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A Song In My Heart
Photo: Tim & Annette
Well, it happened. Yesterday, I turned 30 years old. How could this have happened? Seems to me that I lost a few years somewhere... they flew right by!

Actually, in all seriousness, I have been thinking about turning 30 all year long. In fact, I realized that it was inevitable. However much I didn't want to, I was going to get older.

More than anything, I feared losing my health. I have cared about my health over the years, but never exercised regularly. I did adopt a vegetarian lifestyle in favor of the enormous health benefits of not consuming meat. I drink lots of water, and try not to eat too much sugar and fatty foods.

But there it was, that looming day. The days after I turned 29 seemed to slip away until weeks and then months had passed and I realized that in 4 months I would no longer be a "20 something!"

When I was a teenager I had high cholesterol. I had assumed that diet alone would be enough to whittle away the numbers. Years passed. This past spring I decided to go and get it checked again. It had gone down - some.

But it worried me. My family has a history of heart disease and passing away in their 50's. That would give me.... oh, 25 years max!

I realized that no one else could work off those last few pounds for me. I realized that no one else could exercise the cholesterol away from my heart. I realized that if I wanted to look as good in my 30's as I did in my 20's, it was up to me!

So, I made the decision to start exercising. It was my choice. I had to be the one to choose better for myself.

Time to change

I began walking my girls to school. It is a one mile round trip. I walked again the next day and the next. I found out that no matter how tired I was when I got up in the morning, if I set out in the crisp morning air, when I returned home I felt terrific.

I decided to add a simple exercise routine to my morning ritual. You know, grade school stuff. It takes about 30 minutes after my walk to complete.

Last week, I decided to go and get my cholesterol checked. When I got the results, I was stunned! Instead of my heart choking on clogged arteries, I could truthfully say that my heart was singing! My cholesterol had dropped 44 points!! I was finally in the normal range. This was such a testimony to me. Diet is important, but exercise is just as important.

So, I have turned 30, and while I don't really want to get older, I can't help time passing by. But I can make sure that I care enough about myself to do something about my health. After all.... we are only as old as we feel... and a sick person feels a lot older! 

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By Melissa Ringstaff, Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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