Sunday, February 24, 2008

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

I’m getting old. I will be 40 this October. I know it’s all relative – but to me, 40 sounds old. Just those two numbers next to each other a 4 and a 0 – just looks like an old number.

If I live to be 80 (a reasonable expectation – though no guarantee) – that means that I am about to step into the 2nd half of my life.

I have been relatively healthy these past 40 years. No diseases or major ailments that I can remember. I did get my tonsils out when I was about 5. I did have two miscarriages and related surgeries. Other than those things – no broken bones, no major surgeries.

For the first 27 or so years of my life I lived by the adage of “let sleeping dogs lie”. I didn’t need to lose weight – so why bother exercising. I never officially exercised (too painful and you sweat and it’s uncomfortable). I say officially b/c I did do a ton of walking, which is exercise. I didn’t drive a car – I lived in the city and a lot of my lunch hours at work were spent walking around the malls. I walked to and from the bus stops – and sometimes walked to the grocery store or to my sister’s house. So my unofficial exercise was walking. A lot.

I ate what I wanted when I wanted – at least during the time I lived alone. I didn’t eat very healthily. Sometimes I’d bring 4 slices of toast w/cheez whiz on it – wrapped in tin foil to work in the morning (got the idea from a co-worker). I’d eat it at my desk with a Coke. Not diet. Not caffeine free. Or I’d stop at McDonalds and pick up a hashbrown or two. Delicious. If I skipped breakfast that was ok b/c a “coffee truck” would pull into the garage of our building and I could buy stuff like pizza pops or muffins or chicken fingers (around 10 am). If I were too busy to leave my desk for lunch – which was often the case – I’d have a bag of Old Dutch Potato Chips (Salt n Vinegar variety of course) and a Coke. Even to this day – there isn’t a snack much better than that – unless it was a Slurpee instead of a Coke.

If I ate out for lunch it was either at the Hudson Bay Paddlewheel restaurant or at McDonalds or some other fast food place. Whatever it was – the one constant item was french fries. Another one of my most favorite in the world foods

Once I got married my eating improved – somewhat. Less eating out and less junk food…and I switched from regular soda to diet soda. Over the years I have become more “health conscious” and began exercising regularly about 5 years ago. It’s hard to believe I began exercising and hard to believe that I have continued to do it for so long.

I feel like I am becoming one of those people I used to mock. The ones concerned with exercising, eating healthy, eating whole grains, vitamin-ites, etc.

Even though I’d say “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby!” (as the Virginia Slims ads would say) – I’ve still a ways to go.

It’s not about being skinny as opposed to being overweight (though that will probably be a natural result) – but rather about striving to be healthy…being a good steward of the bodies we have. As I wrote here…diet and exercise are linked to good health. I hate being sick. I don’t like the idea of being old and frail and weak. I don’t want the latter half of my life to be a time of sitting at home without the strength to do the things I want to do.

We’ve all heard of the mysterious “fountain of youth” – where one drink gives you eternal or long life. If you knew of such a fountain, but it required an arduous journey with self-sacrifice and physical endurance – would you try to find it?


Mrs. Mordecai said...

Yum . . . salt and vinegar potato chips? Who needs a fountain of youth?