I realized I needed to take care of myself, too.
As a working wife and mother the journey to health and fitness has always taken a back seat to other obligations. I felt spending the time to work out and focus on my health was taking time away from my husband, children or career. I’d find myself promising to "take care of myself" when we finished building our house, or when the children grew up just a little bit more.
Unfortunately, we aren’t promised time in the future.
This was made clear when my one and only sister lost her life-long battle with morbid obesity. On Oct. 9, 2011, my sister passed away due to a massive stroke just days after her 41st birthday. Her death was devastating to the whole family but especially for her husband and two boys.
Over the next year I talked even more about becoming healthy but ended up eating through the grief and gained twenty more pounds. My husband and I had numerous conversations about how I needed to make changes but again I felt taking time for myself was cheating my family.
My wake-up call came on Oct. 1, 2012 after attending a health fair through my employer. My blood results were so concerning that I got a call at home from my doctor's office that evening. I was told that I was a stoke concern if measures were not taken immediately.
On Oct. 2, my journey to health and fitness began.
I finally began to focus on exercise and healthy eating. Over the next ten months, thanks to the Journeys staff, I learned that focusing on my health and fitness was the best gift I could give to my family. By spending one hour a day working out I give my kids a mother who can fit into the seat of a roller coaster. My daughter has a mom who can run a 5K or go shopping with her for fun. I can wrestle with my boys until THEY are exhausted, and my husband has a wife who can run with him or go on a long bike ride.
But the best thing is that my husband and kids can now give me a big old bear hug because they can finally get their arms around me.
Little did I know that by taking that one hour a day for "me time" my family's quality of life would be greatly improved. The best news of all … I am no longer at risk for a stroke or heart disease.