Why does a person work hard all their life saving up for retirement? Is it just to sit around and do as little as possible, maybe to be served and cared for by someone else? Maybe you fall on the opposite end of the spectrum; you want to be adventurous and independent, the cool grandparent the grandkids want to come visit. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening decreases as the body becomes more weak and frail.
“I want to get healthy.” That’s what you’re supposed to say, right? But is that what you really want? At the end of the day, do you really want to be remembered as “she was really healthy”? Chances are, you want what health allows you to do. Maybe it is to be able to travel and be active out in nature or spend quality time with grandkids and family. To have mental clarity to innovate and be creative. To feel confident. Experience life.
My cookbook, It’s All About Choices, was written about 17 years ago. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long and we now have adult children that practice the same values found in this book. While a lot of changes have happened in the last several years, the science behind leading a happier and healthier life has not.
There are no quick fixes, diets or magic pills that will get you to this place. Diets can bring about temporary change, but their long-
Sarcopenia, or muscle weakness, is a normal age-
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Take a moment to imagine. Your doctor has told you that you need to exercise more.
Which scenario feels better?
Promising yourself you will start tomorrow (even though you’ve been saying this for the last 3 months) while staring in the mirror and reminding yourself how out of shape you are.
OR Scenario B
Noticing that yes, you haven’t been exercising. And then bringing in compassion. This year has been incredibly stressful for everyone. And then shifting your focus to your daughter, who is having her first baby. You picture being able to hold that baby with confidence; lifting her high above your head. The feeling of absolute joy then motivates you to start doing some arm strengthening to be able to do this!
Notice the difference? In the first and most popular scenario, the irony is, rarely is
How to move forward:
“I want to get healthy.” That’s what you’re supposed to say, right? But is that what you really want? At the end of the day, do you really want to be remembered as “she was really healthy”?
Chances are, you want what health allows you to do. Maybe it is to be able to travel and be active out in nature or spend quality time with grandkids and family. To have mental clarity to innovate and be creative. To feel confident. Experience life.
These are the things people care about. And in the pursuit of “health,” it is common that these are the very things that are put aside. Some may skip out on family events because they can’t ‘control themselves’ around Aunt Sally’s famous brownies. Or maybe, you opt out because you can’t find clothes that fit you, and don’t want to be seen.
In America’s push for health, we’ve become unhealthier (global pandemic aside) and more importantly, have a decreased quality of life. It turns out, the more we try to shame ourselves into exercising, or willpowering our way past the donuts, the further we get from our goals. Shame, guilt & will-
So what does work? We have found that focusing on values – the very things that light us up, will get us farther, faster. When we focus on what we care most about in life, health happens as a side effect.