happy brick bodies senior fitness class member using weights to exercise at gym in reistertown
Fitness Tip

What Is There to Be Thankful For Anyway?

Baltimore Gym Member Shares Thoughts on Gratitude

Earlier this month there was a Brick Bodies blog with the title “Grounded in Gratitude.” This well-researched blog cited various publications and practices that conclusively show that a positive attitude and regular exercise are powerful and beneficial attributes; but, way too often, we choose to go down a path that is best left untrodden. Too often we become bullies, and the person that we pick on is most often ourselves.

“What a fool, I am.” “Why did I let that happen?” “Why did I eat that third helping?” and on and on it goes.

Hey, lighten up. These are choices that we make, and probably the worst thing we can do is to always second-guess ourselves. In hindsight, almost everything could be done better or easier but, whatever it is, it is done; let it go and get on with the rest of your life. Allow yourself the great pleasure of not having to be perfect. You will find that this simple thing can liberate your very soul. Besides, there are plenty of others who are quite anxious to tell you how you could have or should have done something better; so you don’t need to kick yourself, too.

The many benefits of exercise to mental happiness is something that I am quite sure we all are aware of. After all, if you are reading this then I assume you most likely are a Brick Bodies member (or are at least considering joining the club), so I will leave the explanation of physical conditioning, and cardio workouts to others more qualified than I. However, one of the benefits of becoming old is that you can more clearly see younger folks making the same or similar mistakes that you made. Having developed a “honey badger” attitude, I shall dispense some of these observations even though they will tend to be ignored by those who might benefit most. I know because 35 years ago I was you.

Stress is a Killer.

Stress is also something that we do to ourselves. Case in point, my wife has diabetes and is very conscientious about taking her blood readings, and we can tell quite clearly that what affects her readings more than diet is stress. Our daughter is going through a difficult divorce, and when there is a situation, if it doesn’t involve us directly, I can step back and not offer advice unless asked, while Mrs. Commish feels that there must be “something” she can do. Her blood readings go through the roof and mine stay in the normal range. While I don’t have diabetes, we do take an occasional reading of my blood sugar just to see how various situations affect us differently. In short, try not to worry about things in advance. Planning for various contingencies is one thing, but worrying and stressing over what may happen is destructive.

Jealousy and Envy.

I don’t have too much experience with these emotions since I have always believed in being a capitalist and whatever someone else has, has no effect on whether or not I can have the same. Life, like the universe, is ever-expanding, we just need to allow ourselves to accept the fact that sometimes we are the reason we don’t have something we want, it’s not always someone else preventing it. When you stop playing “the blame game” you allow yourself the opportunity to begin taking small steps towards improving your lot in life. Just like exercise, a little progress tends to make us work towards greater improvement.

Letting the Opinion of Others Control You.

You may have heard that eggs are not bad for you now. Way back when, we read in Prevention Magazine that lecithin was beneficial in reducing cholesterol and that eggs contain more than enough lecithin to offset any cholesterol that they might contribute to your diet, so while most of our family and friends were cutting out eggs we continued to consume them whenever we wanted. We listened to both sides of the argument for and against eggs and decided for ourselves which way to go. We never looked back. Use your knowledge to make decisions for yourself. You will find that many experts are “wise” but only because they tell you that they are wise. Remember back in the late 1970’s we were told by the experts that we should begin preparing for another “snowball earth.” What is the experts’ opinion on that now?

Money Worries.

When it came to investing, I relied on “experts” to manage my accounts because well, they were experts. However, since I have taken over what stocks to buy and when to sell, not only have I done better, but just knowing that I have control of my finances gives me a peaceful, easy feeling. When you are captive to the opinions of others, you feel like you do not have control of your own life. It’s your life, take responsibility for getting the most out of it. While I know that I will never be super wealthy, I also know that I have all that I need and the peace of mind to be comfortable with that.

And finally, don’t listen to me. If anything, use this as just another piece to consider in how to put your life together in the most enjoyable and meaningful way you can. All of us have already won life’s lottery just by being in this country. For this, and the fact that we are individuals in a free and wonderful country, I am very thankful. What is it that you are grateful for?