Saturday, March 1, 2014

Join the Health Mart Pharmacy Champions of Care Challenge!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with the Niche Parent Network & Conference. All opinions are my own.

There is absolutely nothing more valuable than good health. I know that firsthand, not only because of my own weight loss/fitness struggle, but also because of experiencing the pain of watching a loved one’s health decline. I haven’t discussed it much here, but my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She has undergone a mastectomy and chemotherapy, and will soon begin radiation treatments as well. Watching her go through this ordeal and seeing the adjustment she has made towards her health, diet, and fitness due to her diagnosis, has had a profound effect on how I view my own health and that of my family, especially my daughters.

Currently,  I am about 60 pounds heavier than what is considered to be a healthy weight for my height of 5’5, and 70 pounds heavier than my ideal weight. That's a long way to go and I'm struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that there are a lot of moms out there that look in the mirror and don't recognize their reflections, that want to set better examples as far as health and body image for their children {especially those that are mothers to daughters as I am}, and that want to lead healthier lifestyles so that they can be better parents in general. In this day and age, we all know the dangers of being overweight/obese and I can honestly say that my desire to lose weight is from more than a vanity stand point - I want to be around for as long as I can to be with my husband and our daughters.

My two main issues are food {I’m an emotional/stress eater and let’s just say my mom’s diagnosis has not been helpful in that regard} and lack of activity. And this is where members of the community and my mom have been a big influence. Before her diagnosis, my mom wasn’t a particularly active person. While I grew up with a dad who went to the gym fairly regularly and even participated in road races {even now he runs in Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race every year}, I don’t think I can recall ever seeing my mom work out or exercise. Other than being diagnosed with Grave’s Disease {an ailment of the thyroid that causes sufferers to either lose or gain weight due to hormonal imbalances}, my mother was always thin – so perhaps she didn’t see the need in being mindful of her diet and activity. And since I was always naturally thin – up until having children – I never got in the habit of being conscientious of those things either. Because I didn’t have to put work or thought into looking good, I never considered that being mindful of my choices was more than a matter of my appearance; it was a matter of my health.

But all that has changed. After her surgery and while undergoing chemotherapy, my mother began to take a fitness class offered at a local health center. It has had a profound effect on her mentally and physically and that, in turn, has had an effect on me. Thanks to the organizers and instructors of her class, my mom’s general outlook on her life and health is more positive and proactive. She has a determination and peace of mind that she did not have before she began to take a simple fitness class. And because of  that, I am forever grateful and have been deeply influenced.

For more on this and how Health Mart wants to recognize those in the community making a difference, click here...

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