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My Fitness Inspiration

Today's blogger: Janet Lee, Shape's deputy editor

I’ve been working in the fitness industry for 15 years now so I’ve come across dozens of people who have inspiring stories about how and/or why they decided to get in shape and live a healthy, active lifestyle. Yet one of my constant sources of inspiration is my mother. She began eating better many years ago as a way to reduce her cholesterol, and she started a regular exercise program shortly after that—all while being a very stressed out, full-time caregiver for my father, who was terminally ill. Today, at 68, she consistently makes healthy eating choices, even at restaurants (where I have a hard time sticking to my diet), and she still exercises most days of the week. She never succumbed to the dreaded “meno-pot” and the woman looks better in a pair of workout tights than I do! She walks outside when she can, cross-trains on different machines at the gym, and lifts weights. Despite some heart problems—which her doctors say would be worse if she didn’t take such good care of herself—she’s the healthiest and fittest of her friends.
    No, she didn’t lose 50 pounds by training for a marathon or recover from a life-threatening illness and go on to climb the world’s tallest mountains (both very admirable pursuits). She simply—or perhaps not so simply, considering how tough it is for many people—took control of her health, made it a habit, and has stuck with it for close to 20 years. It’s become a way of life for her. She doesn’t feel deprived. She has plenty of energy (she still mows her own lawn). And she always says she feels great when I ask. That’s how I want to grow older and I’m hoping my mom will be around to inspire me for many, many years to come.

 

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