I CHOOSE THIS, NOT THAT…
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”?