Until I got in my late thirties, I have to admit that health was something I took for granted and was not something I consciously made an effort to develop. I naturally burned calories fast and stayed relatively thin no matter what I ate. I could load myself with caffeine, nicotine, and other harmful substances and still maintain high levels of energy, clarity of thought, and the ability to slow everything down and sleep at night.
The bad side of this was that I had developed habits that did not support a healthy lifestyle. I began gaining lots of weight, did not feel well a lot of the time, my energy level was low, and I began having trouble concentrating and sleeping. I had relied heavily on various over-the-counter substances to manage stress loads and to try to obtain inner balance.
There were two major events that made me hit bottom and say “enough, this must change!” One was an illness I battled. This forced me to face the reality of my own physical weakness. Second, was my father’s death the following year. My Dad passed away at 63 after a year of very serious illness. His early death was either caused or made worse by his heavy smoking, lack of exercise, and being overweight.
Being healthy became something I now wanted, valued, and was now willing to work to achieve. I gave up smoking myself 2.5 years ago (this is not the first time I’ve given up cigarettes, this time I plan to be for keeps). I do not drink alcohol (a problem area for me personally) or do any harmful drugs. I strive to maintain my weight at optimal levels and exercise on average 3-5 days every week. I watch my diet to ensure that I’m eating in a way that supports a healthy lifestyle. Also, I practice forms of prayer and meditation that help me to remain in balance and deal with stress effectively.
The body I have is the only one I’ve got or will every have, so I better make taking care of it a priority if it is to serve me as I desire. Since making health a greater priority, I have felt better, look better, have more energy, and am in better position to meet life’s opportunities. I’m looking forward to having the chance to finish 18 holes of golf in 32 years when I’m 80 and be feeling great!