Taking a Day Off

As I have noted a number of times in this blog, I try to maintain a healthful diet and exercise regularly. I’m convinced that doing so helps me manage my multiple sclerosis, and it just makes me feel better overall.

But I do tend to be obsessive about such things. For many years, I was convinced that the whole scheme would crumble if I missed a day at the gym or overindulged on a not-so-healthful food item. I was one of those people whose day revolved around her workout schedule; by extension, that meant my family’s schedules did, too.

It’s taken me years to recognize that I needed to chill out. My slavish devotion to my exercise routine was nearly as bad for my body and mind as lying around like a sloth every day would be.

Nowadays I try to be flexible: I go to the gym as often as I reasonably can without interfering with everyone else’s day, and I recognize that missing a day now and then is not the end of the world. I feel much more balanced and happy now that I’ve figured that out.

The revelation came into sharp focus this past Sunday, when I went on a road trip with my 19-year-old daughter to visit a historic home located about an hour from where we live. It was a glorious summer day, and the rural scenery was delightful. We spent a couple of hours at the historic site, then decided to enjoy a leisurely lunch before stopping by another museum.

My daughter looked at her watch. “But, don’t you want to go to the gym?” She knows the gym closes early on Sundays.

I didn’t hesitate. “Nope,” I told her. “I’m taking a day off.” Spending time with her, doing things we both love, was way, way more important than squeezing in some treadmill time.

It was a terrific day. I even ate a slice of excellent lemon meringue pie, something I wouldn’t normally do.

I’ll try to get to the gym this afternoon. But if I don’t, it’s no big deal.

That attitude is, I believe as important to my good health as anything else.
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Jennifer

Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is www.jenniferlaruehuget.com.

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    4 Comments

  • margie   Aug 2, 2013 11:03 AM
    I do not have MS but my granddaughter has and also a very close friend of mine does.My granddaughter, Candy, has tremmers very bad and is a wheel chair. I just wish they could get the tremmers under control so she would be able to do things for her self. She is a great person and has a great sense of humor, and tries not to let things bother her.
  • Wooo Hoo Good job for seeing what was more important   Aug 2, 2013 3:03 PM
    I am a Water Aerobics instructor and a 2 1/2 year cancer survivor. I reach a class for those with MS..... So glad you spent time on you...
  • Adele   Aug 2, 2013 3:44 PM
    Great for you to recognize what's truly important before its to late. I was diagnosed in 1989 and have always lived my life in moderation. Life is Great especially when you take time to truly enjoy it. Peace and Blessings
  • Arlene   Aug 3, 2013 8:26 AM
    I was that way, too. It's a matter of priorities and putting things in perspective.