Of Sunshine Vitamin and ‘la dolce vita’

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If there is anything worse than seeing your doctor when you are quite sure that something is not right, then it is the endless wait in stark waiting rooms with your mind galloping like an untrained horse into infinite conclusions about the undiagnosed state of your health.

I sat in the spotlessly clean waiting room twiddling my thumbs, crossing my fingers every time the mind paused at an irrational conclusion or possibility. I absently picked up a glossy magazine hoping to distract the direction of my thoughts. The picture of a perfectly happy lady with shining locks and skin glowing with health stared back at me only to add fuel to my racing thoughts. I went back to staring at the growing crowd of sick people in the waiting room reconciling to the fact that at least I was not the only one nursing my health woes.

It had all begun with a chance encounter with an old friend on social media. We were colleagues and later on became neighbours and good friends. After she moved out, we gradually lost touch with one another until she found me on social media through a mutual friend. A few phone calls later, we decided to meet up.

 

Our meeting was as warm as the sunny afternoon only marred by the revelation that the dreams and ambitions of this young woman had been hindered by multiple sclerosis. An acute deficiency of vitamin D had put her at a high risk and hastened the progress of the disease. We had a good time together reminiscing about old times, but the elephant in the room could not be ignored. Her parting advice to me was to listen to my body, trust my intuitions and take advantage of the sunny skies and cool mornings.

I took her advice and ensured that we spent our weekend mornings at beaches and in parks until we looked like a family who had just returned from a sun-kissed vacation in a hot tropical island. The exercise helped burn a month’s worth of every variety of food that had transformed into stubborn adipose tissue. The days that I could not make it, I sulked, until the husband suggested that I spend 15 minutes in the sunny balcony chewing on food. Research has it that chewing food thoroughly until it becomes absolutely free of lumps before it is swallowed can burn up to 2,000 extra calories every month if you keep at it.

It was about then that I had begun to notice that strands of hair fell loose and formed an untidy mess whenever I let it loose. As if to add to tangled woes, I caught myself nodding off between telling ‘Little Princess’ a fairy tale that usually resulted in a muddled up and confused happily-ever-after ending of another fairy tale.

At first, I brushed it aside and tried to be in denial. When I found my thoughts going back to my friend’s words, I tried to convince myself of the varied possibilities that could be a convincing reason for the sudden and unexplained hair loss and lethargy. Finally, I found myself at the doctor’s doorstep.

A battery of tests ensued and the results showed a deficiency in iron and Vitamin B12 that was due to a lack of animal protein in my diet. Heeding my friend’s advice, the mornings spent on the sunny beach was worthwhile after all as a deficiency of the sunshine vitamin did not show up. It is ironic that we live in a country that is blessed with abundant sunshine and the primary source of vitamin D is just outside our door, up in the sky and yet in this life full of care, we find innumerable excuses not to get outdoors and exercise our way to health.

The 30-day Fitness Challenge was a great opportunity that had brought the couch potatoes, the health freaks, families and friends to bond and sweat over varied workouts and physical activities under the canopy of the bright sunny skies in parks and beaches all through the four weeks. With studies indicating that 30 days of physical activity stands a good chance of creating a permanent lifestyle change, the challenge has laid the foundation for every individual to beat the odds and aim on prioritising one’s health through the year.

While I hope that my dear friend challenges the odds and bounces back to an active life, I have myself made a few dietary and lifestyle changes that have shaken off the lethargy, although I am still working on looking like the glowing, perfect lady with her shiny locks and radiant skin in the glossy magazine.

For all the rest of you, just in case you have forgotten, here is a reminder — take care!

 

Good Morning Friends, Wishing you all a very happy Sunday.

Sharing a post that has been originally published in the Gulf News.  You can read it at :

http://gulfnews.com/opinion/off-cuff/that-sunshine-vitamin-and-la-dolce-vita-1.2133951

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25 responses »

  1. Gm Pranitha! Our life styles changes and food habits are to blame for the poor level of vitamin deficiency in our bodies. In India also this problem is very common specially among women. Though living in a land of ample sunshine we stay indoors, travel by car and exercise in the gym. We hardly bask in the morning sun to soak in the abundant dose of free vitamin D. I too had consciously started spending some morning time in the balcony, but somehow it stopped. Your post has come as a gentle reminder. Thanks so much for sharing this ❣️

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so so glad, Radhika. This post was a reminder for me too as there are times that we get so caught up in the cycle of routine and chores and all that we forget something that is freely available in our balcony. We need to find more reason to improve our quality of life in general and hence promote our children to do so too. It was shocking to know that even in India this has become an increasing problem. Do take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Health is wealth. Thoughtful post Ma’am. These days we are so engrossed and tied up in our offices and rooms that we hardly see the smiling sun. I have also become health conscious now from the day my sugar levels have started indicating that i am too very sweet for my body from the fact of loving my office laptop and seat. i have to start being hard to my body by turning it frequently on threadmill and stairs. Hopefully vitamin d maybe in check as i love travelling off to coastal and greeting the sun frequently. But looks like the vitamin is earned only during the specific morning hours and not at all times.
    May God bless you with good health; take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Vitamin D is a serious issue for many Indians across the globe and something we need to take care of. I suffer from high cholesterol and made some changes to my lifestyle. But, I did give myself to temptation this month. Ha! Tomorrow I shall go for another check but yoga and twice walk in the park is of great help.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes, pranitha. These days most of the dis-eases are caused by lack of vit A to Z..One leads to the other. Dropping levels of Vit d being the latest worry of Dr’s. Being available in plenty out here, I guess we should bask more often under the shining star. Thanks for the lovely reminder. 👍

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your most welcome, Deepika. Yes it has become a big concern among a generation of people who are too busy to take a walk, play with their children outdoors. Better we realize and amend our lifestyle than wait for a rude shock. Glad you agree too, Deepika

      Liked by 1 person

  5. my dear, don’t fuss it out too much. Live a normal life as your routine allows you. as for what you eat, whatever you consume, do so in moderation. secondly, rewind your childhood days with your kids, it’ll give you enough of whatever you need-vitamins, happiness and positive thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nitha..when one of my friends who can be seen either in home or in car complained about vit D deficiency, I was like “ well, this is for sure who never appear under the sun”. And I was so confident that it will never occur to me as I travel in public transport and all like that. Oh..but what to say, I was also not an exception to this sunshine deficiency…. so now I am so cautiously placing myself under the sun… morning walks, balcony time, etc etc,..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Pranitha. I wrote a post on Vitamin D too, 2 weeks ago…after a chance visit to the doctor😊. We seem to be in a number of common clubs…’unambitious moms’ and now the ‘vitamin D”. Do check out my post if you do get the time.

    Liked by 2 people

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