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There is no such thing as a quick fix

Sharon Denise Powell, news assistant, Eastern Wake News and Clayton News-Star, writes: My quest to reach a healthy weight, strengthen my muscles, control my blood pressure, fit into my jeans, walk in the MS Walk-a-thon next March and live to be 100 continues. Wow!

One of the many lessons I’ve had to learn in my life is that nothing happens overnight – not even lean muscles.  I know this lesson well, still I am human and like so many others my human frailties dictate that even I will look for a quick fix every now and then.

For months I watched a commercial about a beverage that was supposed to help rebuild muscles. It targeted those of us over 40 who, according to the advertisement, tend to lose muscles simply because we are over 40. I went out and got the drink and brought a bottle with me to work. This is a fortified chocolate milk shake – did I mention I am lactose intolerant? Needles to say, it was a very uncomfortable afternoon. I work in a small newsroom with three GUYS – if I could have crawled under a rock and hid I would have. This beverage may be the perfect solution, just not for me. Oh well, back to the drawing board or more precisely back to sticking to a workout regime.

What did I learn from this? It’s not going to happen overnight. I’m not going to drink chocolate milk and wake up the next morning and suddenly be svelte and well built.

I have to be patient and diligent. I have to focus on consistently doing the things I need to do to be healthy. This includes paying attention to what I eat and drink. When I was in the Navy I forced myself out of bed early in the morning at least three days or more a week for mandatory PT (physically training to you civilians). I am going back to my roots. Morning PT was a part of life. Now I just have to push myself to make the right choices, eat the right foods and get up and move when I’d rather sleep. I’m going to make that walk next year.

Why is the MS Walk so important to me? I am one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans dealing with that disease. It is a daily challenge to find the energy to make a meal and that is probably the main reason I am underweight. Exercise does help those of us who deal with MS. Still, I’m one of the lucky ones in that I can still drag myself out of bed and function. Thus, I focus on what is most important for me – doing what I need to do to stay healthy for as long I can.

Yes, there are no easy or quick fixes. I can’t simply pop a pill or drink a shake and wake up in the morning with a muscular body. I have to be patient. I am taking the “Healthy Lunch bag challenge." I know this is a good motivator for me. I hope others will do the same.

In the meantime, my faithful exercise partner awaits his evening walk.

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