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We Should Take Better Care of Our Bodies

Like many, I joke about being old whenever my knees pop as I squat or my back aches after spending a day hunched over at a desk. We often think that these ailments are funny. Sure, it can be harmless — young adults don’t often consider it a huge issue — but for some people, it might be a real concern. I used to think my body was indestructible. I could be hurt and have aches, but they would go away after a day or two. Nothing would bring down the fortress that is my body, I thought, but then, I learned better. 

Last summer, I found out I had high cholesterol and was advised to limit my salt and fat intake. If you recall, I spent the summer having the time of my life with my friends. Since one of my love languages is quality time, we would often go out to eat, and that resulted in weight gain, something I was fine with. Unfortunately, that progressed to pre-diabetes. Typically, this is something that people in their 30s and older have to deal with, not a 21-year-old. Now, I’m working on my limiting sugars and exercising regularly to lower my a1c so I don’t have to be medicated. This is difficult given how hectic school is and the fact that I would rather sleep than exercise. I know that I need to be more intentional about what I eat and how much exercise I’m getting, but I can’t get over the mental block that keeps telling me I don’t have the time. 

I frequently look back on my choices and wish I hadn’t made them. I knew that eating fast food regularly could lead to health problems, but I didn’t really care. I don’t regret the experiences, but I wish I’d thought more about making healthier choices instead of consuming the greasiest, cheesiest or sweetest foods. 

Let this be a reminder to you. Take care of your body today so you don’t have to worry about it as much tomorrow. You don’t need to follow some fad diet or work out every day of the week to take care of it. I support practicing mindfulness and checking in on your physical needs at least every day, but you should find what works best for you. 

Paige Pennebaker

Chapel Hill '21

Paige Pennebaker is an aspiring writer who attends UNC-Chapel Hill as a Senior during the day. She enjoys writing fiction and has been published on shortfictionbreak.com. While fiction is where her heart is, Paige also has a lot to say about the real world and how to get by.
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