The Real Reason I Strive For Health

The real reason I strive to be healthy The Real Reason I Strive For Health

I don’t write personal posts often, but this past weekend I lost my grandmother and it has caused me to think a lot about health and illness, life and death.

She was 91 and my only remaining grandparent. She taught me to play chess and to paint, and was instrumental in my faith life.

While I am very sad to have lost her, I am grateful as this was the first time I was ever able to say goodbye to a grandparent. We got to say all the things one regrets not saying…. the things we should all remember to say to our loved ones each day.

We got to say “I love you,” and reminisce about all the good memories. She got to meet her newest great-grandchild.

In the last conversation I had with her, as she sat surrounded by all of her children and grandchildren, she said something that really struck me:

“I have accepted it and I am at peace.”

I realized that not many of us get to say that at the end and it made me really think about the reasons we do things in life.

The Real Goal?

It seems that often in life, the things that seem like such a big deal now aren’t all that important in the long run…

In those last conversations with my grandma, she talked about how grateful she was for each of her children and how proud of them she was. She was really big on helping others and was glad that all of her kids had done that in some way during their lives.

You know what wasn’t said in those last conversations? Things like “If only I had lost that last dress size after having a baby,” or “If only I didn’t have these stretch marks from carrying my six kids.” Nor were there any regrets about not having more money, more clothes, more possessions.

In the end, the most valuable commodity in life is time. One can (hypothetically) always make more money or replace possessions, but we all only get the same 24 hours each day for as long as we are here on earth.

When it comes down to it, the reason we strive to be healthy can’t be so that we fit into the same size clothes we did in college or so we have flawless skin (though those can be great side-effects of being healthy), but so that we can have more time to enjoy the blessings of this life and the health and energy to be able to live it the best way possible.

I hope that God-willing I make it to 91 or older, that I will also be able to say that I am at peace, surrounded by those I love. In the meantime, I’ll be striving to be as healthy as I can be, not so that I can look a certain way or fit into a certain dress size, but so that I have the energy and health to be the best wife and mother possible…

And so that I can have many more days hearing the precious (and sometimes at 5 AM not so precious) sound of little feet each day.

Because at the end of life, the things that won’t matter will be things like:

  • My bank account balance
  • What size I wear
  • How many things I’ve accrued
  • How many people knew who I was
  • What other people thought of me
  • How clean my house was
  • How much work I got done

But rather, the important things will been those that don’t often seem to have value in today’s world:

the important things in life The Real Reason I Strive For HealthI strive to be healthy so that I can see those little feet learn to walk and then walk down the aisle one day. So that I can be there for all the important moments in my kids’ lives and meet my grandkids one day.

In the end, I think that it comes down to love. Not love in an abstract “all we need is love” Beatles way, but love in the self-giving, sacrificial, daily choices we make.

Love isn’t just an emotion that we feel, but a daily choice that we make… and perhaps the most important one we can make. Not only is it the root of faith and relationships but it is what drives those things that will really matter in life. A new mother doesn’t love her baby just because of an emotion (though it certainly is that as well) but out of a desire for the good of her child, a self-giving, nurturing love where nothing is expected in return.

From my relatively short time on the earth thus far, I can say that those are the things that leave me feeling at peace and fulfilled… the times and relationships where love is not just an emotion but a self-giving choice. I can imagine that at the end of life, those are also the things that allow us to say “I am at peace.”

As Mother Teresa so eloquently put it on the wall of her home for orphaned children in India:

Do it Anyway Mother Teresa The Real Reason I Strive For Health

What is your motivation? Why do you strive to be healthy? Share below!

Reader Comments

  1. Maryanne Anthopoulos says

    Great post! It’s always nice to be reminded that it’s the little things that matter the most in the long (and short) run. Thank you!

  2. Melissa Waldrop says

    This brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Beautifully written and exactly what I needed to hear today. I will be referring back to this post from time-to-time.

  3. Jessi K says

    That’s beautiful Katie, made me cry! I’m sorry about the loss of your grandma, and happy her life gives you much to celebrate.

  4. May says

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I so agree with you. There have been things happen in my life that I look at now and think, “You know, I am sure glad I did….instead of…” Spending time with the people you love, forgiving those who are only hurting themselves, these things matter most. Keep writing. You inspire.

  5. Irene Tiger says

    Wonderful touching and inspiring post! I like what you said about love not just being an emotion but a self-giving choice. I have to take care of my dad who had a stroke and my grandpa who’s getting on in years, and it definitely applies. I strive to be healthy for the added bonuses, so I can be active and productive for my whole life and accomplish my goals in life, and so I can be an inspiration to others so they can be healthy and happy and accomplish their goals in life

  6. Dana says

    What a timely message. As a person who struggles with food addiction, this article spoke to me and gave me so much to think about. Thank you for writing this article and I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Grandmothers are such gifts and what a blessing that yours lived to be 91 <3

  7. Msofie says

    I love this post. This is what I tell myself everyday – I’ve lost many people close to me during my years (which are not so many, I’m 26!); my mother has Alzheimer’s in a pretty severe stage and my dad died in cancer a few years ago… At this stage I’m planning to change my whole carrier in order to be able to help others, and be able to fulfill myself. So thank you for sharing this, it gave me more faith in that the plans I have for the future are not in vain…

  8. Christel Dubbeld says

    Dear Katie, I’m sorry about your loss of your grandma. 91 is a great age, but you will miss her a lot… What a great post.. You’re absolutely right.
    Love from The Netherlands,
    Chris

  9. Milo says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Everything you said is true. It’s not who has the most toys at the end but who ends up with the most memories from family and friends. *Sniffle* Thank you for everything you do!

  10. says

    Hi Katie,
    My condolences on the passing of your grandma.
    I’ll answer by copying and pasting what I wrote in my About page:
    “My goal in learning about health and wellness is just simple. And romantic. But honest. I want to live for as long as I could to be with my dear husband, to have the energy to take care of my three kids, to live long enough to witness the milestones in their lives and to please my Creator and Savior with this life He gave me.” – See more at: http://www.behealthyandwell.com/p/about-site.html#sthash.khmGLepj.dpuf

  11. says

    such a great post, thank you. I strive to be healthy so that I can live long and enjoy life to the fullest. I see so many older adults that have so many health problems that they spend their retirement in a doctor’s office or on tons of pharmaceuticals. I still want to be able to do things and see places when I get older. I recently saw Wayne Dyer speak and he had the same message about love and how true love is where there is no opposite, it just is.

  12. Cheryl says

    Your article is a lovely reminder of two women in my life (my mother and grandmother) that I love deeply and guide me daily even though they are not on the earthly plane. I often choose to think of what each of them would do when confronted with life’s problems. Your grandmother is always with you.

  13. Justin Green says

    I am so glad I encountered your thoughts today. It’s taken many decades for me to be able to finally take this message to heart–a CHOICE, not just an emotion.
    Peace,
    Justin

  14. says

    Sorry about the loss of your grandma. Love your blog & all the great tips! I have the Mother Theresa poem in my kitchen – it has always been a favorite!

  15. Sara Murphy says

    What a precious post! Thank you for sharing something we all needed to hear. Sometimes we tend to forget what is ultimately important. This is so touching.

  16. Anne Wahl says

    Katie, thanks for this timely post. As I sit here and contemplate Where do I go from here? Time to downsize and move from a big house when all the kids are on their own, to where we really need to be, what is most important in deciding to where to be, based on what is the most important in ones life.

  17. Steve says

    Thank u for sharing and may she rest in Euphoria! I strive for my Daughter Katherine 22, who is in a word, Luminous but has turned her back to God, influenced by new friends. I strive for my Son, Christopher who has autism but not autistic as it does not define all the Wonders He is. I strive for my Husband, whom I fell in love with 21 years ago, lost and found one another in 2013. He lived 10
    minutes away all those years. He proposed 6 weeks later. We’ve never been so Happy, so Blessed. Be Strong, Stay Cool and above all remember, “Those who always give, will Always have”. God Bless you & yours.

  18. anastasia says

    So sorry about your grandmother! This is a wonderful heartfelt post, you’ve said it well and it’s true. It’s exactly why I want my family to be healthy, my heart aches for the sheer number of people I see living life on prescription drugs and in/out of doctor’s offices – really missing out on life, it’s sad.

  19. Vickie says

    So sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. Your post is a beautiful reminder of the real, deep reasons for the efforts at being healthy. Thank you.

  20. Connie Coy says

    Thank you for getting us all back to the heart of why we do what we do. Why we, in our free time, make healthy options from scratch instead of buy them. Why we go against the grain of mainstream medicine to go after what we believe is real health. Sometimes it does get overwhelming, just as a mom of 1, but you are right I too believe it is worth it. ( I have the belief part, doing it takes more energy)

    Thank you for writing personally here.

  21. Kathleen Kahl says

    Love this post! Sounds like you learned a lot from your Grandmother. You are blessed to have had her with you for so long. Good reminder for why it is important to strive for good health. One of my favorite Mother Theresa quotes.

  22. Donna Long says

    Beautifully said. This is the prayer of my heart. This is living the beautiful life. God continually bless you!

  23. Ann Fischer says

    Thank you for this important reminder of a healthy perspective, and keeping priorities in the order of importance as they ought to be!

  24. Janis Leal says

    Wow — Right on. Nearly brought me to tears, too. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and heart, and for reminding everyone of what’s really important in life. Many blessings to you.

  25. Vanessa says

    This is one of the loveliest, most poignant things i have ever, ever read! Thank you, Wellness Mama, for your words. I imagine your beautiful family are all helping you and eachother through this sad time. Blessings to you all.

  26. Kelly says

    Hi Katie
    This was a beautifully written post! I am also mom to five young kids but mine were born in six years! I found your site when looking for ways to get healthier, specifically to overcome severe iron deficiency. My first pot of bone soup has just finished cooking after 48 hours and I just burned my mouth and tongue in my excitement to taste it. Thanks for all the great ideas, I will be definitely be using lots of them- though maybe not the the placenta pot roast!
    Kelly
    Fiveallmine.com

  27. Belita says

    Thank you for sharing your heart and why you do what you do! I have been seeking to learn everything I can about health and nutrition lately and with that comes evaluating my WHY. Your blog has helped me so much!

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