I have always managed to remain caring and loving to my husband, and so as to myself. I always believe in the saying, ” We cannot give what we do not have.” It is a simple logic: it is hard to expect someone to take care of other people if he can barely look after himself. To me, it is one thing to be a saint like. It is quite another to lack a sense of worth. Thankfully, my whole life I have been surrounded by people that tip my happy meter to full scale, lifting up my self-esteem. As a result, not only my incorrigible look-on-the-bright-sided-ness has become a trademark; it has also motivated me to always think “outside-the-box.” For instance, earlier this month while I was getting my brain together to orchestrate a special Valentine gift for my husband, it suddenly occurred to me why not make up something special for myself as well.
Since February is known as LUV month, I have decided to get something heart inspired. Not that I do not (or my husband for that matter) take care of my heart, but I recognize that at my age it maybe about time that I really get serious about taking care of my heart. I have chosen 3 important steps and devote each day for its benefit. The goal? A healthy, strong, and happy heart humming inside me.
1. HEALTHY TWIST
Despite the convenience of ready to microwave dinners, I have decided to return to healthy twist I am so familiar of from my mother’s kitchen. Despite my cooking frailty, I have started cooking my own meal, which mostly are vegetables: cutting back on calories; trimming down the fat; lowering the sodium; and getting rid of sugar. My recipes are far from sumptuous gourmet meals served at my favorite diners such as Ruby Tuesday’s or Macaroni Grill, but since I know my home made food is a healthy choice, I don’t feel guilty to actually fill my plate for the second serving.
2. GET MOVING
Thanks to my parents’ good genes and an active life, I have never had any problem with my weight. Before I left the Philippines I was doing aerobics/hip-hop and ballroom dancing not only to keep fit but also to de-stress. Going to the gym was part of my routine for many years. However, after getting married and changing jobs I have become pretty satisfied with my vigorous activity at work, which basically is keeping up with my energetic preschoolers. I never thought that I would have a (drastic) change of heart until I saw a familiar figure on TV at this year’s Super Bowl. I thought to myself, “She can’t be a 50 year old mom busting moves and making it real like a 20 year old teenager!” It was a wake-up call for me. That same night I made a promise that I would lace up my sneakers and squeeze in a 30-minute brisk walk each day. Never mind if I have to schedule a nature walk with my kids, or invite my husband for a stroll after work – I walk no matter.
3. HEART MASSAGE
My ulterior motive is to make my heart feel good. According to health experts, stress increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 68% in adults under 50. Therefore, I have decided to continuously surround myself with positive thoughts and people. Since spending time with my husband and sharing with him quality time gives me the most satisfaction, I have decreed (with my husband’s concurrence) that every day despite our busy schedule we will sit down for one hour and a half to enjoy our favorite programs on TV. I also take a little time for myself every day to relax, pray, and connect with friends. These are simple pleasures that truly speak to my heart… Now I am humming!