Focus on “me”

Without the guilt


Today it’s all about health and fitness. What clothing line doesn’t carry great looking designer wear for the gym, track, or health club? There are special aisles in the grocery store dedicated to gluten free, high protein, organic foods for the family. You can join the gym for $10 per month. Every city and town boasts its own 5k run. Where do you fit in?

Are you able to find the time in your schedule to work out, cook the healthy dinners, and lose the 10 extra pounds? My guess is not really, but the intentions are good. There are only 24 hours in a day and balancing work and family doesn’t leave much time for you, without feeling the big “G,” guilt. Everyone else is first: Dance classes, baseball practice, dinner with the work crew, and entertaining your husband’s business associates.

How do you do it all and feel good about it? How do you carve 30 minutes every day that belong to you and no one else? Benefits of a thirty minute workout include improving heart health, building cardio endurance, burning calories to maintain or losing a few pounds, lowering your blood pressure and helping to regulate your cholesterol. All that in 30 minutes! Doesn’t your family deserve that?

A few years ago, I had to face the facts. I wasn’t getting younger, I was 40 pounds overweight, I was taking blood pressure medicine just like my mom and my hemoglobin A1c was way too high. Diabetes was rampant in my father’s family. I had a choice to make. Medication or life changes? I had to make the time for me, because my family needed me. They needed me with energy and a positive attitude. They needed me here now and in years to come.

So, I found a diet I could follow and stick with, and believe me, I tried many. Unfortunately diet wasn’t enough, I needed to boost the metabolism and get some exercise. The key is finding that workout that works for you. What interests you? Running with the wind in your face? Is spinning your thing? Or what can you tolerate to give you the push you need? And needless to say, it doesn’t get any easier as the years pass by.

I found that my home is where I feel most comfortable. I’m not all about the competition or show. I have a treadmill, a bike, a few weights and a neighborhood filled with hills. My dog loves that I love cake. The more cake I eat, the more walks and runs she gets to take with me. I tell her every time we are pounding the sidewalks, if I didn’t love my sweets, you’d be one sad puppy!

It didn’t happen overnight and I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain the new me. After a year of hard work I shed most of the pounds, I still have a few to lose. I dropped some of the blood pressure medicines, and my blood sugars are lower than ever. My family has survived and they really don’t notice that I disappear for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. And they like the new me. Is everything perfect? No, but one thing at a time.

You can do it too. Find the time. Do it for those you care most about.