Being good to your body matters.
I wish it didn't matter so much. It's inconvenient to make "good choices" and to deliberately choose a lifestyle of caring for my body—but it has an impact. Health matters, and when a person actually behaves like it matters, the evidence is clear.
Late last fall I ended up in emergency, feeling very ill. It wasn't life and death ill—I drove myself there—but I was ill enough that I knew I didn't want it to happen again. Ever. A couple of days of medication and I was back on my feet again. I looked up the diagnosis and saw one of the risk factors was being overweight and potentially not eating the right foods.
It was the kick in the pants I needed.
I had one grandson now and there will be potentially many more in the next decade. I wanted to get up and down off the floor as often as needed, and carry them up and down the stairs to the crib endlessly. Now was the time to make a change.
I joined the Reh-Fit Centre. And I actually go. Mary and I meet for a class at the gym on Thursday mornings and then drink water during our visit instead of having a latte at Starbucks. So now I go to the gym—sometimes I know it would be a good time for me to go and I can't get myself there. But sometimes, I surprise myself—and I get there, and lift weights, and get my heart rate up.
Today, I went to the doctor. My cholesterol is lower than it was 3 years ago. My borderline high blood pressure is normal. I can plank my body in ways that likely finally rival my 84 year old mother—who is a beast when it comes to planks!
My fitness assessment says that I can jump high, I have good balance, and good grip strength. My body says that being more active matters. Choosing salad instead of fries most of the time matters. Avoiding eating before bed matters.
I'm delighted that my efforts since mid-November have had such a positive impact on my body. I'm increasing the odds that I will grow old and able to be able to love on my family and friends in a way that matters to me.
But I'm also realizing the flip side–this is a commitment that is important for me to keep. This is daunting. Intimidating. A burden. This is my new life. I will continue to make decisions to move instead of sit, to exercise even when I have a to-do list.
If I wait to go to the gym until my list is done, I will never get there. I will continue to notice my hankering for junk food and decide when to give in with only a small amount, or perhaps be able to do something else that will distract me.
I wish I lived in a body that would stay healthy without moving and eating whatever I want whenever I want it. But I don't. I want to grow to be very old.
I want to be active and able when I'm 90. I realize life happens and illness or accident will intervene—but I'm going to give myself the best chance I can now.
It's not about getting skinny—it's about being healthy.
Weight is a factor, to be sure–but as a byproduct, not about appearance.
I want to keep this up, and frankly, I'm fearful that I'll slip back. I want you to help hold me accountable.
Our bodies are important. We are wired for connection. We are wired to our bodies. If I believe in connection–that we are hardwired for relationship–I have to start with the relationship with myself.