Max's (and my mother-in-law's) birthday gift to me is a trip to my native Massachusetts in late May. I was trying to keep it on the DL to surprise my parents, but I only lasted about two days. I am the world's worst secret keeper.
This beach is down the street from my childhood home; I used to spend entire days there!
One of my main motivators in maintaining a fit body and a fit lifestyle is my family. Every single member of my extended family, with two exceptions (one of whom is a teenager), is obese.
So, when I see my family again, I want to be visibly athletic and healthy. (That, by the way, is the "look" I've been chasing for 2+ years now: athletic.) I want my body to be proof that despite our somewhat crappy genetics, we can be in great shape.
I certainly don't intend to preach to any of my loved ones about how they could clean up their diets or lose a few pounds. I have never and would never do that. But I do want to show them how easy a healthy lifestyle can be, by living it and looking great while I do it.
The fact is that healthy living is critically important to my family based on our risk factors. One of my uncles died suddenly of heart failure before the age of 50. My grandfather survived several heart attacks. My grandmother suffered several strokes. Ovarian cancer, which has a correlation with obesity, runs strongly in one side of my family; breast cancer has taken several lives on the other side.
Every time I get a call (versus a text, our standard mode of communication) from a family member, my heart jumps into my throat. I freak out anytime I get a call from an unknown number with a Massachusetts or Rhode Island area code.
I don't pretend to think that my family seeing me looking fit will miraculously spark anyone to change anything about their lives. But I do want them to see that members of our family can be very healthy.
Plus, call me vain, but I want to look really great in all the pictures I'm sure they'll take. ;-)