YOU ARE YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Movement, Motivation and Mindset for Active Seniors

Energy Bite 212 – Your Commitment to Yourself

How committed are you to yourself, and to living a long healthy life? How committed are you to maintaining your personal independence and staying self-reliant for the rest of your life? Those are some questions you should be asking yourself as you start to get older.

Commitment is not the same as a “resolution” as in New Year’s Resolution. How do those usually work out? Commitment is a burning desire and intent, followed by continual execution with no excuses or BS.

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”    — Unknown.

Most people are perfectly aware of what they need to do. Pretty much anyone who is awake knows that they should be moving their bodies, eating healthy foods and getting plenty of rest and sleep. And not for just a few days — how about forever.

In their book, Younger Next Year, authors Chris Crowley and the late Dr. Harry Lodge listed a few rules for this. They called them, Harry’s Rules. There are seven of them. Here are four:

  1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
  2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life.
  3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
  4. Quit eating crap!

That’s quite a commitment. It’s probably more than you need, but you should commit to doing something along those lines if you want to continue to stay upright and independent.

There are too many excuses and you’ve heard them all before: Not enough time. Too old. I’ll start later. I just can’t make myself do it. And a thousand others.

But there is no real excuse. You either make a commitment to yourself — or you don’t.

How to commit? Decide what you want. Visualize how you want to look, feel and be. Include an emotional component in that visualization so that you feel it internally, as well as see it. Set a goal for yourself. Turn that goal into an positive affirmation and write it down. Make a plan how to get there. EXECUTE THE PLAN and don’t look back. No excuses

I exercise between 50 minutes to an hour most mornings. I made that commitment to myself almost eight years ago. I’ve kept it. Why? I want to feel good and be healthy, fit and independent the rest of my life. I keep a record of my exercises. I think that helps me with the discipline. I don’t like to see empty pages in the log book. I even exercise in hotel rooms. You don’t need to be quite as obsessed about it as I am.

Besides, I can’t write a blog, speak about it and do workshops on the subject without doing it myself.

The same with food. Everyone who opens their eyes in the morning knows what they should not be stuffing in their mouth. But that doesn’t seem to make a difference. We have a lot of overweight and unhealthy eaters in our midst. It’s an individual matter of personal responsibility. It’s a function of your own attitude and yes, self-discipline (dare I use that word?). There are about ten zillion eating plans (diets) to choose from.  The best ones tell you to stay away from sugar and processed foods, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. That’s the one I adhere to. It works for me.

Commit to it. Don’t let anything stop you from sticking with healthy eating. Make a menu on Sunday night and pretty well stick with it during the week. You don’t have to wrangle over what to eat each night. It’s pretty easy to commit to that.

I’ll add this. Commitment is internal. Commitment is personal. You can commit to someone else that you will execute, but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t make a real commitment to yourself.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”    — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Begin now — today. Make good health, fitness and personal energy a personal priority and an ongoing reality. Commit to it.

Thank you for reading.

Energy Bite 211 – Perceptions of Aging (Rebuttal to a Newspaper Article)

The lead sentence of an article in today’s Washington, DC’s favorite “newspaper”, The Washington Post, goes like this: “What can be done about negative stereotypes that portray older adults as out of touch, useless, feeble, incompetent, pitiful and irrelevant?”  In all fairness to the Washington Post, the article was produced independently by Kaiser Health News,… Continue Reading

Energy Bite 208 – A Rant About Doctors Who Sell Products

Being old and all, I go to several doctors of different areas of practice. During visits to the last three, retail diet products and nutritional supplements were being promoted by the doctors in their offices. One: My Cardiologist has his pre-packaged dietary meal plan products displayed prominently in his waiting room. He also sells supplements… Continue Reading

Energy Bite 205 – Do You Overexercise?

  Do you get too much exercise? Did you know there was such a thing as “overtraining syndrome”. Naturally there’s a “syndrome”. If my ear itches twice in one day, I have “itchy ear syndrome”. I wrote the words “overtraining syndrome” in my notes for this article thinking naively that I was going to coin… Continue Reading