How Strong Is Your Arm? - Readers Find Out
The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

How Strong Is Your Arm? - Readers Find Out

Readers have been writing in since the post How Strong Is Your Arm? They wanted me to know that they first thought they were strong because they lifted weights or went to exercise class, then realized for the first time that they thought they can't improve what they say, do, think, or eat, and were not strong as a human being.

Reader Dean e-mailed that he had previously thought that stress made him eat, and that it was "just natural." Then he realized that he was eating on purpose because he was angry, and thought it was his only way of showing he could do anything he wanted. Then he realized that doing that wasn't strength and control, but lack of it.

Reader Ivy wrote:

"Once again, I am back at the farm house/animal sitting for a few days. Little did I know that my "strong arm" was going to be put to the test. Last night while preparing my evening meal, I opened the pantry door and what do I see but a chocolate/rocky road cake covered in M & M's. I quickly shut the door then, after a few minutes, temptation took over. I decided that maybe I could have just a little wee bit, knowing full well that one piece would not suffice, I would want more - once a chocoholic, always a chocoholic. Who should come into my mind but you Dr Jolie and your post "How Strong is Your Arm" plus the fact that I had (replied to that post with a comment) telling the world that my arm is strong. Needless to say, the cake stayed where it was. On reflection, I still cannot believe that, after all this time, I would even consider eating such food. I would like to assure you and your readers, that should I have given in to temptation, I would be standing up and saying that my arm is not as strong as I thought."

Ivy had also written me in the past asking what to do when people insist that you should eat their unhealthful cooking at get togethers or give her gifts of unhealthy junk food. When Ivy politely refused bad food and explained she wanted to be healthy, the people were not understanding or enlightened, but disrespectful and insistent. I e-mailed Ivy that she could try accepting the bad food with a smile and a sincere thanks for caring to give a gift, and give it away to someone who wanted it. Ivy sent this update:

April 4
"I thought this little story might interest you. It is amazing how ones life can change.

"Marrianne, a friend of mine has just phoned to tell me that she has become a vegetarian. She is a little younger than me (note - Ivy is 71) and has not long returned from a trip to Nepal. She told me that while there she ate with the people and you would be aware that these people are vegetarian. Since returning to New Zealand she made the decision to change her way of life. She now appreciates the difficulties I have come up against these past two and half years, by that I mean re well meaning friends who make negative comments etc. I gave her the piece of advice that you gave me re being given food that you don't want to eat - accept it gracefully and give it to someone in need.

"I was also able to pass on advice re foods she needs to eat to keep healthy which pleased her. As I mentioned to you a week or so ago, healthy food has become my passion.

"Tomorrow we are having a get together here in the village. It is to be held out doors so hopefully, the weather will be kind. No doubt there will be lots of cakes, muffins and scones to eat plus wine to drink. I am going to make up some snacks of walnuts, raisins and blueberries. As I said to Marrianne, one has to harden up when people make rude comments re what one eats. I, personally, make no remarks re what others eat, I would like to think that others give me the same respect.

"Finally, over the past few weeks, on two separate occasions, women who I have not seen in over a year, have made remarks just how well I look. One of them said and I quote "Ivy, you exude health." This, of course, pleases me."

This e-mail arrived after the get-together:

April 5
"There were 27 residents at the get together and not one of them tried my walnuts and blueberries. Instead, they ate the pastries, cakes, pavlovas, desserts etc.. In saying that, I will say this "no wonder we have such a high obesity problem in this country."
"Hugs Ivy"

Then this:

April 9
"I truly believe that I have beaten my addiction to chocolate. This morning I am feeling a little distressed re the news that my dear friend Joan who will be 87 in a couple of months time, had a fall. She will be fine, her only injuries being bruises plus a grazed elbow. One of my neighbours called by to give me a couple of chocolate cookies her words being, "You will be feeling upset about Joan and I know how much you love chocolate." I took your advice and thanked her then, (did not eat them).

"In the past, those cookies would have gone straight in my mouth. Even though I was tempted to eat chocolate cake a couple of weeks ago, I truly believe that I have the addiction under control, in fact, I am patting myself on the back. Just had to share my little story."

Fitness does not mean going to a gym, then going out slouching, smoking, to eat unhealthful food, and thinking unkind things about other people. Fitness means making the many aspects of your person clean and healthy. Don't harm yourself with bad thoughts, deeds, actions, and taking in unhealthy things in your body.

If you want self control, exercise it to become strong.

Coming Next: Health Can Occur on Weekends Too


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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.