Genes don’t dictate my body; I do.
I’ve seen this quote on Pinterest for years. It’s always struck a cord with me, but never as much as when I started to learn about my family health history. My doctor’s appointment is today – actually by the time this is posted, it will be over. I have never thanked myself more for the positive change I’m making in my life as when I was filling out that paperwork and asking my mom all these questions about health history. I literally sat there on the phone wondering how it was possible that so many people in my family had so many problems.
Now to be fair, there are so many ‘half’ relatives throughout my family tree that it’s probably going to be impossible to figure out what I’m genetically predispositioned to through family history allow, but still, it was frightening.
As I said before, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me, I view going to the doctor for a checkup as a step to a healthier me. I haven’t been to the doctor in 20 years, give or take a couple years, and as a 26 year old that’s pretty scary. I want to get set up with a doctor just in case I need one. If I’m sick, I have somewhere to go. If something feels off with my body, I have someone to ask. At the same time, I have someone keeping an eye on me and helping me to be a healthier person.
At the same time – nothing that I might be genetically predispositioned to is going to stop me from living a healthier life. I know that heart issues run in my family and I can take a stand and fight against those now by eating better and exercising. The same can be said for weight issues. Some things I can’t control – vision loss is common in my family as well, and while I can’t control what my eyes decide to do in the future, I can visit the eye doctor yearly so that he can see what’s going on inside them.
I dictate my body. I control it. If I want to be healthier, I can do it. I can help stop the cycle of health related issues. I can set a good example for my younger brothers and for my children one day. I can set a good example for myself. At the end of the day, it’s me against myself. Even when I feel that I’m fighting a losing battle because of what other people in my family have faced, I know that I control my body. I control what I put in it. I control the exercise I do. And I love my body because it proves to me that when I put in the time and effort, that it loves me too.
I dictate my body – not my genes.