Treasure Your One Life: Why Your Health is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

Jodi Davis

| 4 min read

It’s the time of year for contemplating and I’m asking you to join me. I’ve been thinking about the wonderful holiday weekend that my family enjoyed and how much fun it was for me to watch everyone open the Christmas gifts that I carefully planned, purchased and wrapped. Each gift was truly appreciated by the recipient and once more I realize how much I agree with the old adage, “giving is better than receiving.”
Of course, when we’re young it’s all about the receiving. The wrapping paper can’t be torn off the gift fast enough as we view the new treasure that we now hold in our hands, something that we had only wished for just moments before. But as we become adults, things change. We like to give these treasures instead. Oh sure, we still love to receive gifts, but we enjoy giving gifts even more.
There’s nothing wrong with that… but there is just one little problem: We don’t give anything to ourselves.

Money Can’t Buy It

Let me elaborate on that a bit. Now I realize that many of us buy ourselves something nice — you could call it a gift perhaps — for the holiday season: A new outfit, jewelry, maybe even some shoes. But I’m referring to a gift bigger and better than any of those things. I’m referring to a gift that doesn’t even require a single dollar in order for you to purchase. Yes it is free, but it still isn’t given. This gift will benefit not only you but also your family members for years to come, yet it’s often totally forgotten about: better health.
Okay, now before you stop reading this because you “don’t want to hear about it right now,” I want you to really think about what I just wrote.
I was once that person who continuously avoided those words. Truthfully, I was tired of reading and hearing about better health, getting into shape, focusing on fitness, blah blah blah. Whatever. That was not a “gift” to me — a gift was something that I could see and enjoy, like a big diamond ring or a new sports car (not that these were ever on my list, but you get the point). But then I realized that being in better health was the best gift that I could ever give to myself. Nobody else could give it to me… it was a gift I had to give to me, from me.

What’s More Permanent

You see, I realized that at 300 pounds, when I was morbidly obese, I could give myself that big diamond ring and the new sports car and be extremely happy about these gifts. The gift of a fancy ring or car would have been very nice for sure, but without good health, how long could I expect to enjoy those things? They may have made me smile for awhile … but then what?
If I continued to avoid giving myself the gift of better health, would those types of gifts really have mattered anyways? Oh sure, I could wear the ring and drive the car, but those were not really the best gifts that I could ever receive. Those are just things; nice things, yes, but they don’t matter much if bad health arises. And bad health often leads to more bad health … and the end result was not any type of “gift” that I was willing to receive, not for a long, long time.
Because I treasure my one life, my good health was a gift that I knew I needed to give to myself. How did I do that? I began to take care of me by living a healthy lifestyle — eating right and exercising or walking every single day beginning in January 2001.
No, this gift that I gave myself wasn’t wrapped or found under any tree … but it’s appreciated every single day and it allows me to appreciate all the others gifts given to me by others even more!
GOOD HEALTH: the BEST GIFT you can GIVE and RECEIVE from yourself. It’s time that you do it, too! What’s holding you back?

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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