Kevin had a nice post at BCC not long ago on losing weight. It is, after all the time of year for buckling down and deciding that this time, we’re going to do those hard things that we’ve been struggling with. While I’m fairly happy with my weight right now (I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m steadily losing baby weight), it reminded me of a related goal I have this year: to be healthier.
I spend a very large percentage of my time trying to make my kids healthier. What with the autism, the food allergies, and the various gastrointestinal issues, it’s a huge undertaking. With a very large amount of work, though, I’m finally starting to get it figured out. This fact was brought home to me over Christmas break, when a bout of the flu made its rounds through my in-laws’ house. There were 9 adults and 12 children there. Of them, only 4 people didn’t catch the flu: my sister-in-law’s two-month-old nursing baby (who presumably got the antibodies from her mother, who did catch it) and my three boys. It used to be that they were the first to catch every little bug that came around (as evidenced by the flu bug that made its rounds 3 years ago at Christmas, which my oldest was the first to get), and that it would hang on much longer for them than it would for anyone else (the 24-hour bug we had last Spring had my middle son still throwing up a week later). But this time they were the only ones that managed to stay healthy through a week of playing with sick cousins and being cared for by sick parents. It was marvelous.
You’ll notice, though, that I did not make the list of those passed over by the flu bug. It made me realize that as much care as I take with my children’s health, I don’t take the same care with my own. At this point the problem is not that I don’t know how — while I don’t necessarily have the same problems as my kids, I can easily apply the same principles I use for them on myself. I’ve just been so focused on them that I haven’t worried about my health as much. But since I’ll not only feel better if I’m healthier, I’ll be better able to take care of the kiddos, I am resolving to focus on my own health a little more.
Other than the big steps of cutting foods out of their diets completely (which I’m not quite prepared to do for myself yet, mostly because it’s so dang expensive), I’ve gotten the kiddos healthier by very small steps, so I’m going to use the same approach for myself. To begin with I’m going to try and exercise 10 minutes once a week. (Yes, I know this is an insanely small amount, but trust me, with three little ones I do get more exercise than that. I just don’t get much dedicated exercise, which is what this will be.) I’m also going to start taking a multivitamin and probiotics every day. And I’m going to try to eat less sugary food (because I’m a total sugar addict). That’s it. Not too hard, right? All it requires is paying a little more attention to myself and what I’m doing.
I’d love to hear what small steps the rest of you take to try to stay healthier.