I was walking around my kitchen this morning, groggy, sucking down water like I just crossed the Sahara.
It suddenly hit me that I was groggy because I consumed too many craft beers last night, chatting it up with good friends. I also stayed up until about 1am watching late night television after consuming those beers. Prior to consuming all of the delicious craft beers, I ate a bunch of fajita at a local Mexican restaurant.
You probably don’t care about any of that, but the point of me sharing this info is to convey that I am completely transparent and honest about my life, as you should be with yours.
I maintain a health related blog and I drink beer and stay up late… there I said it. Can I go now? 🙂
I’m not perfect, nor do I really want to be. I used to feel really bad about the fact that I carry myself around as a die hard ambassador of quality/effective movement , healthy eating freak, beer drinking socialite who enjoys playing hockey, video games and surfing the net for interesting reading or just nothing at all.
It’s not perfect and I obviously am consciously aware that it isn’t, but I have found that if I can identify a healthy balance, I can make it all work. I can balance it all out so that I don’t lose in any one category. It makes me happy, it makes my life enjoyable without being a complacent lazy ass or being a complete stiff.
I don’t want anyone reading this blog to think that I am preaching a perfect lifestyle, because I am not, and I myself don’t lead a perfect lifestyle.
I am healthier than most, sure, but mostly because I have adopted habits that I maintain second nature that are conducive to a life of health. I am deeply fascinated with how movement and nutrition can transform a person’s body into just about anything that they desire. It takes work, but anyone can do it, whenever they want.
On that note, it does get slightly more challenging to change one’s body as we age, but that is life. Don’t ever use age as a crutch, it’s so lame to hear the old, “Wait until you are my age!” remark or the “When I was your age I could do just about anything”.
Honestly, it’s annoying. Save it. I will in fact see how it is when I am older because aging is inevitable, but I won’t ever live in the past. That’s called denial. If you’re older and you’re struggling to make noticeable changes to your body or your performance, please either: a) be realistic with it, or b) re-evaluate your game plan and your execution of that game plan.
While I was consuming those delicious, full calorie, robust and flavorful beers last night with my good friends, we got talking about hockey (naturally) and how even the more simple game plan that is executed to perfection still holds up over the new-age finesse garbage that is being implemented to hockey teams around the country. Play your offense, neutral zone and defensive systems extremely well (right down to the smallest detail) and you will beat teams that have all of the talent in the world but no game plan.
Pure execution of the game plan.
If you’re stagnant and struggling to make forward progress with performance, weight loss or muscle-fat-swap, chances are quite high that you have the wrong game plan for your desired results or you aren’t executing your game plan to the fullest. Both will leave you disappointed in the end.
As long as you’re giving your best effort regardless of your age, that is best practice in my opinion. Don’t go to bed with regret. Regret is your mind telling you that you sold yourself short. Regret- as I have often mentioned on this blog- is a terrible feeling that doesn’t go away quickly. It stays with you until you either make the situation right or you learn to forgive what’s been done.
Taking care of yourself on the front end of life pays massive dividends in the later stages of life.
I often am told that starting a family pursuing a career is going to give me a big gut…
… no, it won’t actually. I have a personal agreement to myself that I refuse to dishonor.
Why? Because I know too much. If I let go of exercise and nutrition now, it would be pure negligence on my part. I would have to have the knowledge of what the positive path is and still choose to go in a different direction. I can’t do that, not at this point. I know way too much. The information has been absorbed and now I leverage it daily.
See what I am saying?
If everyone spent a small amount of time reading 1-2 quality books on both exercise and nutrition, it would open up a whole other world. You’d be consciously aware of what needs to take place. Once you understand and absorb a vital piece (or pieces) of information on how to maintain (or improve from your current point) quality health and also what can destroy it, it now comes down to a personal decision. Once you have that information and you understand what it takes to stay fit, now it’s all on you, not your 5 kids and their hockey tournaments, your wife or your dog or your perceived lack of time or resources.
We are all busy, some more than others, but we all have an equal opportunity to stay healthy. Some people have a ton of time to stay fit and others do not. Some have money and access to a big box gym with fancy equipment and some have no funds and zero equipment.
One thing is for sure… anything that is important to you needs to be held sacred. It needs to become high priority. At some point you might have to put your foot down and fight for what is important to you. If that means having a sit down with your significant other to identify solutions to ensure your daily dose of exercise or a success plan for nutritious family meals, than that is what needs to take place.
Letting go of health projects that you’re giving up and waving the white flag. You’re choosing to follow an easier, less resistive path. It conveys that it just wasn’t quite important enough to you to stay with it.
If you find yourself falling into or at the bottom of this pit, work to be mindful of what is going on by taking small a step back outside of yourself and your situation to re-evaluate and re-motivate yourself. The fire can dim or go out in all of us. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But it obviously isn’t, because the CDC health statistics are still ugly as hell. We have work to do folks.
I have to admit that as much as I want to spread the word of health, I don’t want to project that I am religious about it. I don’t eat and breathe health 24/7… 365. I am human, and I want to enjoy some of the vices that life has to offer.
I cheat meals often. I personally make sure that 35+ out of 40 meals a week are health conscious. When those 5 cheat meals present themselves, I dive in with virtually no regret.
Why? Because I am human. I earned it.
What no one usually sees is how I leverage a hard training session prior to the cheat meal and then also first in the morning after the cheat meal. I cheated, now I go to work. This method has worked for me like a charm. It’s my agreement to myself. I will enjoy what life has to offer, but I will have the discipline to burn it off ASAP, no questions asked.
I also am very consciously aware of what I look like in the mirror, both front and back. In other words, I check myself out. Hahahaha, it sounds funny to admit this and I might regret being so honest, but it’s true. I know what baseline for my body is, and any variance in a positive or negative direction I can easily detect. I am so connected to my body that I can literally palpate my stomach and feel if things are getting a little “loose”. If I am moving in a poor direction, I tighten up everything. By tighten up everything I am typically referring to consuming more water, more sleep and focusing hard on nutrition. Sleep and water are overlooked components to staying lean. Both are vital.
I never weigh myself, mostly because weight doesn’t mean shit. It really doesn’t. A better measurement might be your cardiovascular resilience and what is your muscle to fat ratio? Are you strong? Can you handle your bodyweight? Can you perform hard labor without tapping out in the first 30 minutes? Why aren’t doctors clinic doing physical performance testing and reporting that to the health insurance companies? If more clinic knew how to conduct movement screens and performance tests on patients we could finally stop relying on drugs for artificial health, and move back into genuine health. Natural health.
It won’t happen, but it’s worth discussing.
No, I have to pipe up and make a few more comments… seriously, if you’re composed of a lot more muscle than fat, chances are quite high that you are fairly healthy. Right? I mean, it’s not necessarily that simple but if you eliminate the fat that is suffocating your internal organs, you’re obviously better off.
We need to carry fat to survive, but excess fat is unhealthy. Eat in such a way to keep fat retention to a minimum and improve physical performance. Get purposeful exercise training daily and surround that will low intensity physical activity like biking, walking, etc.
It really doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that does it?
But don’t confuse my statements above… people who are lean, fit and healthy have died from heart attacks, cancer and other unexpected causes. When it is your time, it is your time. But also realize that keeping yourself lean and moving whenever possible gives you the best opportunity at a long life.
Here is another little confession (maybe more of a personal rant): I can’t stand folks who argue against my methods, especially when the words are leaving the mouth of someone that hasn’t moved aggressively in years and eats boxed or fast food for nearly every meal, or read a bogus article slamming resistance training in the local newspaper and wants to have it out with me because they know my lifestyle habits.
I have found that these types of argumentative people are usually in some sort of denial, large or small, or they are close friends or family just looking to get a rise out of me.
If they are the former, they’re tricking themselves, looking to bring other people down to their level so they can see eye to eye. The conversation usually includes a comment about how they “could get back into shape whenever they want because it’s so easy, yet almost a decade has passed with zero improvement”, or they are trapped in their old perception of themselves saying “I used to bench 300+ and could run a sub-6 minute mile, in high school/college”.
Really? Benching, while being an important pattern to develop physically, is kind of a joke really. It used to be the common measurement of a “man”, but no more. It’s a dead statistic to brag about. Running 6 minute miles is impressive, but when those words are leaving the mouth of someone that ran that 6 minute mile about 10 years and 150lbs ago, it’s hard for me to take seriously. These are the same people that have a deep desire to show you their high school letterman’s jacket. Maybe there medals from Little League. You peaked too soon my friends. Waaaaaaayyyyyy too soon.
Again, no offense to anyone overweight, that is not the point here.
If you did take offense, don’t be so sensitive! Harden up!
I used to be pretty vocal, standing up for myself in these situations. Now I politely listen to what they have to say, hearing out their personal opinions and story if they choose to share it with me.
I smile and realize that their punishment fits the crime. Again, it’s mostly denial speaking in these conversations so it’s in one ear and out the other for me. Not really worth my time.
It’s kind of like receiving financial advice from a bankrupt financial advisor.
Ok, so what else can I confess? I think I am pretty well tapped out for now. I am sure that as soon as I hit the “publish” button on this post I will come up with a whole slew of other topics that I could have ranted about, but for now, this works.
Cheers to keeping honesty as your best policy!