And while a lot of people start going to the gym for swimsuit season, looking good in a swim suit is not my motivation behind setting the alarm clock early and hitting the street for an early run.
For me, staying strong and fit isn’t just about today. Staying healthy is an integral part of the vision for my life.
I want to stay fit for the person I will be in three decades. It’s about being in the best shape possible so I can participate in life.
It’s hard to enjoy life to the max when we aren’t feeling our physical best.
That’s why taking the steady route to fitness and good health is better than working out in fits and spurts. Because health isn’t about getting fit for a season. Good health is about being fit for life.
It’s about our kids and our families and friends. It’s making sure we are here for the important events in life like watching sunsets in June and shoveling snow in February.
Staying fit is about being able to throw my nephews up in the air and chasing my youngest sister around the park.
It’s about walking all over Boson and participating in community activities- now and in thirty years.
In the near future, I want to backpack through Italy and coast of La Cinque Terre. I want to hike all over Bali and Manila.
I want to throw my own kids up in the air one day. I want to run over (medium sized) mountains and through nature trails. It’d be nice to beat my brother in arm wrestling (probably just a fantasy).
I won’t be able to do what I want to do, to live the life I want to live, if I’m lugging around a lot of extra pounds or if I don’t keep my bones and muscles strong .
I worked for more than 8 years as a RN in acute care hospitals. I saw what happened to people who spent years doing all sorts of activities but neglected to care for their own bodies.
Watching a grown man- a big, tough guy- break down crying sitting on the side of the hospital bed was heart wrenching.
He was significantly overweight and was recently diagnosed with diabetes. To top it all off, the knee operation after an accident was going to require a lot of physical therapy and his pain was intense. He had a lot going against him in his battle to regain his health. Now he couldn’t take care of his young family like he wanted to. They were going to take care of him.
I wish I could tell you he was an isolated story.
Unfortunately, I witness hundreds if not thousands of people whose current physical situations were being exacerbated by lifestyle choices: overweight, weak muscles, years of smoking and basic inattention to their own health.
Before I make it sound like I’m a marine about working out…I’m not. I love to bake. I love to eat. I love to cook. I am convinced that what goes on in the kitchen is a lot more than onions and mushrooms sautéing on the stove. I’m working on a book about the joy of baking and building relationship in the kitchen. Working in the kitchen has changed my life.
But at the same time I’m careful that what I love doesn’t interfere with my ability to live.
I don’t eat out at fast food. I watch the salt intake. I’ve eliminated certain foods from my diet. I believe in moderation in all things. I walk every day.
Some days I mess up and have a few too many just-out-of-the-oven warm, chocolate chip cookies. But I get back on track.
I’ve got a future that compels me to.
I think you do too.