Health… it’s so much more than the “numbers” that we shoot for. As a clinical and lifestyle dietitian, I look at the “numbers” my patients get back as factors determining improvement to better health – blood work, blood pressure, glucose checks, weight loss, etc. But I didn’t become a dietitian so that people could have better “numbers.” I don’t hand out workouts to only help people gets abs or look more defined in their skinny jeans. I don’t teach people to eat “perfectly.” My driving force is to help others achieve health that allows them to enjoy life to the absolute fullest with those they love most. To get the opportunity to build memories that are far more valuable than any tangible items this world has to offer. To not be limited by their age, side effects of medications, and unnecessary physical limitations. Functional fitness, optimal health for all…
At the beginning of my post graduate supervised practice rotations, we had a guest speaker talk to us about connecting with our patients. I will always remember the key piece of advice that was given… before talking about anything food or exercise related, find out the person’s “WHY.” Why they want to improve their health. Because it is always more than the food, the pant size, the race they are training for, the weight loss goal. I originally thought I wanted to work strictly with athletes, then dipped my toes in to maternal health, but ultimately landed right were I belong. I get to work each day with people of all ages – however most over the age of 50, who want to improve their health to be with family longer. To enjoy playing with their grandchildren without limitation. To teach their kids the importance of health and set them up for success later in life. To travel with their spouse after retirement rather than running from one doctor appointment to the next. To start their running journey even after 60.
My inspiration comes from my very own family, my Noonie. At 87, after beating cancer, improving her long term diabetes, and dealing with loss – she never gives up. She has always been the cool grandma. She can still get up and off of the floor to now play with her great grandson. She took up Zumba in her late 70’s. She plays golf and enjoyed competing with people 10 years or more her younger. She has ups and she has downs, but her why remains the same. To live life to the fullest and be present for her family. Greater than any gift under the tree will be having her here, full of sass-class-and fun, for Christmas.
2020 has been a year that has brought so much loss to so many. So much fear, isolation, and hopelessness. I strongly encourage you to reflect on your “why” as we enter in to this new year. No matter your age, no matter what the past year has thrown at you – find your reason to thrive. Each day on this side of the dirt is a gift that should never be wasted.
My why has a bigger meaning now. My nutrition and wellness goals are not just about fitting back into my pre pregnancy jeans. They’re about preventing a long list of family history disease states like cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, obesity so that I can be around for Caleb as long as the Lord allows me to be and thrive as a mom. It’s about giving him the best shot with his very own health and the health of my family. I am so grateful for my people, my “why” and my sunshine in the chaos of this crazy year… my sweet 2020 baby boy.
Wishing you a healthy & happy new year ahead,
Addie D. Majnaric, RDN, LD