"I choose strength; I choose to put myself first — for my family"
Created by Divya Sreedharan Updated on May 09, 2017
Some weeks ago, I woke up one morning with a back pain. I anyhow got up and carried on with my routine: packing my child’s tiffin, preparing him for school and then somewhere between attending to the maid and the gardener, the pain almost vanished. However, it resurfaced after a week! This recurring issue began to worry me about my family and my responsibilities.
It got me thinking for the first time about how I need to take better care of myself. It was around that time that I happened to meet a long-lost friend, Purnata, mother-of-two, over a neighbour’s 10th wedding anniversary party. We discovered that we still had a lot in common, asides of being married for the same time: She had encountered a similar discomforting back pain and faced similarly worried times.
As I vented out my pain story, she said: “I’ve been through this too and you know what, this is just our bones showing signs of ageing post 30! …they need more attention than before so we need to eat better and exercise more. Don’t worry, small changes and we will be fine.” It was an assurance I needed badly but that was not it! We, women, are so concerned if we put an inch on our tummy or thigh or see a grey hair or a wrinkle, but forget that real strength lies inside. In between all the venting and nibbling and catching up, we made a pact that day: To get back the strength in our lives and feel fitter by the end of the year.
It was not just a random, fleeting thought – what followed was a 10-point plan, which included joining a weekend Jazz class, going for a massage every week, morning yoga sessions, playing badminton with our children in the evenings… and what not! And yes – get our bone health tests done regularly and take better care of our ageing bone because that’s where the strength comes from! We even went online and found an easy and interesting test that tracks bone health.
I also started reading on bone health and realised that I may not be taking enough calcium and Vitamin D (that helps the body to absorb calcium). Purnata and I exchanged recipes and health notes on whatsapp daily – in fact, we created a group (got more like-minded women to join us in our mission) – and OMG, this group was rocking with fitness tips, must-try this and that, and recipes loaded with nutrients and feel good quotes – in no time! One of the whatsapp groupmates pinged: ‘Today I was making Horlicks for Riju (her 8-year old) and thought why can’t I have that? And you know what, there is Women’s Horlicks too, which has calcium, vitamin D and K2 for strong bones!’ So the next day, Purnata and I (after yoga) walked to the grocery store (we don’t take our cars out now for short distances) and got ourselves a jar of women Horlicks each.
As the days turned into weeks, the energy and joy in daily living spiralled up, and I could not help but reflect…Now I have less pains and aches – quite the opposite, I feel fit and healthy, bubbling with energy and positivity. All it takes is this: Choosing strength!
If there is one lesson I’ve picked up in life, it is this: I need to be strong myself to provide strength to my family. We women forget that taking time out and putting our fitness first, ultimately benefits our families too.
Well, today… I know a lot more about my frailties and fitness levels than ever before and I try every day to up my stamina and strength – and reduce stress!
Divya learnt a lesson in bone health, the hard way. She had to go through a painful time to realise how important it is to take care of her bones. What about you? Will you pick from her example or are you already doing the right things to keep your bones healthy and strong? Do write in (comments section below) and inspire other women to be #strongtothebone…
Disclaimer: The #Strongtothebone campaign has been brought to you by Women Horlicks to create awareness around women's bone health.