When my brother passed away unexpectedly, my life stopped. I was really only trying to make sense of such a tragedy. How could this happen? I wanted to be with my family as much as possible—to share in our memories and in our grief. However, today, I started back. I started thinking I need to get back to all the good self-care things I had been doing before this happened. My diet and exercise program was excellent and I was feeling light, balanced, and optimistic about my life and my health. Even though I’ve always been active, my motivation to become much more consistent and committed to my exercise was prompted by my oldest brother Hank's heart attack at the end of May.

I’m sure you can guess it has not been an easy year for our family. But I must say, my wonderful family inspires me. I will dedicate this article specifically to my two oldest brothers. To Helmut for how he lived and to Hank, for how he has now chosen to live--taking his health and wellness quite seriously. After Hank’s health scare in May, he has turned his health around. He is avidly seeking and exploring new dietary programs for heart health and consulting with me of course. He has lost about 20 pounds, exercises regularly, and has enrolled in a Heart Healthy Program at his local hospital in Vancouver.

Yes, he has been given a second chance at the age of 64. He is taking that opportunity and rising to the occasion. He is more open to the beauty and richness of his days and he looks great, too. We all can become caught in a rut, thinking about all the things we need to get done, and planning for this and planning for that, and not really living and enjoying the time we have. We really need to stop and slow down. Let’s really embrace the preciousness of our lives. As I mentioned, I have spent a lot of time with my family this past month. The love and togetherness has helped us handle a difficult situation. It became much more bearable and even a richer and deeper experience being surrounded by the most important people in my life. I urge you to take time every day to appreciate those you love in big and small ways. Keep your heart open.

I started back to the gym today and I started eating back on my healthy eating program. Yes, I, too get off track at times. We are all just human and fragile. We do the best we can. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do and must do. At first it might be difficult, you’re aware of how far you have to go, but it becomes easier and actually becomes second nature after awhile. You start embodying this new you and can actually feel quite miserable if you veer off track for too long. You need to learn to make yourself a priority. Even during stressful times, you can always try and maintain your “Healthy Living—Right Living” guidelines, which will always anchor you and nourish your body, mind, and spirit. This is what both my brothers encourage us all to do—live life to the fullest and enjoy your days.

How can you:
Love More?
Live More?
Be More?

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N.

Author's Bio: 

Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the "Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach." Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit coachingforhealth.com.