By Caprice Coleman
This is Part III of “The Fountain of Youth” series.
In this series I’ve focused on spirituality, fitness and now health. Health is what I’ll be spending the most time on.
There is a saying that “black don’t crack,” which is in regard to black people looking younger than their age. I believe when it does “crack” it’s from the inside out. I can prove this by the underlying health issues a lot of African-Americans find out about often when it’s too late.
I’ve had family members that looked great and then all of a sudden found out they had a condition that could have been taken care of if they had looked at their bodies from inside out instead of outside in.
I can honestly say that health is what I paid least attention to when I was younger. I didn’t see the importance of it until I was in my early 30s, when I began to show signs of my family’s hereditary health risk.
In 2006 my wife and I moved to Kuwait to be military contractors. Kuwait is a Muslim country, so pork is literally illegal. I had been there six months before I realized I hadn’t eaten pork all that time. It wasn’t a big deal because there was lamb.
I remember being on base and going to get breakfast one day. That morning there was bacon — real bacon, not turkey. Military bases are considered American soil.
I immediately thought: “I haven’t had bacon in a long time. I’m gonna love this.” I piled the bacon on my plate along with other breakfast items. I remember sitting down eating and enjoying at least four-to-six strips of bacon.
I began walking to my office, which was 50 yards away. All I remember is getting halfway there and seeing dots and feeling dizzy. I didn’t understand what was going on.
I was sent to the clinic on base. The doctor asked me if I had changed my diet recently and I said no. He asked me what I had for breakfast and I excitedly said bacon.
“When was the last time you had bacon?” he asked.
I replied, “Man, the last time I had bacon I was in the States.”
He said that by going six months without eating pork and then eating a surplus at one time, the overload of salt almost sent me into shock. That was the beginning of me realizing how much food had an effect on me.
My first question was,”When I ate bacon before, why wasn’t it so bad?” The doctor replied that my body had built up an unhealthy tolerance to it.
The next wakeup call occurred after I was back in the U.S. while I was working at a gym as a personal trainer.
During a health screening, I discovered my resting heart rate was 95 beats per minute. That’s the equivalent of the heart rate of someone walking, but I was sitting.
I weighed 200-plus pounds of muscle. However, my heart was having a hard time keeping blood in those muscles. I was a tank with a car engine.
I was told that if I didn’t get a handle on this it would begin to handle me. That was the second red flag.
Like most African-Americans, my family has a history of high blood pressure. My doctor said it can be prevented if I watch my diet.
I asked myself, “If I can prevent HBP with a diet, what else can I prevent?”
I now have a resting heart rate of 54 bpm.
Just something to think about. I call it a dose of Colemanism.
Caprice Coleman is ROH’s color analyst and has been wrestling for more than 20 years. He also is an ordained minister and motivational speaker. A Dose of Colemanism appears every Thursday.
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