Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Every day, I need to remind myself why I am traveling on the path to healthy eating and a healthy weight. My initial motivation was two-fold:
FIRST, I finally understood that I am at serious risk for weight-related health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. These conditions run in my family, and my weight is high enough that I could easily develop those conditions. My cholesterol is way too high, and I started getting some tingling in my feet that worried me.
So I asked myself if I wanted to wait to deal with them WHEN I got them, or if I wanted to PREVENT myself from getting them. The answer was PREVENT them.
I know people who have had horrible lives from diabetes - neuropathy in their feet and digestive systems that prevent them from eating and walking, organ failure and dialysis, amputations from gangrenous feet. And I have second cousins and great-aunts/uncles who died from diabetes, and from strokes. I've known this for a while, and have read a lot about it over the past couple of years - one day, it came together in my head and heart, and I became committed to avoiding such horrendous health consequences. I already live with arthritis and disc degeneration and the pain that comes with them, so really don't want or need any more health problems.
And it turns out that preventing diabetes and stroke is pretty easy - it involves getting to a healthy weight, having low cholesterol, eating a healthy diet to maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels, keep the arteries clear, etc.
SECOND, I got sick of being at the mercy of food and my appetite. In September 2008, I participated in a Leadership Seminar unlike any I've been to, as it involved lots of physical exertion and real-life situations that challenged my heart, mind and will. I didn't do very well there, and learned a lot as a result.
One of the things I learned is that I lead myself. I am the only one who CAN lead myself. I am the one who determines how I can be and do my best. I am the one who can ask for help to do and be my best. In the end, it's up to me. I am not a victim, no one is doing anything to me. I am the one who is choosing to eat, who is choosing to sit and watch TV instead of going for a walk or doing some free weight lifting (3-5 pound max).
I can either cooperate with my own health or not. If I choose not to, then I have no business complaining about my health. Because I have the information. It's my choice whether I use it or not.