Maintaining health is an important aspect of my life because there are so many influences, mainly my family, that influence me to be healthy. Throughout my 16 years of living I’ve learned self control, and to work for my goals not only in respect to health, but also to everything I do. My grandfather passed away due to several health related issues including heart problems and stomach ulcers. He was a heavy smoker and did not eat on a schedule. We were never close because he lived in California and I have been in Kansas for my whole life. Of course, we visited my family during summers, but never more than that. When I left school during the Spring of my third grade year to attend his funeral, I don’t think I’ve ever cried as hard as that day. From that moment on I made the goal to stay healthy not only for my benefit, but also for my family, and I knew that determination was the key.
One year later, my grandmother, that same grandfather’s wife, passed away one day before my birthday. I remember seeing my mother in her room with my dad when she was supposed to be at work and immediately I knew something happened to my family in California. My grandmother had problems with blood pressure ever since she was young, which led to kidney issues, and had diabetes later in her life, but what mainly caused her death was a stroke which left her whole body paralyzed. At her funeral I tried to keep the tears in and to be a big girl, but I really was crying inside. Both deaths were and still are traumatic for me and convinced me to eat well and exercise, but not only did they impact me, but my mother does also.
Another concern, however, that worries me today is the fact that my brother has high blood pressure. From the outside he looks perfectly healthy, and he runs on the cross country and track teams at his school and remains active outside of school. Now he has to crazy women chasing him down with handfuls of grapes or something of the kind. With all these influences around me I try to stay as healthy as possible, eating healthy and exercising. It is difficult at times, but I remember my family history and I know I have to do divert from unhealthy habits for myself and my family. Staying on course and keeping straight forward is the only way for me to keep a healthy lifestyle. This is really a way for me to recognize my grandparents and how really important they were to me and how I turned out to become the individual I am now, physically and mentally. I believe that health really does teach lessons to individuals, it’s just a matter of taking action.
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