A Tale of Two Dads

Role ModelAs promised, today I want to talk about the health related motivation for weight loss and fit living that I received on Tuesday.  This experience also proves that motivation comes from many different sources and sometimes you have to look carefully to find those sources.

When we are younger, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of life and lose sight of the fact that one day we will be older and to consider what type of life we want to be living when we get there.  There is also the tendency to think, “It will never happen to me,” or “Why worry about something that is so far away?”  Well, as I get older, I have noticed myself really taking note of the health condition of older people I encounter and giving serious consideration to what kind of shape I want to be in when I am their age.  Is sacrificing my future health really worth throwing caution to the wind today?  For me the answer is “NO!”

On Tuesday, I witnessed a great example of how healthful living today can positively impact your later years.  My boyfriend Michael’s Father Roy is 79 years old and on Tuesday he had knee replacement surgery.  When the doctor spoke to the family after the surgery he remarked at how healthy and dense Roy’s bones were and how they were not the bones of a typical 79-year-old.  The doctor attributed this to the fact that the patient had been an avid exerciser for close to 40 years.  Later in the afternoon, just a few short hours after the surgery was complete, the therapist came in to start the first therapy session with him.  To all of our amazement, Roy was very eager to get out of bed and get started.  In fact, the therapist had to remind him to take it slow as they do not want to risk having him fall.  Still, he was out of bed like a shot and off to walk (with the help of a walker for support) and was all smiles and talking about how great it felt to stand up.  Roy completed his first day goals of walking 150 ft. (he actually went further than that), walking up steps, and bending his leg at a 90 degree angle.  The therapist said he did so well that he will likely only need one more therapy session at the hospital and will be able to go home a day earlier than anticipated.  How great is that?

If Roy had not been active all of his life, would this type of wonderful progress be likely?  I would say it’s highly unlikely.  Not only has he been exercising for years, including the day before his knee replacement surgery, but he also does not smoke or drink and eats a reasonable diet, all of which I believe are factors in his health at 79.  Watching his incredible progress yesterday really reiterated in my mind the importance of my weight loss journey and the regular exercise I am doing.  At 79, I want to be healthy, active, and of sound mind.  I do NOT want to be in such poor shape that I can no longer enjoy my life and am confined to my home or a facility.

As I drove home from the hospital last night, I thought about how my own Dad is very much like Roy.  Although my Dad is a bit younger, 62 years old, I still look at him and see the benefits of all of the exercise he has done all of his life as well as not smoking or drinking.  As long as I can ever remember, my Dad has had exercise equipment in the house and none of that equipment has ever sat in a corner with clothing hanging from it.  Like anyone else, I have seen him go through periods where he did not work out every single day, but for the most part, regular exercise is a part of his routine.  These days, my Dad has a complete home gym in his basement and he still adds equipment to it from time to time.  He has always tried to emphasize the importance of regular exercise to me, even when I was at my heaviest and hardly able to walk much less workout.  When I did make up my mind that the weight was coming off, my Dad was the first one to recommend some exercises for me to do and he took me to his gym and showed me how to do each one and told me how many to do.  Obviously, I had no excuse to not do it.  At 62, my Dad is extremely active and is in good health.  He is still very strong and able to do all of the things I can always remember him doing.  I imagine if a doctor were to examine his bone density, they would find results similar to Roy’s.

The other benefit I see for both of the Dads is that they both look much younger than their years.  Think about it, who doesn’t want to look younger?

The lesson for me yesterday was to take as much care of myself now as possible so that I am able to enjoy every phase of my life, not just today.

Father Knows Best

Comments

  1. I agree! Your Dad looks great & is much younger than his years. My Dad at 85 is also the picture of health from a good clean diet and exercise routine throughout his life. A very good lesson for us to heed. Thanks Dads, all of you…..

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