Sunday, June 30, 2013

What's Your Why?

If you could choose to have optimal health in your life, would you take it?  I bet I can guess your answer to that question.


Ah, that's the more important question.  And everyone's answer is different.

But until you can nail down the answer to this second little question, the pursuit of the first question will remain elusive.

For years, I answered the "why?" question with statements that began with "I should -".  "I should lose weight so my clothes will fit."  "I should get in shape so I'll look better."  "I should exercise because my doctor said so."  And yet I never ended up doing any of those things in a way that I could maintain long term.

One day I was mulling this over with someone, talking it in circles, when she stopped me mid-sentence and said "Stop should-ing all over yourself."  I blanked as I made sure I heard her correctly.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  As long as my "Why" began with "I should", I was relying on what others think - external drivers - to drive my success.  I had to make it internal.  I had to work on my Why.

Not "why does my doc want me to lose weight" or "why does society think I should look like so-and-so".  But "why does this matter to me?"

What's my why?  The answers are numerous, but the biggest one is family.  I want to be fully available for my wife and son, to lead and nurture them, to fully engage.  And I can't do that when I'm living like a sedentary desk jockey, too tired by day's end to give them what they need and deserve (and I've spent plenty of years living that life).  Another answer has to do with nature, and my desire to explore and enjoy it in ways that are meaningful to me.  In my case, that usually involves a bicycle.  To each his own.  Another answer involves personal stewardship.  For me, it's a matter of deep personal integrity that I care for this body of mine.  It's the only one I'm getting.

What's your Why?

If this is something that has piqued your interest, I'd love to help you work through it.  Contact me, and let's figure out why you want optimal health.

Friday, June 28, 2013

I Get What I Want!

Tour De France!  Tour Divide!

Can you imagine the sacrifice and dedication required to simply show up at the starting line for these races?  How do these people do it?

Answer:  They want it.  And we all get what we want.

Oversimplification?  Perhaps.  When I lived in Colorado, I wanted to be fit & healthy.  At least in theory.  But I also wanted that Big Fish Burrito from Illegal Pete's, and I wanted the full rack from Tracy's Rib House in Longmont.  And when I somehow found myself at the ordering counter at either of these establishments, which "want" do you think I satisfied?

Ah, Colorado.  The thick years.

More recently, I decided to take my fit & healthy want more seriously.  I kicked it up the priority list. I wrote my "want" on paper and kept it in my wallet; I wrote it on the bathroom mirror so each morning my first thought was "oh yeah, that"; I cast it in concrete, set it in stone, and made that stone the foundation for all my other, less important wants.  Like ribs & burritos.

"Fit & healthy" does not happen on its own.

Now that I'm a healthy weight and on the path to longevity, do I still want things like ribs & burritos?  Sure I do.  Heck, Joe's Real BBQ is a ten minute drive from my house.  Does my shadow darken Joe's doorway?  Not in recent memory.  Why?  Because my want for ribs is subjugated to my want to create a long healthy life.

In short, I changed my wants.

Look, I realize this may seem like fiction as you look at your own life.  I certainly thought "healthy weight" was fantasy.  But I did it.  And you can too.

If you have unwanted girth, rolls, chins, or handles in your life, I can help.  It's what I do.  Contact me and let's change your wants together.  Because we all get what we want.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mad Men: Character vs. Plot

So recently we discovered Mad Men.

Not discover as in "Oh hey, what's this?"  Discover as in, toodle on down to the library, pick up season one, and proceed to watch all thirteen episodes pretty much back to back.

I'm hooked.

Not hooked as in "Can't wait to see what happens next!"  Hooked as in "Can't wait to see these characters again!"  Because besides the cigarettes and alcohol, Mad Men is its characters.  And that's it.

More recently, my wife went to see World War Z.  Her take?  "Meh.  Rather watch Mad Men."

As someone who is interested in Story, I find this fascinating.  Normally, a story has to start somewhere and end somewhere and somewhere in between a bunch of stuff happens to 'move the story forward.'  Plot.  Kinda like WWZ, and most other summer tent poles.  Even TV shows have plot.

Not Mad Men.  Mad Men is unique, because plot - the sequential progression of events - is irrelevant.  Mad Men is entirely about the characters: their contradictions, their secrets, lies & deceits, scars & fears, prejudices, addictions & escapes, their agendas and ambitions.  I can drop in on an episode, and never feel like I have to backtrack to find out what happened.  It's simply intriguing to see these characters forced to exist in each other's world, to see them seek some resolution in one area of their life, only to see some other area spin out of control.  The creators simply put two (or more) of these characters in a room and set them loose on each other.  I can't look away.

I realize this is what most nighttime dramas (i.e. soaps) aspire to, but it seems to me like other shows cling to plot more than the creators of Mad Men, no?  Much to process and apply to my own notion of Story.

Is that the library calling?  Time to go pick up season two!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Beginnings

For those who don't know already, it's official: I'm a health coach!

I've joined forces with my formidable wife Stacy (who continues to inspire on a daily basis), in a mission to help others create health in their lives the way we've been able to create it in our own.

I couldn't be more thrilled!

See, I spent most of my middle-age life teetering on the edge of obesity, always having to buy clothes that were just billowy enough to hide the rolls, and talking myself into the notion that "hey, I'm not that overweight," when in reality the BMI chart was telling me that I couldn't possibly be more overweight without lumbering into the obese category.  I monkeyed around here and there with diets and eating plans, and I'd shave a few lbs here and there, but they always came back in the end (or, more often, in the middle).

Then I had something of a wake-up call a little over a year ago.  I went to test ride a mountain bike out in one of the beautiful desert parks in & around Phoenix, a little 3-mile tour around pristine single-track on a state-of-the-art full suspension mountain bike.  And those three miles darn near finished me off!  Seriously, it took me an hour, because I had to stop for 15 minutes every mile or so just to catch my breath and let my heart wind down.

It was then I realized how I'd let myself go, and decided to do something about it.  That something was NOT going to be another diet.  I realized I needed to reorient the way I lived my life.

In the past year or so, I've made it my goal to create health in my own life.  Phase One was getting my body to a healthy weight.  And when I say "healthy weight" I'm referring to what the BMI chart indicates to be healthy.

I know a lot of folks out there think those BMI charts are crap, and how could someone be healthy if they were that skinny, and I'm not that overweight, and what about Arnold Schwarzenegger, if he measured his BMI, he'd be overweight too!  Well, maybe it's presumptuous of me to think that's what "a lot of folks" think, but it is what I was thinking.

Now that I'm a healthy BMI (!), I can tell you it's not crap, it feels beyond healthy, I really was that overweight, and no disrespect intended, but friend, you and I are not Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And a healthy weight is just the beginning!  Phase Two has commenced!  Now I get to look forward to a life unshackled by unnecessary, unwanted, and unhealthy fat.  Now I can buy clothes that fit and look good!  Now I can do things I never seriously thought I could do before (I can ride my bike more than 3 miles now without feeling like I'm gonna pass out).

And now I can help you do it too!

If you've found your way to this blog, and you've read this post, I have a question for you.  Do you know anyone who is trying to manage their weight?  Is that person you?  Whether you're off-the-BMI-charts morbidly obese, or you're in "decent shape" but can't seem to get rid of that gut, I can help.  Consider it my way of "paying it forward."  I used to think it was impossible to feel this good again, but I feel like a teenager now, and I want others to know that it is possible.

Contact me, and let's talk about creating health in your life!