By Samantha Taylor
I went out to dinner with my dad when he was 68, who is one of the most amazing people I know. Every time I talked to him he talked about how he “was going to start working out, get serious about his exercise plan” and “really do it this time” (probably mentions it since he knows that is what I do for my career). He has been saying he is going to get fit for many years and it really hit me when I realized he was soon to be 70.
It worried me that he was getting older and he was not doing anything about his fitness. His blood sugar was sky high with type 2 diabetes and not eating well. And I was seeing him get “softer” and more out of shape. I always saw my dad as Superman and I still do but I was starting to get worried.
He was in the Vietnam War, always did physical labor tasks outside and owned his own business. And I always saw him with muscles, in good shape and active, which probably helped me with my choice to be a trainer. But for a moment I looked at my dad without those Superman goggles and realized that he was getting older, more out of shape, and that if he didn’t do something instead of talk about it, he was going to pay for it big time!
I put on my personal trainer hat and expressed my concern for him. I told him if he didn’t get serious about this, he was only going to get mushier and become like a big marshmallow! (I knew I could raz him a little bit because my dad has always been a jokester). He said, “Noooo, not a marshmallow!”
I said, “Yes and if you don’t want me to start to calling you Mr. Marshmallow Man then you had better do something! And if your body turns into mush because you have no more muscles from not exercising, you are going to start losing your independence.” He exclaimed, “No, not that!” I said, “Yes, do you want to be in a nursing home in 10 years with people changing your diapers?” He was aghast, “NO! I never want to lose my independence!” When he heard that, he looked more serious.
I said, “Well then you better get serious because the life that you are living right now with not being fit, your body is not going to be able to support itself as it gets older and you will not have your independence, you will have to have other people taking care of you. Is that what you want?”
I knew it was NOT what he wanted because he is a very independent man and his mother was 95 and still lived on her own when she passed away. He got a more serious look on his face, “No, that is not what I want. Okay, I am serious. Wait till you see me next time!” I said, “Dad, you said that last time I saw you, you need a plan, not just talk.” He said, “No, I am really going to do something this time.”
So we put a plan together for him. I challenged him to work out at least 2 times a week and he has been doing it! He lost 20 lbs., has been working out consistently AND his blood sugar has become so healthy they are reducing his medication! I love him so much and am grateful for him and I don’t want to start seeing his body fall apart because he didn’t take care of it. And for Father’s Day, he was able to go zip lining and he is now 74!
I encourage you to inspire your family to do the same and if you are able to, share this article with your own father. We love our dads and want them to live a long, healthy life! For the ladies, if you want help stopping your body from turning into a squishy marshmallow, go here to set a time to meet with us. : ) www.SamanthaTaylorFitness.com
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