Sharon Denise Powell, of Eastern Wake News and Clayton News-Star writes: I continue my effort to reach a healthy weight, strengthen my muscles, eat healthy and control my blood pressure. I spent a week in Kentucky with my son and his three kids and now I remember why I had my children young – women my age don’t have the energy to keep up with three and four year-old kids, enough said.
I found a stand in for Sammy: Chopper my son’s 60-pound Bulldog. Chopper was eager to take a walk with the strange new human in the house. And, when Chopper and I left the house he led me on a very brisk walk around the neighborhood. Thus getting my heart rate up for about 20 minutes.
How am I doing? Some of my jeans fit better but most are still much too big. And, when I look at myself in the mirror, I still don’t like what I see. Like many women and little girls (including my 10-year-old step grand daughter Katie) I struggle with my body image. I have been called scrawny yet when I see myself in the mirror I see a big belly and the rolls of fat around my waist. It seems silly to worry about my waistline, but I do. I used to be disciplined about doing crunches (I know you can’t target just one area) but lately I find it easier to flop down in a chair in front of my television set rather than hit the floor for pushups and crunches. Meanwhile, Katie, my wonderfully little step grand daughter insists that she’s fat – she wears size 11 jeans and she is very tall -- she's not fat. I understand that I have to set the right example for Katie and her little sister, three-year-old Jayden. They need to see me doing healthy things like eating healthy and exercising. I’ve added crunches and pushups, which are great exercises to build muscle, to my regiment.
I now have another incentive to work out, build muscle and get fit and live to be 100 – Katie and Jayden. I want to make sure they develop healthy body images and to do that I have to work on me. I do need to strengthen the muscles around my middle because this suggests potential heart problems. That is my priority. In the end it is not about how I look or whether I can fit into my jeans, but whether I am healthy enough to wear those jeans. In the end for Katie and Jayden it is not about how they look but how they perceive themselves and what they are doing to stay fit and healthy.
I’m not guaranteed a long life. And, no matter how hard I try I am not going to stay here forever. Nonetheless, my lifestyle choices make a difference in the quality of my life and my grandchildren's lives. This is the message I want to pass on to those two wonderful little girls.
I admit that when I began sharing on this blog, I wanted to do this simply because I love to write, but through this process I've developed a better understanding of what is important to me. I already knew that I needed to exercise more, and I knew that my poor diet could be fatal. My week with Katie and Jayden reinforced that. Hopefully, next nest March they can come to North Carolina and cheer on their grandma when she walks in the MS Walk-a-thon.