When I was in my mid-thirties I had my body fat percentage done by a friend in the fitness field. It was 17%. Seventeen. When we discussed eating habits, I confessed that my snack of choice was gummi bears. She told me that I should cook up extra chicken and eat that as a snack instead. Pfffttt. Hard pass. I moved on to Skittles.
And so here we are with the second lesson that hit me hard this past year. Know that saying, “use it or lose it”? It’s really true. Seventeen is a number long gone. Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I was still *somewhat* into exercising. I went to the gym haphazardly. I occasionally rode my bike. I figured doing yard work and projects around the house helped offset my lack of structured exercise. Then the pandemic hit, followed by my cancer treatments, and now here I am, missing my toned arms and stamina. I can’t help but think that if I had taken care of myself as that fitness friend had suggested years ago, my treatments may not have hit me so hard. Maybe I would have bounced back quicker. I certainly wouldn’t be as far out of shape as I am now.
And it’s not that want to get into smaller-sized clothes, although that would be a bonus. I’ve realized in the last year just how quickly our health can decline and with it, our body. And as Buckaroo Banzai said, No matter where you go, there you are. You are stuck with you; forever tied to that body. I wish I hadn’t taken mine for granted. I’m just thankful that Patrick and I walked around the neighborhood regularly during my treatments and I continued stretching exercises. Maybe I have something to build on. I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, but taking care of myself better next year is on the agenda for sure.