Healthy Life Choices

by Jacqueline Thompson Marsh '52

At the age of 73, I find there are many things I would like to change about my body, but time has given me the wisdom to accept things the way they are. My husband and I live in a lifecare community where daily we see some of our neighbors coping with life-threatening or at least life-complicating conditions. It makes us grateful for the bodies we have, which still allow us to walk and talk and to enjoy life in many ways.

Truthfully, I would love to have an hourglass figure rather than a pear-shaped one and to be a few inches taller. But those things fade into insignificance when I contemplate how fortunate I am to be healthy and active. I walk about a mile three or four times a week and participate in line dancing weekly. I took Tai Chi until recently when the instructor moved away. I enjoy daily activities with our five young grandsons when the occasion arises, including swimming. I garden daily and can still touch my toes.

Since we live where a nutritionist and dietician help plan meals, it is easy for me to eat mainly chicken and fish, salads and fruit, and many different vegetables.Those are things I have always enjoyed eating and continue to do so. I think heredity has a lot to do with one’s body type and general health and longevity. Not too much one can do about that, except jeopardize it by our actions.

I don’t know what to make of people who obsess about their bodies. If it is pertinent to career choices, such as TV personalities, models, sports people, or actors, it makes good sense. Perhaps in some cases it may be a way to avoid unpleasant aspects of life nowadays, such as war and crime. One can have some control over one’s own body, whereas large international issues can be frustrating and overwhelming if dwelled upon. Much has been promoted about healthy life choices; perhaps finally that information is having an impact.