Since I started fostering kids, I have let my own health and wellness fall to the wayside somewhat. I have been so involved in helping these hurting kids and making sure that they have what they need, that in some ways I have neglected my own needs. I used to exercise almost every day and put a lot of effort into eating right, but between family visitation, therapy, doctor, dentist and vision appointments, foster care training classes, school events, and all the other responsibilities that come with parenthood, I have turned to fast food far too often and rarely find time to exercise in my schedule.
So what made me decide changes are needed? Well, for one thing, I don’t feel good. My IBS has flared up a lot recently, a problem which I had nearly conquered in the past by changing my eating habits and making healthier choices. I have also found myself sick quite frequently, even more so than normal. I do have some immune system deficiencies, but I know that unhealthy habits only compound those problems. Another problem is that I have found myself out of shape, and although I’m not exactly fat, my muscles have become rather flabby. I get out of breath easily, and my asthma is actually much worse, which I believe is due to a lack of cardiovascular exercise which strengthens the lungs.
Getting in shape isn’t going to be easy. I’m surrounded by temptation at every turn. Church means good home-cooked food and freshly baked desserts, our busy schedule guarantees that we will have to eat out at least a couple times a week, and having kids in the home means that I am tempted by cookies, candy, ice cream and other sweets. But those kids are part of the reason why I want to make this change. After all, if I’m unhealthy, I’m not very capable of helping them attain emotional, physical and spiritual health. Plus, “set a good example” has always been my motto, and I don’t want to be a hypocrite!