Recently, I had the pleasure of celebrating my Dad’s 75th birthday. Back in the day, he was an accomplished athlete. As was true for many male athletes of his generation, he continued to play sports for as long as it remained an enjoyable experience. Once the pain exceeded the gain, he embraced a sedentary lifestyle. Playing with the kids in the backyard or golfing with family members became the physical activities of choice. Individual exercise, for the pure benefit of it, was not a popular value of the “Silent Generation” (1925-45).
Over the years, my Dad joined the 6% of the U.S. population who suffer from diabetes. He developed type II diabetes, which accounts for over 90% of all diabetes cases. Type II results when the body does not use insulin properly and allows for excess sugar in the blood. Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet help insulin to work better to lower blood sugar levels. For many years regular exercise and a healthy diet were not part of my Dad’s normal routine. A couple months ago, increased discomfort from the diabetes led him to change things. He began riding a stationary bike and eating healthier. In less than two months, he shed 25 lbs. and brought his diabetes under control.
Seventy-fifth birthday celebrations are a time to reflect on the good ole days. My Dad has a lifetime of wonderful accomplishments and memories to reflect on. However, I am most proud of is what he is doing now to become an “athlete” once again. He is making choices that will ensure that more good days will continue long into the future. He is setting an example for his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. You Go Dad! Happy Birthday!
M. J. White is the creator of “Lean Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and wellbeing at work. It is inspired from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is lasting behavior change in people and a more productive work environment. To learn more, visit the website at: www.leanwellness.us or email M. J. directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org