Thank you for visiting our website and blog in particular. I plan to provide readers with useful ideas about how to integrate wellness into their lifestyle. So my first blog will tell you a little about my journey into wellness.
As a child of the 60’s I developed some negative lifestyle practices. I smoked cigarettes and pot, drank lots of liquor, ate whatever tasted good, and hardly exercised. I was too interested in social change at the time to worry about my health, because after all, being in my 20’s, I was one of the invisibles!
Well, not quite. My childhood case of asthma returned and I saw a doctor who told me that I had pneumonia and the beginning stages of emphasema. I’m not sure if he was just trying to scare me about the emphasema, but I had to stop all smoking because I literally couldn’t breathe. This turned out to be a blessing because if I didn’t become symptomatic, I would have continued to smoke for more than the 7 years I did.
Three months after stopping smoking I thought I was cured. So like the person that I was at the time, I felt I could start smoking again! Well, the symptoms came right back. The hacking and wheezing. So that ended my cigarette smoking ‘career’. I eventually gave up pot when I realized that it was not doing me any favors in life.
When I went back to school for my graduate degree, I obtained a Masters in Community Development with a specialization in Health Education Planning. I worked at a health planning agency for 2 years and learned much about the planning process and health education.
Attracted to self-improvement, I enrolled in SIU’s Wellness program where I became a trained lifestyle counselor. Once I graduated I taught stress management, smoking cessation and general lifestyling at hospitals, adult education centers and universities. I found this to be rewarding in many ways. I met great people, helped a good many of them and reinforced the ideas of wellness to myself as I taught others.
At the age of 35, I started working out. I played racquetball and lifted weights. Now, my philosophy is that I need to do some exercise every day whether it’s QiGong, stretching, weights, yoga, pilates, treadmill, balancing exercises or whatever I feel like doing. The point is to do something!
My wife and I buy and prepare healthy, good tasting food and rarely have junk food in the house. We’re not saints, but if the bad stuff isn’t around, I’m not going to eat it. If I feel like sweets, there’s always a wonderful orange. We have dark chocolate in the house, but we eat it moderately. If I feel like something salty, I can have popcorn.
The point is that it is possible to prepare good tasting, healthy food.
I manage my stress through exercise, meditation, massages and developing a mindset that it’s all good and that I can change whatever is wrong. Of course I lose my cool and allow stress to get the best of me – for a while. But then I do some self talk and remember either that it’s my interpretation of the event that is stressing me out, lack of awareness, or something else I’m responsible for. Accepting responsibility for whatever happens in my life gives me the power to change anything.
I was born with a defective heart valve and have required two valve replacements. While I could sit around and mope about it, what’s the use of that?! Instead, I’m grateful to science, the doctors, my insurance and G-d for saving my life. Don’t worry. I don’t talk about G-d in the ebook, in case that offends you. But for me, G-d is spirit, the universe and a greater power than me.
The point is that gratitude and the motivation to stay in tip top shape are a heck of a lot better than staring out the window wondering ‘why me’?
Well, that brings us up to the present. You all probably know much about the second half of my e-book. Most people know about diet and nutrition, exercise and stress management. But the first half of the book, dealing with mindset and attitude are the ‘first movers’ for positive change.
I’m happy to share what I know and value any feedback you may have about the book, this website or the blog.
Good health to you!