While most of us believe our health should be a high priority, the reality is that we often fail to embody our good intentions. After New Year’s resolutions have fizzled, the extent of taking care of ourselves may have dwindled down to taking our medications as prescribed, occasionally choosing a salad over a burger, or doing an at-home plank “challenge.” Truly making our health a priority requires a conscious decision, along with commitment to ongoing action. Simply put, being the best you, all year round, takes work! As you’ll see from these three inspiring stories, when we’re willing to take the time and put forth the effort, our whole life can change for the better.
Dava, a vibrant 65-year old, made a personal commitment to better health 30 years ago. Experiencing a chronic lack of energy, she visited multiple physicians, but none of them could offer an explanation or cure. Determined to feel better, she began to explore whether her diet and lifestyle might be impacting her overall sense of wellbeing. “As a Christian, I need to be a good steward of my body, because it’s truly a gift,” says Dava. She began making small changes in her diet, like cutting out Cokes and breads. Soon she switched to organic meats and started a vegetable garden with her husband. The change in diet, as well as her increased physical activity, are paying off. No longer plagued by low energy levels, Dava has added private Pilates sessions to her fitness routine so she can increase overall strength and flexibility. She comments, “I think everyone should know that you don’t have to feel bad just because you’re getting older.”
While back pain becomes more common with advancing age, Brock, 19, began having severe back pain in high school. Missing months of practices and games in both high school and college sports, he grew frustrated with his pain and the negative impact it was having on his life. Although he sought medical advice and tried a variety of remedies, his efforts proved to be insufficient. Unwilling to give up the sports he loves, he continued searching for relief. He was finally taught simple, but powerful, strategies that relieved his chronic back pain. He learned more effective ways to move his body, gained flexility in stiff joints, and increased stability in other joints. Brock has found that keeping his back pain at bay is a process, and it takes work. He states, “I fell in love with the process of getting better.” He says it’s been a huge relief over the last few months to realize that he no longer has to worry when he wakes up that he might be hurting. Now he knows he’s going to feel fine because he’s putting in the work required to move well and feel well. These days he’s motivated by improving his golf game, enjoying increased energy, and knowing that he’s doing something healthy for himself everyday that will help him now and in the future.
Abby McCartney, a new mother, already sees that her future will require lots of energy! She’s making her health a priority so she’ll have the strength and flexibility to pick up and play with her growing baby without pain. Abby actively participated in private Pilates throughout her pregnancy because she recognized the benefits structured exercise contributed to a healthy pregnancy. Now, five months postpartum, health is still a priority, but her body and goals have changed. Today her commitment to fitness is motivated by the desire to increase strength, stability, and endurance, and to keep back pain at bay. Abby feels good and has the energy she’ll need to keep up with her precious little man!
Making your own health a priority is a gift you give yourself. It’s an important stepping stone to the priceless reward of becoming the best version of YOU. When you make the decision… and are willing to put in the work… you will definitely reap the benefits. Just ask Dava, Brock, and Abby!