The Healthy Choice

27 Jun 2009
Posted by Kiran

In the year 2003 I had been deputed to work from Mangalore for a while. During this stint at Mangalore, I was pulled into participating in a collage competition. The theme was based around Health and Healthy living.

We came up with quite a novel concept affirming "Health is a Choice". The basic message we tried conveying was that it was up to each individual to choose a healthy lifestyle.

I used to be a lot fitter back in 2003; I still remember I could simply run up the stairs and reach the top flight without having to pant like a dog. I took pride at my fitness level. I have also been one of the thin and tall, lanky fellows who never would have to worry about weight. At least, that is what I thought at the time.

Now, I am not as fit. That is what 6 years of sedentary lifestyle does to you! On a recent visit to my friend RA's place, I got the opportunity to try out the new Fitness & Game console from Nintendo, the Nintendo Wii Fit. The first step to using this device is to setup your profile including your height and weight. When you do this, the system calculates your Body Mass Index. It also shows you where you stand in terms of weight - underweight, overweight or just right. Having been chronically underweight for the most part of my life, you can imagine my shock and horror when I was found to be bordering on being overweight!

I dismissed it at the time blaming my weight on the tons of snacks I had feasted on just before starting on the console. However, it also did alert me to the possibility that my fitness was not a gift for keeps. As time went by I would probably have to work at it to maintain my fitness. I am sure you think I was an idiot for having thought that fitness and health were something to be taken for granted. But it is amazingly easy to get into that fall sense of security when all things go well for you. I have had some ailments, the odd aches and pains, before but never had problems with general fitness.

Another recent event set alarm bells ringing! I was running late for a fairly important meeting and really had to run for the train. After having dashed across the Clapham Junction overhead bridge dodging multiple commuters I finally managed to get onto the train. After that exersion though I found myself short of breath and almost unable to breathe! It took me 10 minutes just to get my breath back to normal.

That told me that my body was growing old faster than I liked. My body was older than me and growing even older with each day of inactivity. That is when I decided that it was time for a choice, a healthy choice. No more frequent junk food snacks, no more couch potato lifestyle. That was the plan.

I must admit that I have made such resolutions before and have failed each time. It has got to do lot with your will power and how badly you want it. Unfortunately for me, I am much too interested in watching the latest shows on the tele, browsing the internet or perhaps building my site rather than running on a treadmill or exercising. I am also a sucker for potato crisps and tea! So there you have it, for me to make a healthy choice it would entail cutting down on a very significant portion of my current lifestyle that I enjoy very much.

But that is the point: Health is a choice; a choice of lifestyle that each one of us can make. Once you have made that choice and have settled into a lifestyle, that is what you will be most comfortable in.

Making the healthy choice for people like me, who have settled into an unhealthy lifestyle, more often than not means making a difficult choice. I am not sure how much of a success my current initiatives are going to be. That one we will have to wait and watch out for. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Wish me luck!