3-1-07 235lbs 3-29-07 221lbs 3-30-07 221lbs 4-6-07 217lbs Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE! Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!

Which Exercise is Best?

Deciding to live healthy involves a number of things. One obvious area is exercise. The experts out there tell us it helps reduce stress, burns calories, helps our minds stay sharp, keeps us fit, and a number of other great benefits to numerous to list. So, sold on the idea that I need to exercise I am hit with a huge dilemma..... which exercise is right for me? There is swimming, running, tennis, basketball, karate, cycling, lifting, dancing, you name it, its out there. Team sports or individual, indoor or outdoor, expensive or low budget, there are many different choices out there.

My process of deciding started with asking the question "What have I enjoyed doing in the past?" The idea is simple, if I enjoyed it before I might like it again. If I hated it, I probably won't like it the second time around either. If this is your first attempt at anything, then a good question might be, "What looks like fun?" Again, we are all different, for me it needs an aspect of fun or adventure my wife just needs it to accomplish the desired goal. This leads us to the second thing to think about, what is the desired goal? I have two, I need to lose about 50lbs, and I want to be fit enough to keep up with my wife as we are out hiking or doing things together. Third is what can I afford? Do I join a club, do I want expensive gear? Finally is the idea of how easy is it to do related to my schedule. Can I do it anytime, anywhere, or do I have to be someplace at a set time. I landed on something that was very flexible, didn't cost, I doesn't require me to go anywhere, and is something I have done in the past. For between $65 and $115 you can buy a great pair of running shoes and hit the trails. You set the time, and if you want to do it with others there are plenty of runners out there. I may have to start slow, but battles are won by those who stay in the fight until it is over.

Time to put on my shoes and go.

Your Views on Food

Why do you eat? My wife has been a runner for almost 20 years now. Even after running a marathon and a number of Hood To Coast Relays, and at least a dozen 1/2 marathons, she doesn't think of herself as a run, but she is. She is also very disciplined when it comes to food. I on the other hand have attempted to train for a marathon, have been to Mt. Hood and the Coast, and a number of years ago ran a 5k. I am not disciplined when it comes to food.

I was very intrigued when a few months ago we had a discussion on eating. While my wife enjoys a good meal, for her eating is about feeding the machine. She eats because it is necessary in order to do the things in her day she wants to do. Taste has very little to do with it. Very rately will she have seconds and other than a polite, "that was very good," to friends who invite over for dinner you never hear her talk about the taste or texture of a great meal. For me, food is something to experience and enjoy. Each bite brings pleasure. Getting full gets in the way of my enjoyment. I can talk about the taste of a good steak for days. I wake up thinking about Mexican food.

Obviously we are all very different in our motivation for eating. From a healthy perspective food is about feeding the machine. If our bodies are machines, we need to make sure we are using the right types of fuel in the right combinations. There is nothing that says it can't taste good, but for me, my enjoyment of food is dangerous, and goes against my goal of trying to live healthy. I do not want to go on a diet. I want to think right about food, and eat food right.

The Beginning

For years I have walked by the mirror and thought to myself, "I don't look half bad. Pull in my stomach, sinch up the belt, and I am ok." Last week all the sucking it in didn't do the trick. I realized that bending down is tougher, the shirts hang away from my body, and I am not happy with that. I have stayed away from the scale for fear of what it might really reveal, and while I only weight around 230, and have for the last three years, it is all starting to look different on me. What is happening? Change in job - that has led to more stress and less time (I am a stress eater, so this is a problem). Less active - I am not out playing soccer, climbing mountains, or surfing, like I used to. Eating on the go - I am not being proactive with what I eat, instead I allow myself to be a victim of what is available or close by, like McD's or Taco Bell. So, my goal is to move back towards health. It is not about dieting, or exercise, or less stress, or less drink, or, or, or. It is about being healthy, and for me being healthy is a battle. Everything around me trys to draw me towards unhealthyness. If I am going to become healthy I have to change the way I look at myself, the world around me, and fight for what I want to be. A healthier, more energetic, fit, me. One who walks by the mirror and sees himself for who he really is. This is one man's battle and I would love to have others join me in it.