Change What You Can Control
Life comes at you fast, sometimes it seems impossible to deal with, let alone manage your work life, home life, eating, exercise, bills, births, deaths, marriages, relatives, good friends, bad friends, love life, kids, dogs….money!!!…. AAAAHHHHH!!!! STOP!!!
There are some things you can control and others you can’t. A few days ago, my amazing wife’s sister passed away from a year-long battle with Pancreatic cancer, which is very aggressive and has the ultimate inevitable outcome. In reality, it wasn’t a battle she could win, she could only delay the timing.
This made me think about life in general and how the world continues on with you or without you.
After 3 family deaths, a wedding and losing 2 dogs in the last year between us, we have started to look not so much at changing the world but changing OUR world. Both of my parents are still alive at 87 years young, but I know, as do they, that the hands of time don’t stop but you can manage your time better.
After my father had his 5th heart event many years ago, he decided he needed to change his future rather than waiting for “The Widow Maker” to show up.
I used to think they were going a little loopy in their old age and their “diet” would certainly lead them to health problems but that was 20 years ago. 17 of my parents’ 20 siblings are no longer with us as are most of my parents’ long-time friends I knew from my childhood. My father kept in touch with people from his grade school class and it seems he is the last survivor of the class.
I concluded that whatever it is that they are doing, is working.
He set out to eat way less fat, cut out all butter, started eating eggs and tomatoes and chicken breast, got a spray bottle for olive oil, began eating more fruit and vegetables and started a stretching regime every morning. Picture an 87-year-old man raising his leg up to the balcony handrail like a ballerina every morning before breakfast. Their weight is perfect and moves up or down within a 2lb range.
Then I joined Weight Watchers in June 2017 and I have cut out nearly all fat, I’m eating eggs, Chicken Breast and use a spray bottle for oil. I am eating a LOT more fruit and vegetables and although I don’t do the ballerina thing, I am walking a lot more. When I get to goal & Lifetime, my weight will need to fit within the same range.
I asked my father recently what he attributes to his apparent success and he gave me a very simple answer…
He said, “I changed the things that I had the power to change and didn’t take no for an answer. I decided that I could outrun the grim reaper for a while rather than wait for him to come find me sitting in the chair”.
At 87, both my parents spend hours in their garden every week; not snipping flowers and pulling weeds as you might expect, but mowing, cutting and chipping branches, moving 2 yards of soil or 5 yards of mulch, planting a vegetable crop, tending chickens in the coop, on a 2-acre tropical property, by the beach.
My parents have no clue what Weight Watchers is, but seem to have stumbled on the same formula based purely on trial and error over 30 or so years.
The lesson here for me is that I can change the things around me that I can control if I truly want to…. My parents did it!