I’m a nut – a healthy one

I have a friend who follows me around everywhere.

Of all the friends that I’ve made over the years this is one was introduced to me a few years ago and ever since then I’ve been trying to get rid of him because he’s the only one I can honestly say I have a complete hatred and animosity towards. I have no reservations when admitting my extreme dislike for him and he knows it. But he persists in making my life hell.

Whenever I see him I feel a revulsion, a loathing and complete disgust for him. Yet at the same time I feel a certain empathy towards him because he is the only person I hate in this world.

I believe the feeling is mutual.

He taunts me, tells me I’m useless and he enjoys watching me writhe and squirm whenever he makes his presence known. He weighs me down, makes me feel insecure and when we are out in public, he is the one that draws everyone’s attention. I can’t get rid of him no matter how hard I try but it doesn’t stop me from trying because I don’t need friends like him.

He is my belly!

I’ve been on this healthy kick lately and I have my belly to thank for that. The mirror has not been kind to me these last few years and I know better than any middle-aged guy that eating the way I did when I was sixteen is going to make me look really bad, really fast.

Looking better is only a secondary goal though. Feeling better is the principle motivating factor behind my desire to shed the extra pounds. Looking better is just an added bonus. Living longer is a much better goal and in the last few months I’m feeling better every day. Getting to the gym doesn’t get any easier but walking out of those doors after expunging buckets of perspiration sure feels good.

Eating like a famine was part of last night’s weather report never helps but every now and then I find myself lapsing back into those bad habits, especially when my buddies invite me to gorge on sushi or I’m at a family or church function and I’m staring down a plate of teriyaki chicken like it’s going to run off and leave me skinny. Wouldn’t that be something if we still had to chase, maim and cook our own food? Now the food is chasing us. Everywhere you turn there is something or someone trying to hawk food and make us crave for another load of carbohydrates, sugar and fat. By the way did you know that scientists have found that there is a difference between good fat and bad fat? I guess I understand that but in my diet the only good fat is bad fat.

When I was a kid I didn’t have to move to lose weight. I ate like a hippo set loose on a watermelon patch. Now if I don’t move I may never move again because I gain weight just looking at food. But I’m getting better. When I go to the gym and come home I have very little desire to eat because I feel like I’m going to puke if I consume any amount of food. I guess that’s good?

Exercise has made a huge difference. A few years back I played basketball, volleyball, rugby and golf to stay in shape but mostly for enjoyment and recreation. Now I would be happy if anyone would allow me to play basketball with them (mostly because I can only play offense OR defense not both in a game). I can’t cover a backline on defense in volleyball like I used to; if someone asked me to play rugby right now I’d probably high tackle them right at that moment before they move because I could never catch you otherwise; and I can hardly swing a club if I have to walk from the par 3 tee box to the green so you had better make sure to get a golf cart when you invite me to play because I’ll be spent by the time we pull up to the No. 2 tee.

But I’m not going to let that discourage or deter my goal of feeling great and living longer (unless I get hit by an errant golf ball), and I would encourage anyone who wants to feel better and feel healthy and stronger to do the same. If I can do it, pretty much anyone with geriatric bones and a collapsed lung can do it. I may not look pretty when I’m exercising at the gym, but I will never let an 85-year-old woman beat me on a stationary bike.

The Fall and Winter months are upon us and its going to be a lot harder to stay healthy and active, especially when the holidays roll around. But if I can continue in my habits today, tomorrow is going to be a little bit easier. I hope?

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