Yes, at first, but then family can make the decision
that it has to be a conscious sit-down conversation;
we have to be honest with each other. I have to be
able to be honest with you, and you have to be
honest with me, and letís just say we make a
promise, and give each other a hug and a big kiss
and say, ďIím promising.Ē When you ask me how Iím
doing today, Iím no longer going to say ďFine,Ē but,
instead, Iím going to say, ďMy feet hurt, damn it!Ē
And you can say, ďIím sorry. Is there anything I can
do?Ē and maybe Iíll say, ďJust come with me to the
gym today.Ē But at least then I feel that weíre in
touch, and that youíve allowed me to be honest, and
I also allowed my caregiver to be honest back.
GB: I was reading ďBody ChangesĒ
and it really inspired me to start the 21-day
program to see if I can get back into shape.
Thatís my life. I work out every day. Iíve
incorporated another phase because Iím 50 years old,
and as much as we need to be strong and maintain our
skeletal strength and our muscle strength, we also
need to be limber. Iím now training a little bit
more for life and Iím incorporating a lot more
stretching and Iíll be incorporating a lot more yoga
and a lot of other forms of exercise, along with my
resistance training and my agility training.
Iím doing all these things together, so I focus on
that. Iím in the process of writing my next book;
not only addressing eating, but also being fit for
GB: What would you say a family
caregiver needs to do to start incorporating
exercise into their lives?
Of course, check with a doctor first, but the thing
you need to do is to start with something simple...
As crazy as it sounds, take a walk. Forget the
weights, the gym, and the trainer; go out the front
door and take a walk. The first time, walk until you
feel tired but know you can get back to your house.
The next day, walk until you get tired and tell
yourself, ďIím just going to go three more minutes.Ē
Then, the next time, you look at your watch, and if
itís the same time you got tired the day before, go
six more minutes. The next time you go, I guarantee
you that it will not be the same time as before.
Youíve achieved something. Thatís called physical
exercise, right there; thatís your first
achievement. If youíve done this, then youíre ready
to start on an exercise program by increasing that
walking. One of the things people think to get in
shape is that youíve got to do it tomorrow because
thereís something so action-oriented about ďget in
shape.Ē It sounds almost as if it were an order, to
do it right now. But the truth is, even if you
attempted to do it right now, it takes time; so take
the pressure off yourself and recognize that it
takes time. You have to find those little things
that get you down the path of feeling like youíve
accomplished something, and the quickest way to
accomplish this is by walking out your front door. A
lot of times we look at this as ďI have to get to
the gymĒ or ďI have to go to the mall to get an
outfit and I have to look cute while exercising, and
Iíve got to get my make up onĒ and so they never end
up walking out the door.
GB: Iíve been reading a lot
about the Montel Williams MS Foundation. Can you
tell me about the work of the foundation?