So you want to start a health program??? MMMmmmmm? You are sitting there questioning your sanity and your lack of commitment if you are like the way I was about a “health program” in my past. Health was not the real goal for me as a teenager or young married adult with kids, it was strictly about fitting into a certain size when I tried on clothes. That frame of mind took a decided turn when my husband Randy was in the recovery phase after two major surgeries. We learned that a healthy lifestyle is not a quick diet to lose some weight to fit into that perfect size or running on the treadmill on the weekends, because you can’t fit exercise into your schedule during the week, it actually is something you embrace and make a time priority for. When I talk about embracing a healthy lifestyle, I mean tackling these three areas; food, exercise and stress-management; master these; make that ATTACK these, and you’re on the way to life change. In the food realm, please understand, my mantra is to enjoy good flavorful healthy foods; to actually look forward to the meals that I prepare for my family AND feel good when I leave the dinner table. With regard to exercise, that is something I have evolved into absolutely loving, it’s almost like an addiction. When I say evolved I mean that I was almost an anti-athlete as a kid; I played clarinet instead of sports. I only exercised later in life to keep my weight from creeping up. Now I look forward to my everyday exercise sessions (which involve a different type of exercise everyday), however, I do not shower myself with guilt if it sometimes does not fit into my schedule. Finally, I have learned and reflexively deploy helpful, non-prescription techniques to deal with the everyday stressors that life brings. That does not mean I never lose my cool, because I do. The unexpected stressors still sometimes throws me off, however, now I have a greater sense of calm when life heats up. These are the areas I am going to be unpacking for you in the coming weeks. My goal is to ignite a “health” spark in your life. Maybe you are absolutely not into exercising at all, you may hate it, but you are interested in eating more healthfully. That is a start, this is not an all or nothing proposition. It took me many, many, many years of tries before I “got-it”. All that I ask of you is to never give up on yourself. I promise you, once you get on the bicycle of a healthy lifestyle, your training wheels will eventually disappear and you won’t be able to get off!!!!