GUEST POST BY ELAINE COLTER, (MY WIFE)

I CHOOSE THIS, NOT THAT…

elaine-and-jonathan

Recently, I have become aware of an interesting dichotomy. In a clothing store, a clerk told that a pair of pants I was about to purchase fit me well. The lady behind me said “of course they do, she’s so tiny anything would look good on her!” My reply was that I do put in effort to maintain my weight (not to mention overall health). She then laughed and told me how she gave up on that years ago. The next day, I was at the grocery store trying to reach an item on a top shelf. Being short, (5’2”) I had to stand on the bottom shelf, balance, and reach back for the item. The lady behind me mentioned how impressed she was with this “feat”. Honestly, it was an 8” step up and a small reach. She then said “wait until you get to be MY age, then things get REALLY hard!” Sadly, she was probably 10 years older than I.

I made the transition to eating and exercising for health benefits (as opposed to solely for weight control) in my late forties. I became aware of MY peer group, and those older in situations that we all take for granted in our younger years. For example: In Greece, I climbed the steps to see the Acropolis while I noticed people older ( and not so much older) hobbling at the bottom unable to make the climb. I thought what a shame it was that they would not be able to experience the wonder and awe of these ruins. Another “aha” moment came on a trip to Mexico where my friends and I had to use our arms to lift ourselves onto a small boat for an excursion. I was the only one who had the strength to lift myself up. The other two had to have a man on either side of their…backside…. to hoist them onto the boat. If you’re thinking “THAT WILL NEVER BE ME!”, I bet they would have said the same thing….20 years ago.

What strikes me about these events is to some of us it is INEVITABLE that we will not be able to fit into clothes, or stand on an 8” shelf and reach for something as we age. “That’s just what happens when we get old…” That same person would NEVER see themselves in a wheelchair or hobbling with a cane to walk. That mental picture seems beyond their scope of reality (or perhaps their comfort zone). When we choose to “let ourselves go” as we age, how do we know we WON”T be the one in the wheelchair? It would be wonderful to choose the degree of our “ health destiny”. The reality is when we give up on making healthy choices, we GIVE UP control of our future degree of degeneration.

I CHOOSE THIS, NOT THAT… Are we deluding ourselves by thinking we can CHOOSE THIS

(“ Yeah, I probably will have a bit of trouble with stiffness, achy joints, and balance as I get older, it’s just the way it is”) NOT THAT!!! (I will be dependent upon a wheelchair or walker because my knees are beyond repair due to years of lack of movement and excess weight??? NOT ME!!!).

I recognize that there are issues that deteriorate our health that are beyond our control, but more commonly we just don’t believe we will become “THAT PERSON.”

What steps (literally and figuratively) are YOU taking to avoid becoming “THAT PERSON”?

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44 comments

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent and positive message! Thanks so much for sharing, and BOTH of you have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t believe in wait until you get to my age, then you won’t be able to…’ I think that’s a defeatist attitude. My mom was working at the Gap until her mid-80s. She played tennis until then too. She defied age expectations, and she’s my role model for that policy. I walk every day, watch what I eat, do yoga for flexibility and balance, dance for cardio and happiness, and expect to be hiking up mountains for many years to come. So there. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elaine’s response: Sounds like you get the “BIG PICTURE!” Wishing you continued success on your journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post, and the video is perfect to illustrate your point. We have that choice. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. That is a great video to make the point!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant post, thank you. I believe that one really does not know what the future will hold with regards to health issues, so best live the healthiest way possible, exercise, and eat healthy, as those two things I can control to the bet of my ability, and me doing that may prevent future ailments or illness as I get older. Not only that, it all is so good for the mind ! Have a great day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elaine’s response: That was exactly my point! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed reading your perspective on the aging process. Thanks, Elaine!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you Elaine. You and Jonathan are pretty smart in the health arena. My body has benched me. I still walk, but very little. The pain is too much. Jonathan is trying to bolster me up and my son is also convinced I can get better. I have Fibromyalgia and spinal problems with herniated discs throughout my spine. Also arthritis in all joints. I am 60 still fairly young by most standards, but I can’t make myself even walk more than 5 minutes. I was better when I had a walking buddy and the desire to walk with them. I need something to live for. I never was a physical person so getting up the desire now that it really hurts is not easy.

    Hi Jonathan you wife is smart too I see. Good luck to you both in your physical fitness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Thank you Tessa. Jonathan has mentioned that your blog has helped many people better understand mental health and the challenges people face. Each of us possess our own unique ways of sharing and helping other lives. Jonathan and I feel fortunate and blessed to use our knowledge to help people see life from a different perspective. Wishing you many happy days in front of you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Elaine, thank you for your kind response. I do my best with my limitations to help others. I feel that is what I should be doing. I am following God’s plan for me. God bless you both.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses and commented:
    Another perpective of the Colter family and aging.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful message. My husband and I now eat purposely – keeping nutrition as our focus and walking/hiking is our religion. On my blog, I recently shared an amazing hike I took, but what I didn’t share was a conversation I had with a woman back at the campground. Basically the gal said, “When you get to be my age, you won’t be able to hike like that anymore”. Turns out I was five years OLDER than her 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elaine’s response: Ouch! That must have been hard for her to digest. Who knows, that might have been the catalyst for her to turn it around. You never know when you are an inspiration to someone!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! Just the idea that I won’t be able to do the traveling I love would be an incentive to keep in shape!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Great message. When I was 29 my co-workers would say, wait until you turn 30 then things slowly start to go south. I turned 30 and continued with the same workout routine and motivation as in my twenties. Then they said you won’t be able to keep it up. I am now 31 and still working out daily. They are still making excuses for why they don’t. People will bring others down to lift themselves up. Not cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Wow! Wait until you’re the ripe old age of 30? Seriously? It does sound like they are already planning their fate. It’s hard to believe someone in their 30’s already has age related issues. That should be a warning sign to them. Keep up the good work!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Handsome looking couple with a similar mind set … looking forward to the kids posting next? Age is in the mind …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Thank you for the compliment! Unless we teach our beagle Tucker to write, I’m afraid you won’t be seeing any “family” posts. Tucker would like for you to know that if he could blog, he would tell you he loves walks, gets plenty of exercise, drinks plenty of filtered water (yes, I admit that) and loves apples and his raw food. He doesn’t care a thing about rabbits ( I suspect this is why he was up for adoption) but will give a squirrel a run for his money.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha ha love your humour Elaine – what a fun family … I can see Tucker chasing rabbits and squirrels! Look forward to meeting you both when you visit oz. Have I got time to get myself into shape …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jonathan’s response: How about we give you approximately two years. Will that give you the time you are looking for? I’ll bet you’re already in shape!! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Have been a vego for decades, cycle and walk most days so not too bad for a youngster …. got a few years on you two but shouldn’t be in the nursing home before your visit!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Jonathan’s response: You surprised me! I would have guessed you much younger than Elaine and me. You write from a youthful perspective! 😀 Truly looking forward to meeting you in the future (preferably outside a nursing home for your sake, but willing to visit inside a home as well. 🙂 ) Keep up the cycling and walking; would love to utilize your walking tour experience on our visit. Gives the two of us something to really look forward to.
              Stay healthy and happy!

              Liked by 1 person

  13. How wonderful to see that you are just as motivated and committed to good health as your husband. I have nothing but respect for his endless dedication to help people. The two of you are an inspiring, beautiful couple. Wonderful message here, Elaine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Thank you for the kind words. I would like to let you know in full disclosure, that Jonathan is the most dedicated person I know in the area of health. I am continually making small changes, sticking with those, then moving on to the next goal. It’s easier said than done. The key is to be realistic. I will be the first one to admit I do not adhere to the strictest, cleanest diet nutrition plan every day. My opinion is life will be pretty boring if we don’t treat ourselves once in awhile. The key is for me moderation.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I have FM and some bone problems as well not to talk about my osteoporosis in my lower back, I used to walk 8km/day now I hardly go out for a walk due to my noise sensitivity and because where I live is hard walking when there are so many hills and health doesn’t help but I relate with you since I’m too short, well I’m actually petite ….What I’ve learned is that people always think that the bad thinks will never happen to them just to everybody else!! Rubbish, I say! I must say we can’t control everything all the time but we can somehow control our weight if only we wish to. Great post, thak you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: I’m sorry to hear about your condition. As I stated, I am aware that there are circumstances beyond our control. I think it wise to do whatever we can NOW to have the best possible chance at being functional LATER!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Another great post….wonderful message…tell your wife thank you for the god word and great encouragement…..kat….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Thank you for the very kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great article and important messages from Elaine. Thank you Elaine.
    I adore the above picture of you two at the Spanish Steps in Rome. The sun was shining; you were smiling AND both looking so fit! Cheers~

    Vivienne X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading this article. It was something I felt passionate about writing.

      Thank you as well for the compliment on the picture. It was a wonderful trip to Europe. We had a marvelous time.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Such an encouraging and uplifting message…in the absence of critical thinking, so many mainstreamers unquestionably believe the societal myths we are bombarded with from the the earliest ages onward…myths tied to ageism (and, all manner of isms). For example, people were fooled into thinking smoking was cool until celebrated smokers and “your average Joe” lived long enough to speak out/up about the deadly consequences tied to tobacco use…
    It is wonderful that those in the know are taking the time to debunk the lies that would have us succumbing to the self-fulfilling prophecies that we, mistakenly, believe are inevitabilities. Thank you so much for sharing, Elaine (if you don’t mind me using your first name). And, wow, Dr. Jonathan! I can’t believe how many posts you wrote while I’ve been MIA the past 2 months…bless your heart. I will be sure to read and comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine’s response: Thank you for the kind words. Self fulfilling prophecies do have a lot of power in our lives, so awareness is the first step. If we can “retrain our brain” out of certain mindsets I believe that we can overcome enormous obstacles in our lives.

      Jonathan’s response: I’ve been keeping busy. I’m glad for your return and look forward to all the fun reading your amazing posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are both so kind….thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I was very grateful to read your wife’s remarks today. I actually went to the Senior Center and did 45 minutes on the recumbent bike, even though it was raining (and turned into ice). I grumbled through it, but I did it nonetheless. I read these blogs for inspiration to keep me going on this endless journey of weight gain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The trick (and difficulty) is to redirect your goal from weight loss to IMPROVED HEALTH! Weight gain is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. It is the RESULT; not the ROOT CAUSE of the problem.
      Gradually implementing REALISTIC HEALTHY CHANGES (both physical and mental) leads to the normalization of a healthy weight.

      You might want to consider thinking in these terms as well:
      1. Do I VALUE myself?
      2. Do I deserve to be HEALTHY?
      3. Is rewarding myself with unhealthy food choices and other destructive behaviors reinforcing the VALUE in myself and the fact I deserve to be HEALTHY?

      This has helped many people realize the need to find CONSTRUCTIVE methods to reward oneself. Health is just like any other habit; the more you reinforce it the EASIER and more NATURAL it becomes.

      Like

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