img_9685-3Welcome to Aging Balance – the Basics of Being Well!

The foundations of wellness tend to stay the same, regardless of activity, lifestyle, culture, gender or age. That’s why I like to concentrate on the basics. Once you get beyond the basics, there are many paths to wellness, and any one of them could be right for you. I am Teresa Landry, and I created this site to explore and share the basics of safe movement, healthful eating and creating an environment that promotes positive choices.

This became even more important to me when I fell head over heels in love with an unhealthy man. He wasn’t falling apart, but he had some of the common American ailments that seem to crop up in middle-age: diabetes, high blood pressure, creeping waistline. As much as I liked him, I didn’t want to add his health issues to my list of concerns which, as a single mother of two, was already pretty big.

Ignoring the attraction didn’t work, and neither did trying to be “just friends.”

Falling in love should have been easy, but I was fighting my own preconceived notions about who – if anyone – I wanted in my life. I was a divorced, single mother who was wary of relationships, and I worked in fitness and coaching. My personal life revolved around my children, and I liked it that way. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share that life with anyone, much less someone who had serious health issues.

And there I was – making ga-ga eyes at a man who was on blood pressure meds, binging on chocolate bars and shooting up insulin. He had neuropathy in parts of his feet and, when I hugged him, my fingertips barely touched behind his back.

And, yet…I couldn’t get enough of him. I wasn’t crazy or stupid, but I was scared beyond belief.

Priorities change as we get older. The laughter, the companionship, the shared interests, and the way we challenge each other mean so much more than superficial image. But the problem remains that to truly enjoy our time together, we also need good health. That was a challenge I could handle.

I have learned two truths in my 25 years in the fitness industry: no one makes changes until they truly decide to do it for themselves, and, no matter how much I enjoy exercising, it is only a small part of the overall picture. Food and lifestyle are the most crucial components of health, not exercise.

So, what did I do? I told him what certain foods did to his body without telling him what to eat. Because of my children, he spent more time at my place than I did at his. While he was with me, he ate real food – meat, vegetables and fruit – because those were usually the only choices. He still ate candy and soda and fast food elsewhere, but he started to notice that he felt better when he ate whole foods. Apparently, I knew what I was talking about.

His weight started to drop. He needed fewer insulin shots with lower dosage. Unbeknownst to me, as he spent more time at my house and less time at his, he often forgot to take his blood pressure medicine.

One day, we stopped at his house on the way to a store and he “popped” a blood pressure pill with the offhand remark that he hadn’t taken one in a few days. Less than an hour later, in the checkout line, his face paled, he couldn’t stand still, and he thought he was having a diabetic attack. Adding a soda to our purchases, he quickly calmed down.

The next day, when he was about to take another blood pressure pill, I stopped him and asked him to measure his blood pressure first. He took it twice.

Both arms.

117 over 98. And 118 over 98.

The high end of normal.

About 30 points lower than he expected it to be….after only a few months of adopting some of my lifestyle and eating habits some of the time.

Since then, it has improved even more and his doctor has verified that his blood pressure is great. His doctor also re-classified him as pre-diabetic. Now, most of his meals are made up of nutrient-dense, whole foods, and he is able to be more active.

When results start to pile up, positive choices become easier to make and negative choices become more obvious.

He is still the same man I fell in love with and – even more important than the weight that continues to come off, the medicines and doctor visits that he no longer needs so frequently, the feeling that has come back in parts of his feet, the energy and circulation and self-confidence that have improved – the best part is the very real possibility that we will have decades to enjoy together in health.

To laugh. To share. To hold each other.

Because he is the love of my life. I fell in love with him when his health was in decline, and I would still love him if his health took a turn for the worse, but it doesn’t have to.

The secret to living a full, active life is not beating yourself up in a gym or starving, it’s about making deliberate choices and knowing the consequences of those choices. The way to create a new reality is to take one small step at a time. Enough small steps add up to miles.

If the only thing I get out of the last 25 years of study and work in the fitness industry is a healthy, loving spouse, it was well worth it, but I would like to help you have the same success we have experienced. For this reason, I have put together a package that embodies my philosophy of wellness – The Aging Balance System. This system emphasizes the basics of food, activity and lifestyle that are essential to good health.

The Aging Balance System is not about extremes of exercise or diet or deprivation, it’s about good food, safe movement and positive lifestyle choices. In other words: the basics of being well. It’s easier than you think to take back your life. You and your loved ones are worth it.