Love is...hard work!


loveishardworkYes, it's true. Love is many things to be celebrated on Valentine's Day with treats like chocolates, flowers, teddy bears, balloons, cards, and candies; but one thing that often goes uncelebrated is the fact that love is HARD WORK! And I'm not talking about the love in relationships between partners, spouses, young lovers, or even friends. I am referring to self-love in regards to health and wellness.

Just take my Valentine's morning for instance. The alarm clock began blaring at 4:45AM so that my husband and I could get to gym before we have to get our teen daughters off to school, the twins to pre-K, and before he clocks in to work. Our gym is on the other side of the town and we chose it because it's 24 hours and we can go at any hour, which was the case this morning.

Because this was a "hit it and quit it" work out, we had no time for chatting, playing, and slow sets. The result? In one hour's time I burned almost 6oo calories, not to mention the unaccounted kcals that I got in while flying furiously around the kitchen making hubby's salad, his snack of a whole wheat wrap with egg whites, spinach, peppers, and cheese, and our breakfast shakes.

Like any other couple, we would have loved to sleep in and wake up all dreamily staring into each other's eyes with hidden trinkets placed under pillowcases or delivered surprisingly. But we have no time for this. We are on a mission.

My husband's goal is to lose at least 50 lbs this year and my goal is to get in the best shape of my life! I'm 11 years older than my husband and a mother of six daughters and I want to be around for a long time, and for obvious reasons, so does he.

I love chocolates, heart candies, diamonds, and any other slew of stuff people give on this day, but more than anything, I love being healthy. I love knowing that the decisions my husband and I are making to improve our health not only impacts our lives, but dramatically improves our odds of seeing our children's children's children graduate college, wed, and  prosper. We don't want to be a part of the new life circle where parents bury their children due to obesity, or fit the new norm of a shortened life span because we would not change our diets, exercise, and embrace health.loveyourself

So, we didn't do the Hallmark thing. We aren't going to dinner. And  I don't want any candy. We are fixing our eyes on bigger and brighter days filled with love, happiness, and vitality so we can appreciate the finer things. Yes, love is patient, loving, kind, generous, and not self-seeking, UNLESS you are seeking to improve your health and wellness. And when you do that, you will make sacrifices and may celebrate in ways unlike others, but in the end, the hard work pays off. This year we paid it forward to ourselves and our hearts. And we feel good!


Elana Anthony has two passions, Writing and Exercise, in which she earned graduate degrees in both. Her degree in Writing is from DePaul University '99, and the other, a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania in 2007.  She loves teaching group fitness classes in land or water, and is in full swing working to combat the obesity epidemic by teaching others that they can have optimal health through the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge. She is the proud mother of six daughters and one granddaughter, whose birthday is today on Valentine's Day, and knows that her granddaughter, and all of her children, are here to bring the world love.

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