Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inspiration doesn't have an age limit

Today I woke up and I felt icky. Not sick enough to call in and say I couldn't work but not quite well enough to face the hour-plus drive into my office (the price you pay for living in quiet suburbia) so I decided to work from home (the benefit of working in research).
To that end I was able to actually sit down and enjoy my breakfast and have something a little different from the standard oatmeal, which however much I may love it sometimes isn't the most welcoming choice when your stomach is off.
So I made this to celebrate the end of summer and some of my favourite things:
Corn thins with lots of avocado and fresh tomatoes with green and red grapes (because who can choose?)

Then I got to enjoy breakfast with one of my favourite ladies:

Well, not really she doesn't like grapes she's more of a watermelon fiend!

Now onto the topic from the title of my blog which I wanted to write about yesterday but ran out of time with other crazy Monday schedule things (12km run, long workday, singing lesson, dinner).
I am a research dietitian working on a weight loss intervention trial for diabetics. We try to help them make healthy changes to their lifestyle including losing weight and being more physically active to help with both the short term side effects of diabetes and the long term health outcomes. Sometimes my job sucks because you can't make people change their lives even if you know that taking one little step could make a huge difference to their health and their lifespan. There are moments however when you get a little glow and realise that your job is worthwhile and that some people are able to take little steps that turn into huge steps and they end up inspiring you!
Yesterday was one of those moments. I was doing a review with a patient of the last six months we have spent working together and how much he has managed to change. This gentleman has gone from barely walking ten minutes on three days of the week to an hour long walk every morning and an extra walk nearly every afternoon, as well as changing things in his diet and starting strength training again after years away.
He is 70 years old and has survived bowel cancer. This man inspires me because he really took ownership of his body and wants to be his healthiest and squeeze every drop out of his life, and he knows how important being active and taking care of yourself is. Moreover, he could have just thrown his hands up in the air and given up on his life and seen himself as "old" but instead he has decided to choose health and life and all the adventures that he has left to him.
I am so fortunate in my life in being able to continually discover people who inspire me, they may be young like this lady here or this lady here or they may be older like my patient at work. I think it is so important to be open to people coming into our lives with something to teach us. It is so easy to close ourselves off to the world, but just think, all those people you pass have walked thousands of days that we haven't, they have all had experiences different to our own, and maybe in their lives they have found something that we could learn from. Don't be afraid of listening to other's stories, look into their lives and find inspiration and wisdom and hope. Walk a mile and learn.

Amy

1 comment:

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