My Fitness Goals aren’t just for Me

After my 1,000 squat challenge yesterday I watched a few vlogs of Cassey Ho’s, including her tips on accomplishing the goals you set yourself. What rang with me most was finding the deeper meaning to your goals, such as instead of saying ‘I want to lose 10 pounds’, maybe aim to be fit enough to play with your very active young children. Finding the right meaning behind your goals will keep you much more motivated.

My goal was to raise my fitness level. That was it. And it seems very vague doesn’t it? So I started to think about what I could set as my goal that would keep me the most motivated to keep working towards it. Late last night, while stretching out my very wobbly legs, it hit me. I recently read about the growing percentage of people in Ireland who are obese. This is in turn raising the number of people who need kidney and liver transplants due to the immense pressure being overweight puts on the organs. The thing is, the percentage of acceptable donor organs is then in turn lowering.

At the end of last year approximately 550 people were on waiting lists for transplants in Ireland while a staggering 80% of Irish people over 50 were found to be obese. In 2030 Ireland will become Europe’s fattest country according to Professor Donal O’Shea. That’s unbelievable but sadly true.

I have always known that there was an obesity problem among the youth of Ireland in recent years. Many people put it down to gaming consoles and the ‘electronic babysitter’ seeming more appealing than playing outside, but I did not know it was such a national epidemic until now.

This is a body scan of an overweight person in comparison with one of a healthy weighted person.

It is not good medical practise to transplant the organs of an obese person into all already ill person. According to Professor O’Shea, the recipients risk becoming obese themselves.

My fitness goal has now become to better look after the organs in my body. They won’t always be mine. I hold both an Irish and a Danish organ donor card (just in case) so I now think of myself as more of a caretaker for the organs than an owner. I’ve held an organ donor card for three years now, but it holds more meaning for me than ever before. It does not just sit idly in my purse. I cannot give someone an organ in any old state. What ‘gift of life’ is that?

*The article linked is not the same as the one I read in the Irish edition of the paper; it was published on Monday, July 28, 2014.


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