A health turning point

I’ve been introspecting a fair bit, about health and fitness and wellbeing in general, and figured out where the turning point for me (and for J) was, where we decided that we would take control of our wellbeing rather than just floating along.

Unsurprisingly, it occurred around the time when J was diagnosed with the meningioma in November 2011.

For me, 2011 was a very stressful year. As gatekeeper for the Solaris 11 ON consolidation (the core kernel and basic userland), I was at the very pointy end of making sure that we got the bits together for the release of Solaris 11. I’d had a horrendous trip to Beijing in July (laptop disk broke the day before a build close, I tore my medial meniscus while plugging in cables to a laptop, left my luggage in a taxi and missed the connecting flight in Hong Kong due to a recalcitrant passenger in Beijing delaying the PEK-HKG flight by 3 hours). I had surgery on my knee in September, October saw the final ON delivery – I’d been working more and more hours every single day to the point where I was usually working for 12 hours Monday to Saturday, and only 3-4 hours on Sundays. Utterly, freakin, crazy. A was born in March (which was the bright part of our year), and then in October after J’s dizziness and nausea hadn’t gone away, she went through a battery of tests and an MRI.

The post-Release holiday that we had planned was not as carefree as we had hoped. I vividly recall walking along the beach with J and the kids, talking with her about what the ENT might say about the spot we’d seen on the scan, whether it was malignant or not, whether she would need surgery….

We stayed at Sails on Horseshoe, one of the most peaceful and relaxing places we know. Horseshoe Bay is a stone’s throw (note, in metric terms that’s about 15 metres) from the front gate. It’s quiet. There’s a pub and a few cafes and restaurants at the other end of the street, and we love it. There is also a healthy food cafe where we had lunch several times. I don’t recall the name of the place, or what else was on the menu, but I do recall that they do freshly squeezed juice – and C loved it. I loved it. J loved it. We figured it was just a bit of a treat to have because we were on holidays in the tropics, but the appeal of that juice really stuck with us.

A week or so after we got back home I went for what was then a stretch ride – the 40km effort to the Goodwill Bridge and back. I was pleased that my times were getting better (from just over 2 hours to a few minutes under), and was starting to think that I should really be doing more riding – for stress relief, for health and wellbeing, and generally just because I like doing it. I recall that it was a hot morning and as I came up the rise past the Jindalee golf course I thought “I could really go some freshly squeezed juice when I get home.”

That was the turning point.

While I didn’t have any fresh juice that particular day, we did go and buy a juicer a few days later, and except for juice to accompany the kids’ meals if we’re out, we haven’t bought juice since then. We’ll make fresh juice every week or two, generally with some apples that have been on our local fresh fruit shop’s “reduced for quick sale” stack – they’re still good enough to eat, but you can get fresher for eating. We do usually apple and pear, with a knob of ginger thrown in for some zing. Lately we’ve also been adding watermelon, which makes it taste lighter. Sometimes I’ll do oranges or pineapple. Oranges are a pain, though, because you have to spend a lot of time peeling them before you can juice them and frankly, I want my juice now!


The kids love the fresh juice, they appreciate that it’s a treat, and if I miss out the ginger C will let me know pretty quickly.

We took charge of our wellbeing, deciding to be active and mindful about what we consume. It’s an ongoing process and commitment which we are going to keep doing. We’ve reinforced this commitment with the meal plan system we put in place last year. When we look back over the last 2 years, which have been very stressful and full of worry, it’s reassuring to realise that not only do we feel better, but we are healthier than we ever have been because of the changes we have made to how we think about food (and exercise).