I Want What She's Having
Remember that hysterical scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally at the diner? (link: here.)
It’s easy to know what want when you see the outcome right in front of you.
Personally, I’m determined not to succumb to my genetics.
I didn’t want to go out of this world like my father did, he had Parkinson’s Disease and slowly wasted away before our very eyes. It was hard to watch the strong father you love as he loses his faculties, one by one. That wasn’t fun for anyone, least not my poor father.
My mother passed at 80 from complications of Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. Her mother (my grandmother) spent the last ten years of her life in a nursing home with dementia. Not exactly something I aspire to.
My brother died way too young in a car accident. Aunts and Uncles succumbed to lung cancer, alcoholism and heart disease, or a combination of the three.
There was only one woman who sailed through her later years, my paternal grandmother Ethel Mercer from Toledo, Ohio. She was a spunky old broad and took up yoga in her 50s and liked it so much that she traveled the world learning as much as possible before returning home to teach yoga throughout the rest of her life.
I’ll have what she had.
She, being my paternal grandmother who demonstrated how to age gracefully; we all called her Lover, as did her husband. She experienced some minor health issues but she sailed through her 80s and into her 90s with minimal pain or imposition on others.
Lover taught me an important life lesson: keep moving.
Ethel was a late starter, taking up yoga in her fifties - and she grew to love it so that she studied with gurus and traveled throughout the world to further her training. When Lover was in her sixties, she started teaching yoga classes. She showed me that good habits add up to better health, and I thank her for being such an awesome role model.
This is important stuff, if you’d like to remain among the living. For the first time in decades, nationwide life expectancy in the US fell in 2015, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For those looking to add some healthy habits in 2019, here’s some things that are helping me:
You Can Fight Your Genetics
Many of us assume that we’re doomed to live out our relatives medical history. My mother died of diabetes, like so many others in her southern family. It wasn’t the genetic link that caused the diabetes, it was that southern comfort food and the extra weight that came with it. I’m not sure if she recognized it as such, but the diet she was raised on wasn’t good for her health. She died from complications of diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ahh, I’ll have what she had. I vow to keep moving every day, thanks to Ethel.
2. Plan Ahead for the Slip-ups
Cheating on a diet is most likely to happen when you find yourself hungry with no healthy choices available. Plan ahead for those times and be prepared. Have fruit or nuts on hand and put the sugary stuff away.
3. Mix it Up.
I didn’t learn about the importance of muscle mass in body composition until I was in my late twenties. If you haven’t started, start lifting weights. It’s important to build strength as we go into our “Golden Years”.
For me, I’m working on losing the final fifteen pounds, so I’m stepping it up a notch. I’m trying intermittent fasting, where you narrow the window of time you eat, which allows your body to burn fat and lose weight faster. A study found in the Journal of Nutritional Science proved that time-restricted feeding actually works to help with weight loss.
The group that had the shorter window of hours for eating had lost more body fat at the conclusion of the study. Apparently, their eating schedule helped curbed their appetite and discouraged them from snacking after dinner.
It may work for me, it may not. I’ll have to let you know on that one;-)
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results when you start implementing these simple things. The effects won’t happen overnight but with positive thinking and consistency, you will soon reap the benefits of changing your lifestyle to improve your body’s health and wellness.
Share Your Health Goals
Please put some comments and health goals below.
What is your health resolution?
What baby steps to health will you incorporate into your New Year!?