!).
I think these two routine exams scare us because they are both screening for the dreaded C word, and who wants to find out that you do, in fact, have cancer? No one. We think, “I feel fine, so maybe it’s best to just not know if something is going on inside my body,” as if maybe it will magically go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, so please do yourself and your family a favor and keep up with your recommended checkups and screenings. And of course, continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations as we navigate our way out of this pandemic.
We have a ton of useful information packed into this issue of RFM, so you’re already making smart and healthy choices by picking it up! Enjoy, and happy and healthy new year from all of us at RFM.