Opening the Doors to Healthier and Stress-Free Living
A Column by Alice Abbott-Moore,
Content Access/Information Delivery Teams, Ekstrom Library

A Time to Give Thanks: The Gift of Good Health

I love this time of year: leaves are changing and sprinkling down to the ground. The air in the mornings is cool and crisp. Dogs seem to grin as air blows back their ears as they frolic.

This time of year between the time of Halloween through Thanksgiving is a miraculous time. It does tend to get overshadowed by the early consumer presence of Christmas decorations in malls and stores. But nevertheless it is truly a magical time.

For me, during this time of year I tend to reflect upon what I am grateful for. My list usually contains my family, my friends and others who are in my life in some type of way. But, also I tend to be grateful for things I have acquired and feats I have accomplished.

The one thing that I tend to reflect upon only occasionally is the gift of good health. Usually, I am aware of my good health when I am visiting someone in a hospital or hear of someone suffering from some type of illness. I grew up hearing: ďIf you donít have your health, you donít have anything.Ē I have grown to agree with that statement and I have found it to be very true. To have good health is a precious gift and, if one has been given it, it mustnít be taken for granted.

Ten years ago I had lousy health for a young person. Most of it was within my control too. Itís one thing to have health problems due to fluky things, but it is another thing to bring such problems upon oneself. Back then I was not very respectful toward my health.

This past July marked my four-year anniversary of my lifestyle change. This coming December marks my four-year anniversary of maintaining my lifestyle change. I have been given a lot of gifts due to the changes regarding my food choices and exercise. Here are some of the physical and emotional benefits I have received during the past four years:

  • My heart murmur is almost totally non-detectable
  • I am no longer chronically anemic.
  • I have 100% bone mass for my age.
  • I have more energy.
  • I manage stress better (this is still an area I need to work on).
  • I tend to be in a better overall humor.
  • I get sick very little.
  • My back doesnít go out.
  • My arthritic knee doesnít go out.
  • I no longer suffer foot problems.
  • I am more agile, flexible, and mobile.

These items may not sound like big deals to some folks, but to me they are precious, precious gifts for which I am grateful. Good health allows me to enjoy life from day to day a whole lot more. It allows me to enjoy the little things that are bestowed upon me. But when life throws some hard stuff at me, I am in a far better emotional and physical state to handle the rough times.

If one has good health, all the other great things that life bring are bonuses that may be enjoyed even more.

If you have a topic that you would like to me to feature in future articles, please contact me at MAABBO01@gwise.louisville.edu or 852-8719.