I meant to write this last night, but then procrastinated and decided to save it for my final, Day 30, woohoo, I did it, post. Heidi over at My journey through the weight said something the other day that really resonated with me. She said, "If they (my family) have to sacrifice then it's not worth the effort to me." Oh, how close to home this one hit! I think it's just plain natural for women to sacrifice for their families. We give everything we have and then dig deep down inside ourselves to find just that little bit more. We sacrifice our time, our patience, our privacy (come on, I'm not the only mom who pees with her child in the bathroom, right?), our bodies, and, ultimately, our health. That last one. Did you catch that? We sacrifice our health for our children. We resort to eating convenience foods on the fly, we guzzle coffee and caffeinated beverages in order to keep ourselves going, we consider exercise and me-time to be low on the list of priorities, so low that we often forgo them in favor of doing for our children and husbands instead. As d-moms, we sacrifice that much more as we try to keep our children as happy and healthy as we possibly can. Our children may thank us one day for nearly all of the sacrifices we make for them, when they're grown up enough to recognize our sacrifices. But there's one thing on there that they won't thank us for sacrificing. OUR CHILDREN WILL NOT EVER THANK US FOR SACRIFICING OUR HEALTH. Catch that emphasis? I'm serious about this one. Here's why....
Are you aware that the number one killer of women is heart disease? Actually, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, worldwide. More than all forms of cancer combined. It's responsible for 40% of all deaths of men and women in the United States each year. That makes it one very formidable foe! Add in that most cases of heart disease can be prevented and it makes me want to cry. Seriously! This whole concept hits even closer to home for me since being diabetic puts me at greater risk for heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of premature death for people with juvenile diabetes. Frightening!
Enough boring statistics and facts. All of that comes down to one thing. By sacrificing my health for my children, I am nearly guaranteeing that I will not be around for some of the most important moments in their lives. By not eating well and not exercising and taking care of myself, I sacrifice my presence in my children's futures. Do you think on her wedding day, Lily will take a moment to stop and think, "thanks, Mom, for all your sacrifices"? Or is she just going to be sad that her mom isn't there to see her and hold her hand? I know, it's a little brutal, but that's the reality. By living the life that I have, by sacrificing everything for my children, I am creating that brutal reality for them.
That's the idea that set me on my course for this 30-day challenge. That's the future that I want to change. I want to be here for my children. I want to teach them a healthy lifestyle and I want to be there for them as they face all of the major changes and decisions that life is going to throw at them. I want to see them grow and develop into the people that I hope they will be. In order to make all of that possible, I have to stop sacrificing my health. I have to come to the realization that my health is one thing that I must not sacrifice. For my husband's sake, for my children's, I must work hard to become a healthier person.
Here's my message for tonight....we, as moms, need to learn to not sacrifice this one, incredibly important thing. Our children will not thank us for it. We need to do what we can to be healthy people for our children. If that means taking 20 minutes out of our day to walk a mile, then that's what we do. If 20 minutes is all you can scrape out for activity, then it's better than nothing. That 20 minutes is still a victory! Every little bit counts. Every little thing we can do to improve our health is worth the effort. Every little effort takes us that much further to being happier and healthier and better able to be the best moms that we can possibly be. Thirty days ago, I would have only been able to do 10 minutes on an elliptical before giving up. Today, I managed an entire 60 minutes and I followed it up with 10 more minutes for a cool down. My husband has surprised me, time and again, by carving out time to help me with my challenge, coming home early and watching the kids so I could make it to the gym. Don't under-estimate your husbands. Ask them for their help and support and let them know what you're doing and why you're doing it. My message for all of you...do what you can, as much as you can, as much as you're able to. Every little bit counts.