Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bon Appétit

In the Spring of 2016 I decided to drop a few pounds. I used to be 6-2, 225 with those pounds mostly in the right places. I’d pretty much been at that size since I was 18 years old. But over the years, I had gotten shorter and those pounds shifted. One day I looked in the mirror and saw an old man who was 6-1 and 233 with too many of those pounds around the middle and in the dreaded man-boobs. I was still pretty healthy by old man standards. Blood pressure was ok and I worked out regularly. Except for my cholesterol being a bit high, my doctor said “You’re in great shape for your age. Just keep doing what you’re doing but try to drop 10 pounds.”

So I decided to drop 10 pounds. And it wasn’t that difficult. Eat less and up the cardio a bit. Boom, 10 pounds gone. Well, maybe we should drop a few more and see what happens. So we continued to just eat a little bit less and workout a little bit more. Nothing crazy, just less in and more out. A year later I’m down over 25 pounds. Cholesterol is great. Blood pressure is better than OK. Energy level is up. I sleep better and have fewer aches and pains.

And I get questions. Am I ok? Is there something wrong? Nope, just decided to drop a few pounds. Oh...well, that’s good, I guess.

How did you do it? Atkins? Paleo? Weight-watchers? Nope, just ate a little less and increased my workouts from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Oh...well, that’s good, I guess.

There is a huge industry built around losing weight. There are the diet programs where they claim you lose weight and are never hungry. There are the special workouts where you don’t sweat and just have fun. There are exercise machines that burn more calories faster and allow you to tour the Alps in HD as you go along. There are those annoying Fit-Bit things that tell you how many steps you’ve taken and poke you to get up and move ever so often.

There should be a way to turn “my weight-loss program” into a money making proposition. But most people really don’t want to just eat less and exercise more. We human beings are weak-willed and in a culture of consumption, we see-it, want-it, have-it and, if it’s food, we eat it. And we eat too much. We lose weight and gain it back. We make promises then we break them. It’s true with food, exercise, money, relationships…you name it and we can screw it up.

So one of these days beer and pizza will call out to me and the dam of self-discipline will break. I will say what the hell. Life is too short and who wants to live a little bit longer and not enjoy it. Besides, I can stand to gain a couple of pounds. “My weight-loss program” is just as vulnerable as all of the others to one thing…our choices. But I am committed. I’ve bought new clothes and really enjoy being thinner. Life is good. However, I am keeping my old clothes just in case. For I am, indeed, a backslider by nature. Aren’t we all?

“The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you are off it.”- Jackie Gleason

Saturday, February 11, 2017

And Now.. For Other News…

I’m already tired of the First 100 Days countdown. All of the news is about the Trump administration and none of it is fair and balanced on either side of the divide. And a lot of Americans just don’t care all that much one way or the other. 40% of our nation’s 231 million eligible voters did NOT vote in the Presidential election. In the 2014 mid-term elections, over 60% of eligible voters did NOT vote.

While there are certainly non-voters who have strong opinions about how the country should be governed, most of them just don’t care. And a lot of the 40+ million who only vote every four years in a Presidential election either don’t care or don’t have a good reason for voting the way they are voting.

Then there are those of us who do vote most of the time. Some are highly committed to a party platform and/or a candidate. But most of us are just trying to figure out which candidate or party will do us the least harm. And by “us” I mean the personal “us”. Me, my family, my community, my company, my customers, my convictions. Some of us vote FOR a candidate or party and some of us vote AGAINST a party or a candidate. But when it’s all said and done, we go back to our families, our communities, our jobs, our friends, our convictions and we admit to ourselves that it’s not going to get any better. We pray that it won’t get worse. We know that our government is not too big fail and it’s probably way too big to succeed.

So we are ready for other news. Just the facts will do. We are tired of editorials presented as news. We are tired of celebrities telling us how we should have voted. We want to know the time, the temperature, the traffic report and the scores. Beyond that we pretty much know it’s all fake news or just someone else’s opinion. Most of us 231 million eligible voters are just putting one foot in front of the other… just trying to get home in one piece.