My grandparents were amazing people. They endured a World War, a revolution, and emigration. They lost everything twice, and they persevered and overcame, retiring in comfort. As for health, they were relatively healthy with a few bumps and scrapes here and there. They ate moderately, ate only healthy and home-cooked meals, and even exercised regularly. They also both lived into their 90’s.
My grandparents are where a lot of my motivation comes from. They taught me that it doesn’t matter how often you fall or are pushed down. What matters is that you keep getting up and you keep moving forward. No matter how little the progress you make is, it’s progress. Getting up and walking may not be as good as running, but it’s far better than staying on the couch.
When my grandparents first got to Canada after fleeing Hungary in 1956, after a week of work (my grandmother worked two jobs; my grandfather worked three), they put all their money together and subtracted what they needed for bills. The net income was 35 cents. They took that dime and quarter and put it into a coffee can. Once the can reached $5, they went down to a bank and opened a savings account and made sure to make a deposit every week, regardless of how tiny it was. Their reasoning was that every penny saved was going to be worth much more later in life when they retired. Sure enough, they were both able to retire in their early 60’s, buy condos in Florida and maintain a residence in Evanston, IL. They never had to worry about money because of their discipline with saving.
While I’m not as financially smart as my grandparents, I took the lesson from the perseverance and apply it to my health and fitness. There are days when I don’t want to do it, but I do it anyway. There are days I don’t or can’t push hard, but at least I get out there and get some physical activity done. Why? Because it pays off in the end.
We are very fortunate to be alive in 2019. We have all the comforts that humanity can provide; we have plentiful food, excellent healthcare options, and relatively easy existence compared to our forebears even 50 years ago. We don’t have to toil to keep ourselves fed. We work, we go to the grocery to buy our food, and we sleep in comfort. Inexpensive fast food has made us overweight. To combat this, I now eat mostly home-cooked healthy meals, and I get exercise as often as I can (at least 3-4 times a week). Exercise is not something I would put at the top of my list of most fun things I do, but I do put it at the top of the list of most important things I do right next to eating healthy food.
My grandparents lived through a lot of adversity and made it through. The only adversity I had to make it through was getting obese, and that was my own doing. If they could get through all their troubles and keep their heads up and smile, I can do the same while I eat right and get stronger.