How much do you care about yourself?
A very unfit and sexually underserved patient of mine recently told me that she had started exercising. When I asked for details she said: I exercise 5 minutes a day now. My facial expression must have revealed my “Oh, please!” opinion as she quickly added: It’s more than I used to do! Well, not really. Being healthy, aging well, and remaining sexually engaged necessitates doing much more than a 5 min. work-out.
There are two important questions worth asking yourself on an on-going basis: How much do I care about myself and how important is it for me to be physically independent as I age? Giving short-shrift to either is destined to lead to two things: distant and diminished sexuality and an inability to get up off the toilet on your own long before you’re really old.
Embodying your flesh is essential to living and loving well. Thoughtful stewardship includes persistence with self-care practices which creates its own unique erotic charge. Efforts towards improved health build self-confidence, which is the sexiest, most alluring thing of all. Achieving this can only come from moving often and for extended periods of time in ways that challenge your heart, your muscles, and your will, eating foods that give you strength, AND pleasure, keeping company with kind and generous people, and being grateful for all you have in life. The specifics of these practices continuously evolve and shift as you change with age and increased self-insight. But one thing remains the same: the more energy you expend on health the greater access you’ll have to emotional and physical pleasures – alone or with an intimate partner. There are so many times that I see patients whose health status and pleasure quotients are rock-bottom because their mantras are: Work. Eat whatever. Repeat. Little conscious thought goes in to how they’re treating themselves in the moment and what outcome will result in both the near and distant future.
Self-care practices are time consuming, tiring, not always enjoyable, and absolutely necessary if you want the most out of life. This is your body, your joy, your sexuality, your life. Don’t let them slip away.