I’m trying to get back in shape. My current shape is rhombus, I need to upgrade to parallelogram, then, ultimately, up to triangle. I will be Triangle Man
Take a trip with me.
Years ago, I swam and played tennis and often played ultimate Frisbee with my friends because it was fun. I would also play intramural basketball or other sports just because I enjoyed them. Never in my mind did the though of “be healthy” even start to enter my agenda. I was skinny, fit, and quite in shape because I liked to be outside and play with my friends.
The year was 1999, I had finished college and felt on top of the world. I was young and strong and could sprint a 5k after eating my second triple cheeseburger.
But something happened. I realize now that it happened around age 23. This is when I stopped running around for fun, and transitioned to sitting around for the vast majority of time.
Sitty sit sit sit all day. Granted I was getting a masters and then medschool, but wow did I sit. I’m amazed I didn’t get decubitus ulcers. Heck, I’m sitting right now.
We have no little breaks to run around, just sitting.
As adults we completely remove recess from our lives. What an utter travesty.
I WANT MY RECESS BACK!
I would love to be on shift and hear the bell ring and, while disimpacting a 98 year old constipated great-grandma say “Sorry, thats the recess bell, time to go play, I’ll be back for the rest of the monstrous stool burden in 45 minutes.”
Then we’d all run around for a while playing all-around-the-hospital tag. Heck we could invite some of the inpatients to play along as well, that way if I was it I could certainly catch someone (quick tip, it’s hard to sprint with a Foley catheter in place).
But, alas, this will never happen.
So we sit and we eat junk. I was a complete sugar junky.
Seriously, even in a hospital cafeteria much of the food is deep fried and swimming in salty butter.
But at first this did not matter. You see, 23 year old rob had a metabolism of the Flash. I could eat junk everyday and be fine, because I would run and play and burn it all off. But little did I realize that I would be sitting for the next decade.
Then, like the gentle sloth, I came to a realization…
I was not extremely obese, but I weighed more than I ever had in my life. I also was not the guy from college who could run endlessly and not even care. I was out of shape. I looked at my diet, and realized that I had continued to eat like an imbecile. As it turns out, NOT eating stuff that is delicious is extremely hard. I used to come home after a shift (2:30am) and think, “hmm, now seems like a good time for a snack, such as an entire pizza.” Then, I’d chow it down and then sleep. No big deal? No, big deal.
Here’s what you need to know:
The feathers of habit are too light to feel until they are too heavy to lift.
But it can be done.
I started counting calories. This was an eye opener. Turns out that I didn’t really need 4000 calories a day. Drinking 4 cans of pop for ~1000 empty calories a day didn’t really help. But small changes over time made a huge difference. In terms of losing weight, diet > exercise, but both are important. But more important than anything is the mental change. It must be a conscious decision.
I recently spoke with a friend of mine who had a gastric bypass. She worked (and works) really hard after the surgery to do everything right. And, with time, dedication and life-changing perseverance she changed her life. But talking to her about it is interesting.
Many people who get the surgery expect to start dropping pounds without changing their life in any way whatsoever. This always fails. She told me a story about someone who had the procedure who had beer and a bucket of KFC a few weeks after the procedure.
She said at that time after her procedure she was just thinking about starting yogurt.
The fad diets, the cleanses, the new “fat busting” workouts.
All are garbage. You must first kill the bad habits if you expect lasting change.
So what can we do?
The first thing is to make a choice.
“I want to be healthy.”
Then start with a small change. Small. Personally I gave up sugared pop.
But, I truly gave it up.
I’m on the road back to being in shape, why not join me?
We can make new habits that are good.
And maybe, just maybe, that sloth will stop pointing at me.
Now get up and give me 20 laps around the gym MOVE MOVE MOVE!
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