woman sitting at a dinner table with a birthday candle

One of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make

woman sitting at a dinner table with a birthday candle

This is a really tough and personal post for me to write. But here it goes…

Last week my 92 year old grandma had two massive strokes within two days.

My sister and I had to make the extremely difficult decision of putting her into hospice care. That means her time here is very limited.

I flew down to Florida to be with her on Thursday and plan to be with her until the end.

I keep telling her much I love her. I keep asking if she’s comfortable.

She’s able to nod back when we ask her yes or no questions. Every now and then she musters up enough energy to say, “I love you too,” after we say it.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing else we can do. I so wish there was. Ugh. It’s really, really hard to be in this position.

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When the doctors were advising us on what to do, three words kept coming up over and over:

Quality of life.

My Nanny (that’s what we call her) has been fully independent until now. She was sharp as a tack until she had the first stroke.

As I sit here in her hospital room, as she’s resting comfortably, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful memories I have of / with her. I also can’t help but think of life itself.

As Linda Ellis wrote: “The date you were born and the day you died, aren’t what really matters. It’s “the dash” — those years in between and what you do with them — that does.”

Like many, I’ve experienced my fair share of loss.

Because my mom’s parents were divorced, I was lucky enough to have two sets of grandparents on her side. My Nanny is my last remaining biological grandparent. My uncle passed away when I was three years old. My parents got divorced when I was four years old.

One of my two aunts passed away when I was six.

Unfortunately, my wife’s grandfather (who was like a grandpa to me) passed away in October.

One of the toughest parts about death / loss is that we tend to relive all prior losses we’ve experienced with each new loss.

It’s hard not to reflect on your own life when you’re around death. The fact that we’re all going to die — my biggest fear — motivates me immensely to live the best possible life I can, and to realize my full potential because we’re not here forever. (One of the reasons why I’m so scared of death is because I feel like I have so much left to do. So many people left to help!)

When you’re around death, it’s so easy to think about all that you’re going to change. The areas you’d like to improve on. The things you’d like to start doing. The things you’d like to stop doing. The things you’d like to do more of. The things you’d like to do less of…

But, like all motivation, it fades away…and we eventually go back to our old ways, if we’re not careful***.

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To me, fitness has never just been about looking and feeling good naked. It’s never just been about looking and feeling good in my clothes either.

After all, I started focusing on my health when I was nine years old. (Yes, I’m weirdo.)

Sure, it is/was a fun side effect, but it’s always been about way more to me.

To me, it’s about realizing my full potential.

I’ve always wanted to live the best life I can and help others do the same. I always hope to be growing, evolving and improving. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so into personal development.

There is no better way to realize your overall potential than to realize your body’s full potential.

Being healthy and fit and taking care of ourselves is a signal to others – but most importantly, ourselves. It’s a commitment we’re making to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Many MBT-ers reach their health and fitness goals and ask, “What’s next? What else can I conquer?”

Bingo. That’s the idea!

The best way to change your life is to change yourself. Focus on what you can most control. Once we do that, and as we do that, you’ll notice how powerful you feel. That power spills over into every aspect of life. It allows us to do everything better.

I get it. We’re all juggling a million balls. One of those balls is our health and fitness, though.

If we drop that ball — or neglect it — everything else is going to drop too. Everything impacts everything. The more we take care of ourselves, the better we’re able to take care of everything else. The better we’re able to do everything else. We’re a better version of ourselves. When we feel and look great, it impacts every aspect of what we do.

In other words: Quality of life.

To me, that’s what it’s all about.

I only hope to enjoy the quality of life my Nanny did until the very end, and help others do the same.

Nothing but love,

P.S. While this is a tearjerker (at least for me), I highly recommend watching this video. It reminds us of the powerful question, “Who do you want to be?” It ties in so nicely with my theme for 2016 of ‘living up to my ideals’.

P.P.S. ***What do I mean careful? Relying on a feeling to make lasting change is like relying on motivation or willpower. It’s the same reason why gyms are so crowded early in the year and start getting less crowded by February. All motivation inevitably fades. This is why we’re so good at starting all kinds of things, including diets — but not so good at following through with them.

If we don’t set ourselves up for success by having accountability + a system to monitor and track our progress along with support, we’re fooling ourselves. Life is too short to waste time. Life is too short to not love the way you look and feel. Why not give yourself every advantage to be the best version of yourself you can be. Why not try a program that has been proven over and over again with a guarantee. It’s entirely risk free.

I’ve made it that way because I sincerely want you to experience that powerful feeling like Janice (50 pounds gone) and Tara (Former Miss America contestant) have and countless others. What are you waiting for? Together, we’ll make it happen.

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