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What I CAN do every day

I’ve always wondered about the root of my motivations.  Why do I care so much about my health and the health of those around me?  I’m that annoying person who always wants to hear about your ailments and offers a tidbit of solution from something I recently read.  I just can’t help it; I love health-related stuff.

Why do I care so much?  Why do I put so much effort into making sure that I walk my steps every day and eat well?  I suppose the source of my motivation has evolved over my lifetime. Today, I see clearly why my health matters.

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Both of my parents suffered cardiovascular trauma.  My dad passed from an aneurysm in 2004. My mom is finding her way through life with the aftermath of a hemorrhagic stroke that has now developed into vascular dementia.  It’s all still shocking to me.

My husband and I talk a lot about maintaining an active lifestyle for the next 30-plus years. We want to live like his 89-year old father and not with the struggles my parents had.  Is that my motivation?  Or, is it that I just want to feel good in my body, mind and soul.

Maybe motivation is less important. It’s the actions in life that really matter.  What I can do every day is physically move, eat lots of fruit and veggies and get a good night’s sleep.  That is what’s important, right?

During the day, at work, my motivation comes from the farmers and food artisans whose business I get to help to thrive. My motivation comes from seeing smiles on faces of shoppers at our farmers markets.  When I read shopper surveys from low income/SNAP participants, my motivation comes from their courage to try fresh foods and watch how their lives change.

I guess I’m conflicted about motivation.  I’ll just do what I can.

Trudy Toliver
Executive Director, Portland Farmers Market & Farmers Market Fund
AHA Oregon Advocacy Committee Member

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