Attitude Adjustment

Healthy food provides myriad other benefits.
Store associate Nora Gabuat sanitizes a produce display case at the commissary at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. (Robert Jackson/Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow)

I was watching Oprah. I tuned in because she had a show about women's health. Most of it featured women who have trouble sleeping, have a low sex drive, are depressed and pop too many prescription pills. They all admit they don't eat well and don't exercise enough. "Hello?!" I yelled from the couch. Why don't they realize that eating right and exercising are the most important things you do all day?

Many of us need an attitude adjustment.

Many people, especially women married to the military, make the mistake of thinking of food as a gift, our one pleasure for the day. In reality, it's simply a fuel to keep us living and moving. We are supposed to eat in order to move -- and move a lot.

Instead of moving a lot, we work hard for everyone else and sit at a desk or in the car most of the day, then collapse on the couch. No wonder we are depressed, overweight and sick. We need an attitude adjustment in food and fitness.

Working out gives me the same sense of satisfaction I can get from that fatty dish or second glass of wine. Being active stops me from yelling at my husband. It works like caffeine to wake me up but makes me sleep like a log. It prevents injuries. Studies show that exercise and eating right can get you off many medications. People who exercise crave bad food and alcohol less often. They are nicer to be around.

So I ask, why put your health off until tomorrow when you might be too sick to do anything at all by then?

In the military, you know that life is too precious to waste. The best thing you can do all day is turn off Oprah, put down the soda and go for a jog on your way to the health-food store.

Nikki Fitness is a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, writer and publicist living in New York City. She started as a cheerleader at Syracuse University but became certified in fitness before her beach wedding so that she could get back in shape.

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