Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Reasons Why

Today I weighed myself at the gym and I was at my high school weight...which is fine. Hooray for me. But it made me pause and think. In particular, about why I've participated in the HWHL challenges when weight loss is not one of my goals (except after Christmas cookie season.) And I wanted to share those thoughts with you because, as we all know, being your ideal weight is not the same as being healthy.

Here are some of my motivations:

JOINT health: If I don't exercise, my body creaks when I step out of bed even more than the 50 year old hard wood floors in our house.

MUSCLE health: If I don't exercise, my back muscles will go out on me without warning and I'll crawl around the house for a few days in agony.

POSTURE: Having muscles helps me stand up straighter.

BONE health: I'm a candidate for osteoarthritus and osteoporosis; if I don't strengthen my bones, my chances of winning that election go up.

EMOTIONAL STAMINA: My ability to deal with the daily frustrations of life is much stronger when my brain chemicals have been stoked by a good work out. I'm more even keel.

HORMONE THERAPY: During that time of the month, exercise is a better stabilizer than any drug on the market.

SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT: As a stay-at home mom, I need daily tangible goals. Making a healthy meal for my family or getting my exercise in are regular goals that provide me with immediate gratification: a sense of pride and accomplishment (coupled with those yummy endorphins).

LEAD BY EXAMPLE: Who will teach my kids how to eat a balanced meal or incorporate exercise into their lives if not me? I'm the parent in my family who has the time and motivation to do this on a daily basis and I know that, in countless ways, they're watching me, learning by what I do, even more than by what I say.

HAPPINESS: My perception of happiness increases exponentially. That is, I feel happy and fulfilled more often: with myself, my family, my friends and my circumstances.

Just had to share those with you! And a picture of me at 85. Check out my muscles!


  1. I like all those reasons for being part of the challenge, I think I'll make them my reasons too.

  2. What an awesome post!! I feel that way, too. It's about so much more important things than what the scales say. I not only want to be around for my grandchildren, I want the good health to be active with them and to do all the things that are required of a healthy lifestyle. And especially, I want to teach my own children how to carry on good healthy habits into the next generation.

    Great post!!! Thanks!!!

  3. I like your post and I have many of those same reasons. The arthritis in my bones will cause me weight gain...LOL. But I can tell when I have been slacking and my knees start to "talk and complain". I have already had surgery on both knees in my lifetime.
    I think it would have been better if I had done more exercise while my kids were at home and it would have helped my mental health also. We eat so much differently from when I was raising my family and I think they are paying the price. I always had cookies, cakes, casseroles, home made bread and rolls, etc. etc. I do so much better now though they still expect it at family gatherings and I provide it.
    Being a certain weight does not necessarily mean healthy. Keeping the old heart pumping is important... I'm trying to be well rounded and that was not meant to be a pun (though I am "well rounded" LOL) I'm glad to see you young girls being on top of your health and teaching your families the same. It will pay off in the long run.

  4. It's so refreshing to know that someone else gets your point of view. Thanks for this great post!!!!

  5. I have to admit, the biggest motivator for me is the scale. When I'm where I want to be on the weight wise, I lose all desire to count calories. I know that's wrong and everything... but I am what I am. So it's good for me to read your list and be reminded of the other positive effects of a healthy lifestyle.

  6. What an awesome post! I love this list. I want to print it and tape it to my mirror!