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Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolution or Revolution?

Happy new year everyone. It is January 4th and this is officially the beginning of my new year as I see it. I start back to work today after a nice week off and has it been a lazy one. I spent most of my time playing Wii with my 7 year old and doing crafts. It was a lot of fun and it is time with my family that I would never give up.

I know this is the time for everyone to start their New Year’s Resolutions. I am sure you have on their to lose weight, right? Who doesn’t? I was at the grocery store on New Year’s Eve. I was walking through the center aisle when I came across a book rack filled with diet and exercise books. I was not in the least bit surprised by this being New Year’s Eve. Many people started their resolutions at the first of the year and diet book sales are probably through the roof. Glaring at me were titles such as, The Full Plate Diet, YOU on a Diet, The G.I. Diet, The Big Breakfast Diet, and The Eat Clean Diet to name but a few. I cannot deny the fact that I have been more than interested in reading diet books over the years. I have always looked for the final diet that would be the answer to all of my own weight issues. I was looking for the inspiration that I needed and not finding it in these books. I was young and didn’t have family to inspire me to take better care of myself. I am not exactly overweight, but I have always struggled to keep my weight under control. I have tried numerous diets for very short periods of time only to lose weight and gain it back.

Well, I for one am sick and tired of diets! I am tired of the celebrities and “doctors” promoting all of these fad weight loss plans encouraging yo-yo dieting and unrealistic practices. These practices have not worked and our country has gotten fatter and fatter despite the billions spent on the diet industry.

I have an idea. It’s not a new idea. I want to make 2010 the year that we all stop the crazy
“dieting” and restrictive eating practices. Make this the year to become healthier and leaner not because we think we aren’t skinny enough. No, I want you to love your body and who you have become. Take a good look at your body’s abilities this year. Are you still able to walk or run? Are you able to utilize your body for the purposes for which it is meant? If so, then be thankful! Thank your body and take better care of it. Be appreciative of your body this year. Become a better role model for your family this year. Don’t cut out all of your favorite foods. Enjoy them in moderation and stop punishing yourself when you do enjoy them. Just get back to eating healthier for the next meal. Stop feeling deprived. If you know that you are overweight and need to take off a few pounds than do it, but do it slowly. You did not gain that weight in a week and you aren’t going to lose it in a week. If you had started losing weight slowly six months ago, you would be thinner by now right? Start now and see where you are six months from now. Do not obsess over it. Treat your body as your vessel. This vessel of yours needs to be maintained. You wouldn’t pour garbage into your gas tank and expect your car to run well so why would your body?

Make this the year that you see your doctor. What is your family’s health history? Does heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, strokes, etc run in your family? If so, what can you do to prevent these diseases? Let 2010 be the year we begin to prevent disease instead of having to treat more and more people for preventable disease and illness. Let’s take back our health and this will eventually help us lower our healthcare costs.

One of my favorite stories is about an 84 year old man that I met a couple of years ago. He came to a trail run that I had planned. I was curious about this man and so I ran alongside him. He was fully capable of chatting the entire way and he told me his incredible story. He had been in his sixties when he discovered he had cancer. He was given 6-12 months to live. He decided he was not ready to die and gave up smoking. He became a vegan and gradually took up running. He was cancer free at the time of our run and said that he had run approximately 24 marathons at that point. He had not been physically active prior to his sixties and was a smoker. This was clear proof that you can change your lifestyle at any age.

I hope that I am never in his situation. Cancer runs through my family like a freight train. Those that do not die of cancer live to ripe old ages. Both of my living grandparents are close to 90. I want that to be me someday. I want to improve my quality of life years and live well like the 84 year old man I met that day. My grandfather turns 90 in March. He is still living in his own home. His mind is very clear. He has been helping my aunt build a home across the road from his by drawing up some of the plans and overseeing some of the work being done. He is quite capable of making his own decisions and still gets around well. I want to be like him. He is my inspiration.

Skip the resolutions this year. You will have forgotten them by February anyway. Resolve to change your life - period. Take baby steps and you can make these changes permanently. I will be with you along the way. Good luck and I hope you live a long happy and healthy life.

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