Getting Healthy for Good: On Purpose

 By Laurie Marhsall

mower.jpgI read a blog post yesterday by a writer that I follow on Twitter – Jody Hedlund. It was about being Intentional. As Jody puts it, being intentional “means that we choose to act deliberately, purposefully, and consciously.” Or as we said as kids – on purpose.

The bulk of the post is about being intentional with our children. She suggests that each and every thing we teach and model for our children should be done so as to help them grow up to be productive, responsible, thoughtful people.

Jody gives an example involving one of her sons: She and her husband decided it was time for him to take on the regular task of mowing the back yard. They told him they were not going to tell him it was time to mow the yard every week, they expected him to see that the grass was getting long and make time in his schedule to get it done. 

It was a big V-8 moment for me. I have raised my first two children into their teens and neither of them seem capable of seeing something that needs to be done around the house and just doing it. Laundry to be put away (let alone folded), snack wrappers picked up off the floor, bathroom counter to be wiped off after morning usage… I’ve wondered a million times how they can be so blind. Now I know: IT’S MY FAULT!!!!

Thanks, Jody.

So, I quickly made a mental note to do better with the boy-child, and put my brain to work on finding another way to utilize her wisdom in my own life so that my glaring failure at child-rearing could be round-house-kicked (hard) back into the closet and locked away.

And I did! Diet and Exercise! (surprise!!)

It has always been way too easy for me to let things distract me from my goals – when I set them – so the idea of making things happen on purpose is kind of brilliant to me. One of the things I want to be when I grow up is “healthier”. I want to be able to play with my son without needing to take a nap after 30 minutes in the back yard. I want to be able to carry on a conversation while walking up a flight of stairs!! I’m pretty sure some of you can sing this song with me… The desire to do those things put me on this road to being healthy for good, and being Intentional is going to help me stay on it.

I have had a membership at World Gym in Lowell for two years, but due to family drama and my inability to give myself a good talking to, I had let the last year go by without setting foot into the facility. Recently, bowing to pressure from the Universe (which was obviously working overtime on my behalf), the owners opened a location in Springdale about five minutes from my son’s school. Intention really just kind of jumped on my back and wrestled me to the ground.

I have an hour to kill between dropping the boy off and having to be in my office (which is another five minutes from the gym), so I’ll be working out three times a week and spend the other two mornings writing (i.e. working toward becoming a brilliant author – another one of the Grown Up roles I’m aiming for with some serious Intention). It’s really just about saying “I want X. What does it take to get X?” and then making it happen. Easy for me to say, right?? Believe me, I know it’s so NOT.

water.jpgTry these teeny little baby steps and see how it goes for a week… you’ve probably heard them before, but have you really made any effort – on purpose – to do them??

  • Every time you go to the grocery store, park further away from the grocery store entrance and walk a few extra steps.
  • Every time you put something in your mouth, ask yourself “Is this good for me? Is this food more important to me than my health? Even if it makes me happy right now, will I be happy about it later?” (this seriously helps me when I want a snack and 2nd helpings!!)
  • Every time you are about to sit down after dinner to watch t.v., get up and walk down the street and back first. You can DVR your show, you can’t DVR your life.
  • Drink more water!
  • Finally, if you work out, try to fit it in BEFORE your day begins. I find that when I have worked out in the morning, I don’t want to screw up my benefits by blowing my diet the rest of the day.

None of these little things will melt 30 pounds off your waist by themselves, but doing them on purpose  – thinking about them every time you park, put food in your mouth, or look for something to do after dinner – keeping those small choices forefront in your mind INTENTIONALLY will help. I promise. You will be forming habits that can be built on.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?

 laurie-marshallthumbnail.jpgLook for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at Or click on the comment button below and share your thoughts right now! To see previous installments of Getting Healthy for Good, click HERE.