Our "Editor in Chic" launches a new column that shares notes she's writing to her newborn about lessons learned from life as a new family. Read on as she starts with the most important topic of all.
You were born a beautiful, perfect, and healthy baby. For that, I will be eternally grateful and will never, ever take it for granted.
For years, health is something I took for granted, though. I didn’t think twice about being able to jump out of bed, pop into the kitchen to make a quick breakfast, throw on some clothes, and go about my day. I didn’t do anything horrible to damage my health – ate generally healthy things and exercised when I could – but it wasn’t something I fought for.
Today, we’re fighting for your daddy’s health. We have been for a while now, and we will for a while longer (after double hip replacements last year, we just learned he’s going to need double knee replacements next week). So, there’s no jumping, popping, throwing or doing anything quickly in his life right now. That will change, though, and we’re going to see to it, so he can be an active part of your life and chase you around… which is going to happen very soon, because you’re starting to stand already! Ack!
That’s the thing about health. Without it, everything else becomes just out of reach. You’re trapped. Right now, your daddy has to watch life happen from a chair or a bed, and that’s no way to live. I know he wants to run into the other room when he hears you cry, take you places, perform again (he’s a GREAT musician!), and do everything else he enjoys in life.
Seeing him like this, and helping him through it, has changed me in many ways. I genuinely feel grateful when my feet hit the ground every morning and I don’t feel pain to make that happen like your daddy does. I no longer look at food as something to make hunger go away. It’s a tool I use to give my body what it needs to do its job and fuel my day. And, my most recent epiphany: I no longer see exercising as a chore.
Especially as a woman, you hear about working out to “get your bikini body,” “lose that muffin top,” or “finally fit into skinny jeans.” Exercise is SO much more than how it makes you look. Sure, that’s a benefit, but – like many things in life – it’s what’s inside that counts. Your body is your one and only vehicle through life. Being physically fit is how you keep your engine strong, your parts from getting rusty, and drive to all the destinations you want to go on your journey of life.
When daddy started to get sick, and then I got pregnant, I was either too tired or didn’t have time to exercise like I once did frequently. But then I started to have joint pain, too. When standing up, getting out of bed and going up stairs started to hurt, it scared me. You couldn’t have two parents with sick bodies.
Unlike your dad’s rheumatoid arthritis-related pain, my joint pain was more related to weight gain and loosened tendons from pregnancy hormones. So, when I realized my pain was completely reversible if I just took better care of myself, I knew that’s what I had to do.
I’ve been exercising almost every day since and it’s a big part of my life again. Being active is a privilege not everyone has, so it should be embraced. I want you to see that being healthy isn’t about the bathing suit. It’s about maintaining your “vehicle” that will drive you to all the beautiful places this life has to offer.
Your dad and I both look forward to “driving” right alongside you to lots of those places in the future. That is, until you’re a teenager and you want boys to drive you places… you’ll have to talk to your father about that. 😉