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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Healthy Now, No Regrets Later

When I first started personal training and blogging, I promised myself that I would never use fear to motivate myself or others.  I despise sales pitches from personal trainers and infomercials that scare you into thinking that if you don't buy their product or follow their program you won't succeed and you won't get results.

I think, I hope, by now we can see through these tactics but today as I sit here and type from a hospital room in the intensive care unit, I can't help but be motivated to make healthy decisions by fear. We found out a few days ago that my mother has a large mass on her lungs, most likely an aggressive cancer.  This situation would make for a hard battle for anyone but for my mom it's only complicated by her existing COPD, poor lung function, and need for oxygen support 24/7.

I've spent the last two and a half days thinking a lot about health.  What it means to be healthy.  How I can be healthy.  How I can help others be healthy.  I'm not talking about being a top ranked powerlifter, running distance races for PR's, or even doing pull-ups for reps.  I'm just talking about being healthy and staying healthy.

I know it can be fun to dream big and set lofty goals but what about getting back to basics?  What about following general health guidelines to help build a strong foundation of healthy habits?  Sure it maybe more exciting to tell people that you're running your first marathon or competing in your first CrossFit competition than sharing that you're working on eating a balanced diet but do we sometimes skip some steps by doing so?  It feels like sometimes we want to run before we learn to walk.

What would you do if someone told you that in a few decades you would be faced with major health concerns?  Seriously, close your eyes and think about it.  Would you make any changes? Would you clean up your diet? Finally quit smoking?  Cut back on alcohol? Take a walk once a day? Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator? Give up soda and drink more water?  Get regular health check ups?  

Thank you The Sweat Life for this great quote
After spending hours in a quiet hospital room thinking about this I have made decision clear.... I will be damned if I look back on my life and wish I had made my health (and maintaining my health) more of a priority.  There are only so many things in life we can control.  Our diet, exercise routine, and healthy habits are all well within our control and if I'm so unlucky to have my health compromised at any point in my life, I certainly don't want to be left thinking how things might be different if I had made those small, but important, changes sooner. You and I both know doing everything "right" provides no guarantees but nonetheless I am determined to control the controllables to help ensure I have no regrets when it comes to my health. I will focus on what I can do to help myself and let the rest fall where it may.  Yeah, you could say I'm letting fear drive me but I'd like to think of it as maintaining my health that is determining my actions.

This situation has reenforced my passion for finding my personal balance between living a life of health and living a life of enjoyment, because let's face it- sometimes they aren't one in the same.  It can be easy to take your health for granted but I encouraged you (out of love, not fear) to assess your habits, the good and the bad.  Our daily diet and exercise choices in our twenties, thirties, forties, and so on can affect the quality of our life for decades to come and I want you to live a life of no regrets with me.

In the meantime, prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes for my mom are appreciated.  Give the ones you love a squeeze and tell your mom you love her.



  1. Oh Annie, I am SO terribly sorry for you, your Mom and your family. I have been through the same thing with my Dad, so if you need to commiserate, please reach out. I am keeping you all in my thoughts! Hugs friend!

  2. I'm so sorry Annie. I'm sending all the positive and good thoughts and prayers I can to you and your family. Hang in there friends. Sending you a big virtual hug.

  3. Oh Annie, I am SO sorry to hear about what your mother is going through. I am sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way. You're an amazing daughter for being there for your mama and for seeing the positive message you can draw from this awful situation. Thinking of you. xo

  4. Annie, so sorry to hear about your mom. Your family is in my thoughts, positive vibes coming your way.