There is a difference between being fit and being healthy…

As I learned the hard (and by hard, I mean painful) way over this past week.

There’s also a delicate balance between being fit and being healthy that can be disrupted without you realizing it until it’s not late. Which I also learned over the past week.

I was officially diagnosed with kidney stones on Friday during a visit to a local hospital’s emergency room — the appropriate capper, I guess, to a week in which I had a number of diagnoses run through my head.

Series of unfolding events…

Me poking fun at the unintended weight loss I have experienced while coping with kidney stones.

I had some lighthearted fun with my ailment over the past week (because frankly laughing beat crying in the moment) through some memes that I’ve featured throughout this piece.

It started late in the evening of Monday, Oct. 4, when I claimed residence in one of our bathrooms at home while experiencing a bout of intestinal pyrotechnics that lasted well into the early morning hours Tuesday.

It had to be the milk in the protein shake I drank that morning. I learned later that it was past its expiration date, even though it didn’t taste or smell bad, or give me any other reason to think it had gone bad. Actually, studies show milk doesn’t lead to the formation of kidney stones, and may in some ways serve as a way to avoid them.

Lessons learned

In hindsight, it could have been the amount of protein I have been taking in on a daily basis.

Published reports indicate that too much protein in the form of red meat (which I don’t much of) or poultry, eggs and seafood (which I consume more regularly) can lead to kidney stones. I have noticed a noticeable change with my physique, I believe, due to the added protein. But in life, we need balance. This is my body’s way of saying I am a bit unbalanced at the moment.

It also serves as a not-so-friendly reminder that I need to drink more water.

It’s not that I don’t want to drink more water. I like drinking water.

Me poking fun at potentially having the kidney stone inside of me removed.

It’s just that I’m a focused individual — and overly focused at times. When I’m working on something, I sometimes forget I have to take time to handle the basics of life, like eating a meal and drinking water. And it didn’t help that I spent most of last week vomiting anything and everything I had inside of me.

Dehydration, studies show, plays a key role in the formation of kidney stones.

Focused on better choices

Now, I don’t recommend choosing the same path I took to such a learning experience. I don’t wish that level of pain on anyone. Pain comes and goes in waves, but more coming than going. And when it’s coming on something fierce, there is no such thing as a comfortable position standing, sitting or lying down.

But I needed it.

As a fitness coach and trainer, I see what clients don’t see in themselves. I assess what’s happening as they progress through their individual programs, and make decisions that help them move toward their goals.

But I’m also human, and in the pursuit of helping others, I sometimes forget to help myself. I sometimes don’t see the potential challenges in myself what I see in others. And sometimes, as in this past week, I pay the price for it.

Sometimes, the teacher becomes the student.

And I’m making a conscious effort to refocus on regaining that balance between being fit and healthy, and making the needed tweaks in my diet to, hopefully, avoid having this happen again moving forward.

It’s safe to say I’ll never forget how this experience has felt.


Want to read more in the Fit Family Forum blog? Head to to check it out!