Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's About More Than 6-Pack Abs

I don't have the figure of a supermodel and it's not as if I never miss a workout but I do practice what I preach and I'm in better physical condition that the majority of women my age.

Although my family would probably disagree, I make it a point not to take on the role of fitness police at get-togethers.

Yesterday, however, my adult nephew was lamenting the number he saw on my sister's bathroom scale. His dad (my brother) wanted to know what it read and was surprised that the number was so close to his own weight. I remarked that the two of them should start a fitness program together. My nephew said that he had been thinking about it but before he had a chance to say much else, his girlfriend said, "No honey, you're fine just the way you are".

< Cue Billy Joel :-) >

It was the first time we'd met and maybe she felt I was criticizing her boyfriend and wanted to defend him. I'm sure she had the best of intentions but I really wish people would realize that exercise is about much more than buff bodies and 6-pack abs.

My nephew never met his grandfather (my dad) because he was dead before he reached his 47th birthday. My dad had three heart attacks and was so weak at the end that he couldn't walk from one room to another without being winded; his heart finally just gave out. Although their lives were longer, most of dad's sisters experienced heart related problems of their own. On my mom's side, there diabetes. In other words, the family gene pool is pretty polluted.

Add to that any combination of smoking, a poor diet, little physical activity and too many extra pounds, and like it or not, you are playing Russian roulette with your health. Losing just 10% of your body weight, along with regular physical activity can make a big difference.

It's not about being fanatical about your diet or turning into a workout junkie.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to drop some weight and improve your looks but taking care of your body is about so much more.

It's about taking some responsibility for your well-being.

It's about improving your health and quality of life.

It's about living long enough to meet your grandchildren.


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