Practice What I Preach
“If you don’t control yourself, this broken world will control you!” “Don’t be sorry, be different.” “If you want different results, change what you’re doing.” Sage sayings!
I look for change in others. These sayings are my guiding principles of advice to anyone and everyone, solicited or not. Today I woke up at my highest weight ever, taking two meds for diabetes, three for high blood pressure, and also ones for acid reflux and high cholesterol. Everything I see in life points to the need for more disciplined eating and exercise. Every day I fight it.
My husband of 37 years died four months ago. It meant something that I couldn’t just do my own thing while I was married. There was some accountability we had to each other. There has always been that other person there to whom I have some level of accountability. Now I feel as if I am out to sea without a rudder, having no method of propulsion, no way to guide my ship, swirling, adrift.
I guess that’s when we might realize how much we were depending on the other half. It’s not that my husband ever had an attitude about how diligent I was taking care of myself, but of course he cared, as I did for his health. Fortunately we never nagged each other, but we would work at being healthy together. We watched cooking shows together and made the meals that were good for us. We joined a weight loss program together. We rode bicycles and went for walks. We even spent time at the gym. Mostly we inspired each other toward being healthy.
I find it much tougher to do those things for myself. I can’t say how many times I have started my day planning to go to the gym and never made it. I usually manage to talk myself out of going. Likewise, it is harder to cook at all, much less a healthy meal. There is not much pleasure in cooking for one.
My balance is a little challenged so I feel less comfortable riding off on my bike, especially not alone as some of the paths we used to frequent are a bit lonely, and making me feel more vulnerable now. The walking continues, though less frequent, as the dog still needs her exercise. Accountability.
I did try to go back to the weight loss program where we had found some success, but I had no sense that they had any compassion for the emotional plight of a recently-widowed woman. Their version of accountability left no room for “excuses.”
As I see my grandkids growing up, I want to be there for them. That is probably my strongest motivation to do better. Actually I would like to warn my kids and my grandkids to not take their youth for granted. Time takes a toll if we let it. We have choices in how we treat our minds and our bodies. The better habits we form in our youth will stay with us as we age. Preach it, sister! Now I need to pick myself up and get going.! I know all the right words, I just need to practice what I preach.
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