I am short sighted and wear glasses. I only need them for driving and distance vision, so I don't have to wear them all the time - but I don't like wearing them at all.
I remember going for my first eye test - into a tiny optician's darkened room - having heavy metal frames pushed onto my nose -and then several different lenses pushed into them and having to say whether each lens was better or worse for seeing through.
I left that room as quickly as I could and was halfway back home before my brother came running after me (his eye test was straight after mine) saying that I had to go back because I needed glasses.
So I got my first pair of glasses when I was about 10 years old - a pair of pink framed ones you got for free from the National Health Service in the UK where I grew up. Lovely!
I wore them in class to read the blackboard at school for several years, then just before I left school, I found a book in the library about the Bates Method for better eyesight without glasses. I read the book cover to cover then went and bought myself a copy. It was all about how you could improve your eyesight and so not need to wear glasses - by doing a series of exercises.
How brilliant! I started out doing the exercises - but didn't stick at them for long. Over the years, I have done these exercises - now and again - but never managed to find the motivation and will power to stick at them consistently long-term.
I think that once I left school and university - I didn't need to wear my glasses much. I also went for 10 years without having my eyes tested when I travelled and worked in various countries. Once we settled here in Cairns, Australia, I had an eye test again, and the optician was surprised to see how much my eyes had improved from my prescription dated 10 years previously! Now I wear my glasses for driving, and that is pretty much it. So since my glasses stay in the car, and hardly anyone ever sees me wearing them, it's become no big deal to me, and so there's not enough motivation there for me to stick to daily exercises long term to rid myself of my glasses.
However - our eldest daughter is also a little short -sighted. We noticed this some time ago - just when we were out and about - there were odd things here that I couldn't read from far away - and neither could she. Now you would think this would provide me with the motivation to do the exercises together with my daughter. My own kid's eyesight has to be important enough to me to stick to this. So, at that time, I wrote about these exercises then on this very blog here. Again, almost a year later - I wrote another post saying that "Really THIS time I was going do do the exercises" . That second post was - I'm ashamed to admit - over a year ago.
So last week - I noticed our elder daughter squinting to read her swim training schedule on the white board by the pool. That was it. Enough is enough!
I came home and found the website linked to the last book I read on better eyesight about a year ago - written by Leo Angart. - Clear Vision Naturally.
There are workshops held worldwide to start you off with these eye exercises- but unfortunately none in our home town. So I downloaded all the charts, printed and laminated them, read the instructions, stuck them up on our walls at home and made a start.
So what am I doing differently this time that makes me think that after more than 20 years, I will finally be able to stick to these exercises regularly and actually improve my eyesight?
Well - I am doing them together with my daughter. She is keen to work at the exercises and so not need to get glasses. Her eyesight isn't yet causing her any real problems in class at school, so the plan is that she will never reach a stage that she has a problem!
Doing anything with a partner makes it easier to stick to, more fun and much more likely that you will continue than if you just do it by yourself. Over the last summer holidays I helped my daughter with her swimming training. Her coach was away for a few weeks and so, I went to the local pool with her and got in the lane and did the various laps and swimming drills each day. As a 9 year old, my daughter doesn't have the motivation to train 2 hours a day all by herself, but she enjoyed going with me, helping me with my swimming (which improved lots!) and so kept up her fitness while her coach was away.
So I've decided to apply the same principle to our eye exercises - hoping they will be much more fun if we do them together!
I have made us a chart that we mark off each day when we do our exercises. I've also shown my daughter how she can do various exercises throughout the day when she doesn't have the charts. Things she can do in class using the posters on the wall, and also when she is out and about in the playground, and in the car travelling to and from places.
We've been doing them for a week now - and so far so good, we're sticking at it, helping to remind each other to do them, and checking the exercises off the chart.
I'm determined that my daughter and I will stick to doing these daily exercises and improve our eyesight so that neither of us will need glasses. I completely believe in the idea that these exercises will work - and have read enough stories of success that there is no doubt in my mind that our eyesight can become 'perfect' SO LONG AS we stick to the exercises consistently.
So if it takes 21 days to form a habit - in another couple of weeks, we should both have settled into a kind of routine of doing these exercises and we should need less and less encouragement and motivation from each other to do the exercises - they will just become part of our daily habits and routines.
It's a shame it's taken me 20 years to commit to improving my eyesight - but better late than never.
I have found that there are more things I am willing to do to help my kids, than I would do to help myself. I think this is true of many parents - the trick is to use this fact to do things for yourself at the same time.
Wanting to be a good role model for our kids, helps us as parents become better people too. Are there things that you have been motivated to do for yourself - thanks to your own kids?
And have you heard of improving your eyesight using exercises? Do you yourself wear glasses -and would you consider going down this path of improving your eyesight with exercises?
After sticking to these exercises for about a year, I visited the opticians and was told I no longer need glasses for driving. It was so exciting for me to get that condition removed from my drivers license!