Maintaining Good Health -- for Yourself, or for Loved Ones?
Watching the recent videotape of former President George H.W. Bush choking up as he talked about his wife Barbara's heart surgery made me tear up. (Skip ahead to minute 1:21 to see Mr. Bush's remarks.) The husband's raw emotion made me wonder what he would have done if things hadn't turned out so well for her.
Fortunately, Barbara Bush has apparently kept herself fit; though her fitness didn't prevent her aortic valve from failing, her surgeon said it helped ease her surgery and recovery. So, you could argue that her attention to her own health amounted to a favor she bestowed on her family.
That got me wondering: When we talk about wanting to lose weight, get in shape, eat more healthfully or become more physically active, do most of us want to do so for our own sake -- or to benefit our families?
I blogged not long ago about people who said they'd consider quitting smoking if they were told their smoke endangered their pets' health. Puzzling, isn't it, that they'd quit for their pets' sake but not for their own?
Of course, our motives change as our lives do: It's hard to imagine a young, single person's pledging to stay healthy for his or her parents' sake. But as we become spouses and then parents, our priorities shift. As this article illustrates, having a child makes us reconsider behaviors that might adversely affect our health.
And then there's Barbie. As I write in today's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, Barbie at age 50 is in top form, fit as a fiddle and apparently in fine health. But has she stayed that way all these years so as not to leave Ken in the lurch? Or is Barbie in it for Barbie alone?
Does that make sense to you? Please vote here and expand on your answer in the Comments section.
Results of last week's poll: Barbie appears not to be a huge influence on Checkup readers' body images. Of the nearly 700 voters, 33 percent said images in the media had had the strongest influence on their feelings about their bodies; 32 percent of you said your mother's comments about your body shaped your feelings about yourself, and 14 percent said your mom's comments about her own body had exerted the strongest influence. None of you reported that Barbie had had a strong effect.
This week's poll:
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 10, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Family Health , General Health , Motherhood , Nutrition and Fitness , Psychology , Women's Health
Save & Share: Previous: Five Facts about Aortic Valve Surgery
Next: A Wake-Up Call for Insomniacs
Posted by: jrosubs | March 10, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Caroline9 | March 10, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: laura33 | March 10, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RedBird27 | March 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kermit1001 | March 10, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eatinglowonthefoodchain | March 11, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: cmecyclist | March 11, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chunche | March 12, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.