A lot of times it takes hitting rock bottom or experiencing a major shake-up before we make substantial changes in our lives. A lot of us need inspiration to make those changes stick.
I never thought I’d say it, but my parents are my inspiration for a healthy lifestyle. I’ve told you about how my childhood was sedentary, and we didn’t eat the healthiest foods. We only drank Coca-Cola, the pantry was stocked with pre-packaged junk food, and our weekends were full of big, greasy bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. My parents‘ lifestyle didn’t change much after they became empty nesters.
Until a couple of years ago. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and, just a few months later, my dad was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery because his arteries were almost completely blocked and he was a millimeter away from a massive heart attack. As you can imagine, we were all shaken up. We knew my mom’s cancer was probably based on a host of causes–heredity, hormones, and lifestyle–but there was no getting around the fact that my dad’s heart problems were clearly a result of his lifestyle.
My parents immediately made big changes. They tossed out the junk food and nearly eliminated sodium from their diet. They joined a gym, and they go there every day. They swim, jog, and occasionally use weight machines. They were both enormously proud of themselves when they were each able to run a mile on the treadmill, and rightfully so. When they’re away from home, they go for long walks. In fact, my dad bought an iPod so he’s entertained on walks when my mom’s not around. Within just a few months, they each dropped over 20 pounds. Although my mom’s weight loss has since stalled, my dad continued to drop pounds until he reached a healthy weight for his height and age.
More importantly, they are each doing very well now. My mom’s margins are clear and she remains in remission. My dad still has some blockage, but his cardiologist assures him it’s nothing to be overly concerned about, and my dad gets checked out every few months.
I am proud of them for taking control of their health and for supporting each other in their new healthy lifestyle. I am inspired to take control of my own health, and not wait until my life is threatened to make big changes.
What inspires you?