The Wake Up Call: May It Happen (Gently) To You

June 6, 2012   51 Comments

Today’s post was supposed to be about iced coffee, but I ended up not able to write it.

Motivation For Becoming Healthy

My husband called and began with this phrase: “Don’t panic. I am in an ambulance.”

Yeah, right I’m not going to panic!

“Ruby may have broken her nose after crashing her bike into a mail box.”

Yikes! My blood goes cold because of one thought, “Everything can change in an instant.”

I live every day with a thought in the back of my head about living in the moment. Not because some guru told me it is a good idea – but because I want to soak all the goodness up.

I am selfish about “being present”. I don’t want thoughts about work, annoying relatives, chores, or bad neighbors to get in the way of my time with my favorite people.

The entire reason I started my healthy eating journey is that I know that my time here is precious and I want to feel GOOD. Healthy food makes me feel good and (I hope) will extend my life.

I am motivated by the chilling thought that I don’t know what is going to happen so I better love my life now.

My daughter has a bad bruise and is just fine. She was riding her bike to school with her father when she lost control of her bicycle.

She wants so badly to be independent and her new bigger bike got the best of her. I am proud of her for taking the risk and next time she rides her bike I will wrap her in bubble wrap :)

My wake up call wasn't my husband's call about my daughter - but another call about a relative. She should have lived a lot longer than she did. After her death, I started working out regularly, cooking more, and feeling better.

So, today we take a day off from our regularly scheduled programming and I want to ask YOU – what motivates you to make the healthy choices?

Please share.

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Glad to hear the injuries were minor! I worry about my daughter and husband out having adventures together all the time. She is an almost-2-year-old daredevil and he encourages it all.

I run and eat my veggies to be a good role model for my daughter and because heart disease and breast cancer run in my family.

I'm glad your daughter is okay, that's a frightening phone call to receive and makes your heart stop for a moment.

I have 4 children, I realized that I can take better care of them if I take better care of myself. I too try to live for each moment and despite our somewhat chaotic lifestyle, I try to enjoy the simple moments each day brings. I am making more conscious choices not only about what I cook and eat, but what I prepare for my children. I've also begun a regular exercise program. I know it's an adventure of small steps to make it to my goal, but I'm going to enjoy the journey.

Glad your daughter is okay! I started my healthy journey to set a good example for my kids and feel good enough to play every day. I continue it to motivate the people I love and because life is so much fuller and enjoyable now that I'm healthy!

So happy your daughter is ok! What a scare ! I am motivated also by the death of someone special to me, far to early. I want to feel good and be here for my family. Loving ourselves also sets a good example for our children.

So glad your daughter is ok!

I'm glad everything worked out! I breath caught when I read the tag line. My choice to start living a healthier life style was because I was on the dangerous path towards diabetes. 5 months later I'm 35 lbs lighter, eating as fresh as possible, and being as active as a couch potato can be (baby steps). Now my son is into eating the same way and has trimmed down also.

Happy to hear all is well!

My decision to be healthy is after watching people I love abuse their bodies withe cigarettes, alcohol, or bad food choices. It seems ungrateful in a way. To be blessed with health and then to unravel it with bad choices. I also want to ignore what culture throws at me. Eat, eat, eat--be skinny, skinny, skinny. I choose to be healthy.

I have always eaten fairly healthy and have exercised on and off. My father, who is a brittle diabetic, nearly died in December 2010. His kidney's failed and he was in a medically induced coma for 4 days. He did not take care of his diabetes and now at age 55y he is on kidney dialysis and almost had his leg amputated. It was scary. I have two small children and I cannot put them through what my siblings and I have gone through with my father- My wake up call!! I have lost 15lbs and I have never felt better in my life!!

PS-glad your daughter is ok:-)

Yikes! So glad that your daughter is O.K.

I've always been pretty healthy, but having kids has inspired me to pay even more attention to what goes on my plate. I know that they are learning from me and I want to be a good role model. And it's actually been great for me. I've managed to kick my sugar addiction. Used to need my "fix" after dinner every night; now it doesn't even cross my mind. Watching my mother suffer from vascular dementia for the past 9 years also has been a wake-up call. You only get one body, and you gotta take care of it! For kids, I think an important place to reinforce this is in our schools--which is why I created my School Bites blog: It is frustrating when you're making big efforts to be healthy at home only to have them undermined at school.

If I die, my sister-in-law will influence how my children are raised. And I want to keep my toes.

I discovered that I can manage my depression through healthy eating. For the first time in my life, I know what it's like to feel good. It's no secret processed food attributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, etc. It affects our mental health too! My success has inspired me to start a blog recently to share my discoveries and hopefully pay if forward.

For starters, glad that your daughter's injury is minor. Thank goodness. I too, just like you, made the decision to make a significant life style change after my mother passed away. She died much too soon and was still relatively young but had been overweight for many years and had a billion health problems because of it. Diabetes was the worst and she spent the last several years of her life going to dialysis three times a week. I watched her suffer and saw how difficult even the most simple task was for her and winded her and I made the decision then to stop following in her footsteps as I too had been significantly overweight. I joined WW last July and have lost 115 pounds thus far. I love the way I feel and the way I look and hope that this will help me live longer and be more active as I have two small children (6 and 4). I want to be able to do things with them.

Well wishes to Ruby! Show & Tell will definitely be fun for her!

Thank you SO much for recreating food! I have been a member for 2 weeks, and I am addicted to your daily emails! I can't wait to see how you will re-create "comfort" foods. I have tried several of the recipes! Yuuuuummm!

So glad to hear your daughter is OK.

I have always enjoyed exercising but stuck to the same things. I was an OK eater, but didn't always look for the healthiest options. A life-changing cancer diagnosis (aren't they all?) in 2004 left me with a second chance to make more of my life. I cherished more my relationships and weeded out those which were unhealthy - I stopped taking people for granted. I also began to exercise in different ways and to explore healthy eating choices - I stopped taking good health for granted. For me, it became about making more (or the most) of what I have and cherishing all of it.

Glad to know your daughter is okay, Lisa.

Me, I'm motivated to make healthy choices because based on what I've seen and read, it seems that a healthy diet and exercise can minimize the chances (or the severity) of the typical Western diseases: cardiovascular problems, cancer, etc. and I don't want to suffer from those as I age.

Wow, sorry about your daughter.

I don't have any kids yet, but I started my journey (I'm far cry from getting there ) to becoming healthy because I realised that I should love myself. After years of dieting for X or Y reasons and falling off the wagon I said why not do it for me ? I'm worth it .

I know that I might sound selfish but believe when I said that for me it was a breakthrough.

By the way I love your blogg. Its my first time adding a comment since I discovered it a month or so ago . I love what you do and its always a pleausre reading you.

My wakeup call wasn't so first husband died of cancer at the age of 37 almost 20 years ago. I am very proactive about my health now, especially now that I've been given a second chance at happiness. I married my best friend 3 years ago. He's six years younger, so I want to be sure I'm around to enjoy golden years with him

I am a wife, mother of two wonderful little boys and an oncology nurse. The gift to care for individuals with cancer shows me how precious life is and everyday irritations we think are a big deal pales in comparisson to others struggles. Really puts life into perspective. Making healthy food and lifestyle choices is a must for our family to ensure we are around to spend time together and make the most of every moment. Glad your daughter is ok, that phone call must have been terrifying.

So glad she's ok!

I started getting healthier about my eating and activity with one of those ah-ha moments looking at photos from a vacation. I couldn't get over the image of myself and what a chunky monkey I'd become. I had always eaten what a I wanted but was very active when younger. When my activity slowed but my eating did not, the pounds set in. I was determined and got back on the clean(er) eating wagon and started back to a workout schedule. I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto's hypothroid along the way and found it is more manageable through a healthy lifestyle. I don't like the gym so I do kickboxing and CrossFit and have shed 40lbs. Through better eating and getting back to regular fitness routine I have found my self again. It is truly a lifestyle change (or resurrection) for me as I don't do anything I can't live with forever. I don't believe in temporary diets as they only create temporary change.

I love your site for all the healthy recipes and the word-to-the-wise info on decieving snack choices. Can't wait for more!

My doctor motivated me. She told me I would have to be on medication if I didn't do something, my bp was high and cholesterol was over 200. That really shook me. I thought about it a lot over Christmas week, did nothing, thought about it some more and finally have lost 15 lbs, have 10 more I need to lose. I feel better, & want to feel even better! Very hard to add in the exercise factor with kids, full time work, husband, busy life...thanks for your emails, they really help me. :)

Unfortunately, I'm interested in healthier eating because I have so much wrong with me. The most severe is Sjogren's Syndrome, which has taken my kidney funtion down to Stage III kidney failure, and caused me immense physical pain. Autoimmune disease also killed my mother. I'm convinced that food additives and chemicals are contributing to the increase in autoimmune diseases we keep seeing. Since my life is ruled (and sometimes ruined) by inflammation, eating well is one thing I can do to decrease it. I have to be on several serious drugs (like Methotrexate and Rituxan), and I hope that getting all the antioxidants and nutrients and all the other good stuff from food will help counteract some of the toxic effects from the drugs.

Glad to hear your daughter is doing just fine. Things like that can be quite scary. My motivation to make healthier choices and exercise daily is due to wanting to enjoy a long life with family and being a great example for my loved ones (children, relatives, friends). I want my children to grow up with my choices as an example for when they're older. I want to avoid the diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases that run in my family. I try everyday to be an example to my friends and family so they will be encouraged to make healthier food choices and adopt a more active lifestyle. My two brothers were both diagnosed with diabetes in their early thirties, and my best friend had just turned 22 when she was diagnosed. Her 11yr. old son is obese and follows her lead when it comes to his eating habits and exercise. I try to lead them to adopt a healthier lifestyle through my life and my children's because I love them and want them to live fuller lives.

So glad your little one is ok! One of the main reasons I'm making healthy changes in my life is totally selfish-it's for me! I want to be around to see my beautiful little girl grow up-and I don't want her to have the same self-esteem and body issues that her mom has.

I cycled this past weekend in the MS150 bike ride over on the eastern shore of Virginia. 150 miles on a bike in 2 days with bad headwinds each day. This is why I choose to eat healthy. I have lost 82 pounds with Weight Watchers and I do it because now I can. so many people say I can't do that. But you can do something and that is where you start. It is all the small changes that can add up to so many positive things.

I'm glad to hear your daughter is ok. It's funny how when someone says "don't panic" it immediatetly triggers a panic response.

My wake up call came when I spoke to my dad on father's day several years ago and he told me that he was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, that it is genetic and I should get tested. Well, I won the genetic lotto and also have the disease. Since then dad has also battled (and beaten) colon cancer and a heart attack and since all have genetic components and I appear to inherit easily I have woken up to the fact that I need to take better care of myself and put off or prevent these afflictions from happening to me.

I'm so glad your daughter is ok! I'm sorry to hear about your realitive. My wake up call was my doctore telling me if I keep going this way I'm going to have a hsort life with lots of health issues. That freaked me out!! SO I lost over 30lbs, and now I am in the best shape of my life.

I started my ‘healthier me’ journey, being inspired by myself, I was tired of being sick and tired all the time. I was doing this for me not for anyone else, not to look better but to feel better. But in March, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. My Mom is the strongest person I know, but she never took care of herself, she was always concerned with everyone else, if she had an ache or pain she would just take an aspirin and keep going and that has now come back to haunt her and our family. You MUST take care of yourself first, it make you stronger and able to care for everyone else in your life. To quote a line from one of my favorite Movies “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”, it is your decision!

Breathe.Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. (Oprah)I read this daily as a gentle reminder on how fragile life is.

Lisa, I'm Sooo happy that your daughter is okay. Being a Mom and a grandmother I know the feeling you had. We want to protect our children as long as we can but yet we need to have them learn about life also so where do we start and stop???

We Don't!!!

My kids are my #1 motivator for everything. I want to be there for every possible moment so I make sure that taking care of myself as well as them is a priority from eating right to exercise. I want them to make the same healthy choices as well so they can lead long and full lives. Whatever the reason I applaud everyone who follows this path!

I'm glad your daughter is alright!

For me, it was turning 21 and not wanting to go out to bars because nothing I could find made me feel attractive and sexy. Several 5Ks and 20 pounds later, I'm always pumped to enjoy mysef

Glad your daughter is ok!

My son who has autism motivates me. I need to live one week longer than him. Some days I fall off the wagon, but I get back on it the next day.

I love your emails - they are a huge help!!

my mom died of cancer when she was 48. my dad had a heart attack at 50 (he lived thankfully). children are such a gift, and i want to be here for mine.

My wakeup call....I turned 50 May 22nd! Last year I did my first year of Triathlon Training with a local Women's Tri Group, and three weeks before the Danskin I had a bad bicycle crash. Head injury (not a mark anywhere else on my body!). So I DID NOT get to 'tri.' I also found people were kinda, 'weird,' around me after, and I didnt' like that -- what, am I unclean now?? Well in January I a) joined our local, brand new YMCA, so I could go to SPIN, so I could develop mad skills, and b) started Weight Watchers. Spin is FABULOUS!! Our "Spin Doctor" is a professional cyclist, and I have learned so much. My legs have muscles I never saw before. I also am swimming a mile in the pool several times a week, and I'm up to a 30-mile ride for my max outside. I also became a Jeff Galloway follower (run AND walk and don't have a hang up about it! :) ) and my longest run so far (slow though it might be) is 9.5 miles. I am also down 28 pounds, and between a size 8 and 10, and happier than I have been in years. Ironically, though what I'm doing is the hardest stuff I've ever done, this feels's been easy. Does that make sense? Your feeds are a regular part of my day, and I thank YOU for being part of the inspiration!!! Love, Heidi. PS I still have a WW 'goal' that's about 12 pounds less than I am now -- haha -- but I'm not pushing it. The body is now down to only losing a pound every two weeks, at best! BUT I am doing my first FULL Sprint Triathlon June 16 (Dilettante's Chocolates Women's Tri in Federal Way, WA), Valley Girl July 8 in LIberty Lake, WA, ChelanMan two weeks after that, and then August 19.....The Seattle Danskin. Wish me luck!!!!

I'm glad to hear that your daughter is okay. My DD (3yo) has just started riding her new bike too and I've already stocked up on the bubble wrap.

My inspiration to lose weight and eat healthier started when I found out I was pregnant. I was very overweight and very inactive. The thought of not being able to play with my daughter and be active with her made me sad. I knew once she was born I'd really have to put the effort in, especially since I was afraid of gaining weight with the pregnancy. Thankfully I actually lost 70lbs while pregnant. Not really a suggested way to do it, but the horrific heartburn I would get helped me change my diet and eating habits. Unfortunately, I've put back some weight and it's once again my daughter that is motivating me to lose it. I need to be around for her and I want her to see me eating healthy foods so she will also have healthy eating habits. She is the most important part of my life and I want to make sure I am there for her for a long, long time.

My daughter (also named Ruby - nice choice!) has a mild disability. I realized that I have to be my healthiest and strongest because she needs me and will need me for much longer than another child might. It was my wakeup call and after everything finally sunk in, I joined Weight Watchers, lost 30 pounds, started running, and just tried to change everything I do for the better. I'm glad your Ruby is OK!

My doctor motivated me with a kind but firm talk about healthy eating. I then went about the task of losing 22 pounds to my goal (and told him he was the best doctor ever!). My Father had 2 heart attacks and then late life diabetes. At 57 I am more fit then I've been since my 20's. My blood pressure is good, my cholesterol is excellent, etc... and no drugs! My doctor is now retired so I rely on people like you to keep me on the right path.

Congratulations to your daughter to her new bigger bike and for coming thru with minimal damage.

Thank you for this reminder about how precious and fragile life is.

What motivates me is preventing diabetes, heart disease, and doing my best damn job at cancer prevention (my Mom had an 18 month battle with breast cancer--and at this point won). I also find that I sleep better at night, perform better at work and make better food choices. Plus, my goal is to get carded until I'm 40 and so far so good!

My family history sort of woke me up. There was heart disease on one side and diabetes on both. Then my mom was borderline insulin-resistant diabetic and referred to a bariatric clinic and successfully lost over 120 pounds and my sister jumped on the bandwagon about year after mom did. I followed in about 6 months. I think I would have started sooner, but I live 900 miles from them so they weren't local support. But it turns out my taking the step about a year ago has generated it's own local support group as many of my friends and even my husband have now made changes to their fitness levels and eating habits. I'm nearing 80 pounds lost so far and looking at another 40-50 to go yet. I've been plateaued for about 2 months, but I'll take it since my life has changed drastically in those 2 months. It is a really good thing that I didn't gain weight with the changes. And my body has kept changing even though my weight hasn't.

I'm glad your daughter's nose was just bruised and not broken! I didn't have a wake-up call like you did with your relative, for me it's been a slow evolution. The more I read about food, how it's grown, processed, etc. made me question why I put certain things in my body. Then I started noticing how much better I felt when I didn't eat junk. I'm still a work in progress.

After losing 30 pounds I never wanted to go back. I lost it all with exercise but soon realized that I needed to make healthier eating choices if I was going to maintain my weight. Now I can't imagine eating any other way. I feel good, energetic and definitely have fewer stomach aches. :)

I didn't want to be like the overweight people in my family. So I went to the extreme. I was diagnosed with EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) by a nutritionist. I've been working on getting better. I didn't know all the effects it has on the body until my doctor told me things that weren't quite right. Gaining the weight back has been one of the hardest things, but I love that this website is here to help me make sure I hold on to the healthy-ness of everything I've taught myself. Thank you snack girl!

I am so glad the injuries were minor and she is ok. Last night, 5 yr son my classmate and a dear friend fell from a tree and hurt his back. We are still so worried. Hope everything is fine. I know how things change in an instant.

I'm glad to hear that your daughter escaped unscathed and also sorry for your loss!

I too am a mum to a beautiful (inside and out) bouncing 7 month old baby girl. Motherhood was the answer to all of my questions. I now realise my reason for being in this crazy world and she has given me focus and purpose. I eat healthy so I can be around as long as possible to watch her grow up, get married and have children of her own. I want to be THAT grandmother that you look at and say "how is she able to keep up with her grandkids?!" I want my daughter to know that the best gift you can give yourself is health. With it comes happiness and happiness is infectious...

I am an RN in an intensive care unit. On a daily basis I see overweight and morbidly obese patients that are so young and in such poor health. The first line on their H&P is this..."Mr/Mrs Smith is a pleasant, morbidly obese male/female..." I was 5'9" and weighed 225 pounds at 42 years old. I decided that I did not want my medical history to include that line! Also, how could I take care of people and encourage them to have healthy lifestyle if I was not healthy myself? I joined WW and have lost 32 pounds over the last 9 months. I still have a ways to go, but your blog helps me daily. I am glad your daughter is alright and I thank you for your blog and your WONDERFUL granola recipe!

I started my journey a few years ago after my father broke his foot. Any injury is a tragedy, but the problem was compounded because of his diabetes. He spent nearly 50 days in the hospital during a three month period due to diabetic infections. Two years later, it still hadn't fully healed.

His initial accident spurred me into counting calories and exercising. I lost 55 lbs that first year! It's been a couple of years now, and my father is no longer with us. He was only 60 when he passed, much too young for this day and age. Coupled with the grief is the constant reminder that there are people in this world who care about me and I have to do everything in my power to make sure I have a long, healthy life, for my family and for myself.

The birth of my son changed everything. It ignited a passion in me to live better, to move more, and to make food nourishing again.

Glad to know that your daughter is okay! (also I love her name - Ruby...unique :])

I've started to eat healthy and walk (again... :/) because I was constantly tired. I have depression and it helps with that too. I went to my doctor one day and was hoping for a miracle pill, I guess. She said, "the only way you're not gonna be tired all the time is if you get active. Other than that there's nothing I can do." So recently I started walking every night again and I'm trying to eat healthier again too.

I love that you are going to wrap your daughter in bubble wrap! So cute!

I thought your question was easy, but then I drew a blank. What motivates me? To feel better, to be happier. It sounds generic and cliche, but life is so much better when we feel better and happier. ;-) Cheers~

My Dr. couldn't figure out my cholesterol because my triglycerides were over 700. He said I was a heart attack waiting to happen and I'd be lucky to make it to 50. I started out at 230lb in Feb and today I weighed 175. I've lost 55lbs in 5 months by reducing carbs and exercising. All my blood work is now in normal range and my BP is 106/66 with a resting heart rate of 70.

I would like to can strawberry and raspberry jam, along with salsa, pickles, and Dilly beans. Canning really isn't hard, but a little time consuming. Its so great to have the stuff all winter long though!!

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