Staying in shape, feeling healthy, what’s it all about?
I was looking through some health magazines the other day, reading the articles, and started thinking about my own heath. First, if you are going to read those magazines don’t bother looking at the pictures because I don’t know anyone my age who looks like the pictures, I’m never going to look like those pictures, so what’s the point? My twenty one year old nephew looks like the pictures in the magazines but he eats McDonalds seven days a week, and in none of those article could I find anyone saying McDonalds seven days a week leads to better health. So, I thought about what it means to be healthy and fit, and how to stay healthy and fit. My first thought was smokers, forget it, you will never be healthy and fit until you quit. So Quit! Quit cold turkey, take a pill, where a patch, get hypnotized, go to the desert for a month and isolate yourself but quit. I know its a nasty addiction and near
impossible to quit, but quit. I know, I know, you’ll put on ten pounds, so be a little fatter cause sooner or later cigarettes will kill you and its better to be fatter than dead. Ok, now that we have smokers out of the way lets talk about you and me. I don’t know about everyone but most people I know don’t want to run a marathon, they don’t want to spend two and half hours a day in the gym, lifting weights and running the treadmill. And even if they did they don’t have the time. And if you are like me then you like to eat, and not little rabbit portions, but you enjoy a good meal. In fact I enjoy good meal far more than I like working out, I look forward to going to good restaurants, I never look forward to going to the gym. And I like sitting on my couch watching sports, and when I do I like to munch on things, Nacho’s, wings, popcorn, in fact one of my favorite things is watching football on a Sunday and munching out.
And despite that I like eating far more than working out, and it is an effort to get me to leave my couch when a good game is on, I am very healthy. And I just don’t say so, I get all A’s from my Doctor. When I was younger I loved playing sports, but I just can’t do that all the time anymore. As an adult you just can’t find the time or even energy to do what you did when you were younger, but you need to find something you enjoy doing, or at least can tolerate and try to do it for at least an hour five or six times a week. For me, I play basketball in a league once a week, and we practice once a week on weekends, I also have found while I don’t love spinning ( bicycle class indoors) I don’t hate it, so I try to spin three or four times a week at my health club. My wife tries to walk/run on the treadmill at least five times a week for an hour, usually before the kids wake up. I have friends who get up and run a few miles everyday, totally not for me, but they love it. I have other friends who do Yoga or Pilate’s, the simple truth is there is some form of exercise out there that everyone can participate in to maintain good health. Am I in great shape? No! Do I have a six pack of abs? No! But I am healthy and I feel good and I have the energy, and I know that exercising the 5 to 7 hours a week is the main reason.
Eating, ugh, my main weakness. I love to eat, and I love crap. I would rather eat a hamburger, milkshake and fries than do anything else. And I love Pizza and candy, and Italian food, and Coca Cola and the aforementioned Buffalo Wings. And I am never giving any of them up, I’m just not going to eat them that often. Temptation is the root of all evil, so whenever I can I just stay away from the places that serve them. And that’s the best advice I can give, if you love to eat like me, don’t give it up just stay away. Because the truth is for most people diets don’t work, even when they do they eventually end and people go back to the bad eating habits they had before. The simple answer is develop better eating habits, try to eat salads, and chicken, and fish. Drink as much water as possible, try to stay away as much as possible from bread and butter, eat fruit and vegetables. I’m not saying anything that anyone does not know, we don’t need all the magazines and the pictures to show and tell us what to do, most intelligent people already know, its just hard. What I am saying is I am probably going to eat Pizza and wings on Sunday when watching football, but that means the rest of the week I’m being careful. I’m going to have my burger, shake and fries but probably only about once a month. I’m going to come home at night and eat the healthy meals my wife cooks and not complain because I want to stay healthy. If I go to a restaurant I am going to have my roll and butter, but only one not the whole basket, and nine out of ten times I am going to order chicken and fish. This is the life I have carved out for myself, I get to eat the foods I love just not as often as I would like, I don’t diet but they don’t work for me anyhow, they just make me hungrier. I get in my workout five to seven times a week and while I don’t love it I have made it part of my routine. My picture isn’t going in any magazines anytime soon for my body, but I am not overweight and I feel great. And at the end of the day, that’s what it is all about, feeling good and getting a clean bill of health. So workout, go easy on the crappy foods, stay healthy, but do the things you enjoy just in moderation.