Sunday, July 29, 2007

Accountability

This is a long ramble about personal health so if you are not interested in this, just skip this one.

Carl wrote a post yesterday that I needed to comment on. My comment got WAY too long and it morphed into this post.

The post centers around the idea that your friends and the company you keep can have the effect of making you more healthy, or less healthy. I couldn't agree more. If you are an alcoholic and your friends hang out in bars all the time, guess what. You need different friends. I would apply this to overall health as well.

It is extremely difficult not to drink many beers at a Bear tailgate. Again, you are there with your friends at a great event (football) and for me anyway the good times translate into more booze down the hatch. This is not going to happen this year. My fitness and goals are at a different level. If the company I am with doesn't like it, they can go scratch.

Along those lines I think documenting my health here on the blog is great for me. The next time Carl and I meet up if I am not looking stellar he is going to call bullshit on me and humiliate me, as he should. I also want to meet people face to face that I have interacted with on the 'net and the same thing applies. If they have been reading about my century rides, Muay Thai classes and all the rest and I don't appear super healthy in a face to face meeting those people will question my honesty and character in general. I won't be having any of that.

Within the next few weeks I will be reaching my intermediate goal of 185 pounds, on the way to 180 where my doctor told me to stop with the weight loss. Sure there are ups and downs but hey - you gotta live. Eating a big ass steak or a pile of ribs and maybe having a few beers is OK ONCE IN A WHILE. You simply cannot make your life revolve around food and drink like I was.

I realized this about three years ago when I was looking at myself in the mirror, and it was not a pretty sight. I have kids and want to see them grow up and I hope to be a granddad someday. The way I was eating was NOT conducive to me living a long life. On top of that I wasn't exercising at all. I mean nada. Hard to believe, but a person with a four year degree from a Big Ten school didn't understand that if you eat like a moose you HAVE to burn off those calories or you will be a fat ass. I was being stupid.

Well, that is all behind me. I am now *possessed* by looking healthy and making healthy choices. My wife has been a great help to me and it is awesome that she also works out (she needs to go to a health club to work out...different personality than mine) and knows about nutrition. She motivates me, compliments me and keeps me in check. To this day she metes out my portions for dinner. Portion control is probably one of the toughest things for me. So what I do is have her put on my plate all of the food I am allowed for dinner...and that is all I get. I can eat it as slow or as fast as I want. When we get takeout, the chow always slides over to her and she removes all of the portion that I am not allowed to have, THEN I get to eat. I also don't cheat at work. I make my lunch at home, pass it by the censor and that is all of the food I am allowed that day. What a huge help these things are for me.

I really don't want to push my new lifestyle on people that I know. I will just try to show them by my example how you can change your body if you get down to it and make the effort. I love it when people that haven't seen me for a long time ask me the question...what did you do? It is the same old story. Eat right and exercise. THEN I will tell my story and ask them if they exercise. It isn't badgering them, yet may plant a seed.

Carl is hard on himself. He isn't riding centuries or doing Muay Thai like me. BUT he is, I hope, seeing my results and by that is motivated. IMHO he is ahead of 99% of the population in the US. Doing some exercise, anything at all, three or four times a week for a measly half hour will go a LONG way in the long run. You will look better, your heart will get stronger, etc. I am no doctor, but can't really see any downside to exercise. You don't have to go crazy like me, even a half hour walk can do the trick.

But crazy I have gone and I plan on going more crazy. I need to be in top physical condition to advance in the Muay Thai rankings. And I will advance, this I guarantee you. I will have my Thai Shorts by Thanksgiving and after that I will start immediately working on my yellow sash. Another paragraph with accountability built in.

All of the running, ab work, MT and everything else has started to do things to my body that I never thought were possible. Resting pulse of 46? I never dreamed of that a few short years ago. I just wanted to drop a few pounds.

Carl's idea of a health "network" is interesting. It brings pressure and rewards. He mentions his personal trainer is motivated and will give him the berries if he doesn't do his workouts at home. I like this. This blog is somewhat of the same deal for me. When I am looking at sneaking that extra bite at the dinner table I think of two things. Not letting down readers who may meet me someday and not letting down MYSELF. It is easy when you think of it this way to not pound more chow down your piehole.

What a ramble this was, hope it wasn't too much. Can you tell I am pumped?

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