"If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."
Dear H., B., and K.,
Three different conversations . . . all with the same theme.
We've all heard these stories . . . but my eyes and heart are opened even wider by your first hand experiences.
Caring for your aged parent is difficult. It takes a toll on everyone involved in the care: financially, emotionally, physically.
Whether there's dementia involved or not, you are experiencing first hand having to watch a loved one's quality of life fall. And besides the heartache of losing someone to declining health, there is a cost . . . a big one.
Your parents spent a lifetime building their nest eggs, dreaming of leaving a legacy for their children. Instead, that money is pouring into the nursing homes at an alarming rate of $10,000 per month. Any one of us would justify that cost to create comfort in the final few months of life. But that's not what any of you are talking about.
You describe years and years of care . . . five, seven, fourteen. For what?
This was not what your parents planned. They did not want this for you.
No one among us wants to be a burden to society, our spouse, and least of all to our children.
And each of you has taken the initiative to not follow in their footsteps.
By taking charge of your health through exercise and improved eating habits, you are:
- increasing your odds for independence into your later years
- decreasing your risk for fractures through weight bearing exercises
- bettering your quality of life for right now
- helping you build the strength and energy to handle your current and future stresses
- setting the best example of health for your children and grandchildren
- lowering the future burden you place on your family
Somewhere in the past 100 years, society has confused the concept of leisure with complete inactivity.
And although you might not realize it, you are at the front of a new movement. This new frontier embraces very different truths from the past:
- rather than the leisure class being a reflection of status, it will be associated with disease and decline
- instead of thinking that pain should be immobilized, it will be managed through movement and increasing strength
- separating yourselves from the outdated beliefs that strength is masculine, you will see your power as beautiful
- knowing that convenience doesn't have to equal processed, you will learn to efficiently feed your family healthy foods
You now are the frontier blazers . . . forging ahead through the dense societal and habitual resistance that begs you to sit around while eating whatever you want.
Because you know that end of life care carries very heavy responsibilities . . . and you want something different for your children.
With my deepest respect for your grit and resolve . . . let's keep building your strength while spreading the message of better living and aging through movement and whole foods.