Person to Person: How Wellness Improves Relationships

By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen
McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

Have you ever wanted to lose weight, quit smoking or conquer depression? It’s tough to scale these health issues that challenge us. After all, it takes a lot of determination to become healthier.

If you’re trying to actively motivate yourself to get healthier, think about your relationships. When you take good care of yourself, it will affect everyone around you.

For example, if you smoke outside your home to keep smoke away from your children, don’t fool yourself. While your children aren’t breathing your smoke, they are under the influence of your habits. Don’t be surprised if they take up smoking one day as well.

If you’re overweight, keep in mind that your kids and spouse will likely feel the impact. If you eat two helpings of dessert, your family members will likely follow you.

“It was hard to quit smoking for myself,” says a grandfather we’ll call Jonathan. “But, I have 10 grandchildren. What a bad example I was setting!”

Jonathan decided to ask his grandchildren to hold him accountable. He promised to take some of the grandkids hiking every Sunday, once he kicked the cigarettes. He took him two months, and he didn’t cheat. He actually had been free of smoking for 10 days when the first hike began.

“My wife and two of the grandchildren started getting motivated to lose weight,” says Jonathan. “The hiking helped, but I think my overall aim to make our family healthier influenced everyone.”

A friend of ours we’ll call Sally joined a Fifties dance class. Sally is 70 and she’s now 25 pounds lighter. The dancing helped, and she cut back on eating carbohydrates.

Sally’s wellness program gave her a brand new relationship, too. She just got engaged! She met her finance at the dance class.

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