Mike Ruby

Mike Ruby

Several weeks ago, Jo Anne and I were Skyping with our 7 year old grandson Landon, who lives in South Carolina. As we were getting ready to close the conversation, I mentioned that we needed to hang up so we could get to the gym. Completely innocent and with an inquisitive mind, Landon said, “You two go to the gym? It sure doesn’t look like it.” Ouch. Both of us burst out laughing, but we will admit our egos had just been punctured by a 7-year-old living 900 miles from here.

We have been members of a local gym for several years and try to get in a workout at least on a semi-regular basis. By no means are we gym rats, but we try to keep ourselves somewhat physically fit. Even though many Americans, including myself, strive to eat healthy and be active, the battle of the bulge, as well as with the scale, can be frustrating.

As a trained home economist, Jo Anne prepares well-balanced, nutritious and very tasty meals and we prefer to eat most meals at home. For decades, we’ve been reading food labels, drinking skim milk, eating fish and poultry, and enjoying plenty of fruit, vegetables and leafy greens. We try to be conscious of our fat and sugar intake, but I continually struggle with a craving for unhealthy snacks between meals.

Recently, I saw a quote that was displayed above a scale. It read, “This scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. It cannot measure character, beauty, talent, purpose, possibility, or strength of love."

It is good to be reminded a scale is just one tool to measure our overall health, and not the sole indicator. It should not dictate our self-esteem, pride or purpose in life. It’s important to make certain we don’t equate our self-worth with the number on the scale.

It’s encouraging to see people of all ages at the gym who take their physical health seriously. Their perseverance is an inspiration to me. Some people prefer to exercise outside or in the privacy of their home to stay physically fit. Here’s a big shout-out to those who stay active, exercise, and eat healthy. Maintaining an active lifestyle pays big dividends in a person’s physical and emotional health.

Mike Ruby is a Muscatine resident who writes a monthly column about life for the Journal.

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