With March on the horizon our goal oriented New Year’s resolutions of a “new you” tend to dissociate as we switch focus to spring break aspirations of warm beaches and cold beverages. A gallant goal, but often short lived as life happens and we subside to our own comforting routine. A new you again awaits another year. The one thing in life we tend to abandoned most is the only thing we have to live with - ourselves. Proper nutrition and exercise are not only the foundations to a healthy life, but also a happy one. Being healthy means you can run around with your kids, decrease the aches and pains, find an inner joy again. You deserve all of these things. So why do we deprive ourselves of truly and fully experiencing life?
As a collegiate wrestler, motivation came very easy to me. I had goals of performing at my absolute best to be the best. An unwavering work ethic and healthy foods were key to my journey if I wanted to give myself a fair shot at my personal goals. As my competitive career came to an end, I assumed my healthy lifestyle would carry over as it had been a part of me for so long. However, my diet began to consist of cheap processed meals (mostly fast food and frozen pizza) and the extent of my exercise was a short walk to the bar and back. My clothes began to “shrink”, the things that were once effortless became difficult, and my vision became blurry as my personal bias avoided and sheltered me from the truth. It is very easy to fall into an unhealthy routine. It is even easier to avoid change. But it is worth it to make a change. To make change I had to stop making excuses. I had created a lifestyle that was so convenient it seemed to be the one I could live with. It is so darn easy to get caught up in our own individual routine that we forget about the importance of taking care of ourselves and the goals we had once set. Everyone’s goals and processes to attain those goals may vary, but a common denominator is the undeniable truth that humans strive to experience life in the best way possible. So where do we begin? How can we tackle these obstacles that limit our experience in life?
To make change we have to stop making excuses and create a better lifestyle. You don’t need the milestone of a New Year, or worse a significant life altering event. Change can start right now. We all know that we need to eat healthy and exercise but seem to wait until an emotionally striking event occurs or until it’s too late. You make the change. Stop making excuses. Its starts with you. You are at the only place where you can make a difference - don’t dwell on the past. The decisions you’ve made up to this point are final. The person you feel and look like is the person you are. We are where we are and we can’t change the past and how we got here. But this is what we can do, take this moment, this exact moment in life, where we stand right now, and use it to move forward in a positive direction that can enhance our lives and future experiences. Hindsight is 20/20. Take what you learn and use it as ammo, don’t take it and wear it as armor.
Shoot for lifestyle change, not a calorie counting “perfect” diet. Perfect is not realistic and does not fit into our real lives. Perfect doesn’t leave room for error. It means that if you decide to go out to dinner for a greasy burger and fries, you “cheated” yourself. It means that if you miss a workout, you have failed. Between cheating yourself and failure lies guilt. An uncontrollable troubled feeling. Instead of perfect, let’s start by shooting for good - not a calorie counting perfect diet that will end in tragedy because you couldn’t resist that one slice of greasy pizza at Casey’s while getting gas once a month, or because you couldn’t drive by that ice cream shop one more time without getting a chocolate crazed blizzard. The problem with a diet is that there is always an end date. This short lived diet only leads to short term weight loss as many people find themselves gaining the same weight back. The key is to create a manageable lifestyle that guides you in the direction of your goals. We’re reaching for longevity, and good health is one of the few ways to help encourage that. We only get one shot at this thing called life and you are the only person in the world that can enhance your own experience.