I truly don't think that it is an exaggeration when I say we have a battle on our hands when it comes to making healthy food choices. We are surrounded by advertisements in television, radio, and print that make junk food look so appealing that many of us have a hard time not wanting to go right out and purchase the food they are pushing. Thank God In-N-Out does very little advertising, or I might be tempted to eat there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, the junkier the food is, the cheaper it is to purchase. If you are on a limited budget, as so many of us are these days, it can be difficult to purchase as many fruits and vegetables as we like let alone purchase the organic versions that are even healthier for our bodies. Also, with our busy lifestyles it is difficult to find quick and healthy versions on the run. That is why it is a good practice to include packing your lunches and snacks as a part of your daily routine. Not only will you be less likely to cheat on high fat or sugar-loaded food, but bringing your food with you each day will actually save you money as well. The thing I love most about my new healthier lifestyle is that I see my kids making good food choices as well.
For those of you that have been following me from the beginning, I have not always been the picture of fitness. I think anyone who knew me three years ago would never have imagined that I would ever finish a half-marathon, let alone be training for an Ironman. It has been a long fight to get in shape, but a fight that has been well worth the effort. I started with walking, moved to wogging (walking/jogging), and now I can officially call myself a runner. It was not easy in the beginning. My body ached, I was sometimes frustrated by my progress, but I have come a long way in a little over two years. And like my healthier eating, my exercise has rubbed off on my family as well. I can't take credit for my daughter, Siobhan, because she has always been active with her volleyball. Now my husband does Crossfit at least three days a week, my oldest son is running and lifting weights at the gym, and even my four-year-old son has stated that he wants to do an Ironman with me some day. So my fight to fitness has been well worth all the effort.
I am sad to say that sometimes even if you do all of the above, it is not always enough. That is why it is so imperative that we make good choices when we have control like we do with our diet and exercise. This week I was once again reminded of how important a healthy lifestyle is when one of my healthiest friends was diagnosed with colon cancer. She is honestly the complete picture of health: extremely healthy food choices (she eats very little meat and purchases almost all of her organic produce at the local farmer's markets), she moves her body almost every day, and she has taking supplements down to a science. She also makes sure to get plenty of rest. Because of her overall fitness profile, this diagnosis was a huge surprise for all. So one last way you can fight for your life is to get your cancer screenings on a regular basis. Her colonoscopy caught something that could have gone undiagnosed because she was experiencing absolutely no symptoms. And because she is so fit and healthy (both of mind, spirit, and body), I know her recovery time will be improved, and she will be out on the road running and biking with us in no time.
So fight for your health, fight for your fitness, and fight for your life. You are so worth it!
All photos and captions provided by my friend Kay who will be running the race of her life this year. “True friends are families which you can select.” ― Audrey Hepburn Love ya Kay!