Tuesday, January 27, 2009

People Who Offend for a Living

Rush Limbaugh is a tool.

That's it.

Live Well.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Resolution Town Meeting

I just got home a short while ago from Cardinal Fitness. It's officially the new year. Resolution Season is apparently in full bloom (perhaps full burn). This is the time of year when the gym actually gets crowded. I see many more new faces than those of the regulars whom I recognize.

Some of the unfamiliar faces are there with partners, which is tremendously helpful most of the time. Some are independently slogging through their paces. I've seen this season of high resolve many times before. It won't be long before the collective force of all good intentions begins to falter under the relentless assault of bad weather, obligations, and non-stop images of high fat cooking on Food Network. Some who are heavy on determination, but ultra-light on experience will quit because of excessive pain brought on by overdoing it. Most will cheat their own desire for physical improvement simply due to the aversion we all have toward delayed gratification.

The work-to-reward ratio is extremely overloaded on the work end, at least when compared to nearly everything else we choose to do. Instant gratification has become the norm in many of our lives, so much so that even slight delays become intolerable, or at least annoying. Makers of diet and weight-loss products and services capitalize on this lack of tolerance and fleece us out of billions of dollars each year. Bottles of pills tell us how we don't have to exercise or even change our diet to lose weight, just swallow these. Fitness gurus sell themselves as in-home weight-loss coaches on your own TV. How many of their videos feature someone who looks like they need a half-crazed exercise coach for motivation? Richard Simmons has been made fun of for so long that he even parodies himself now in commercials. He put people with real weight problems in front of the camera, though, and has done much good.

I like watching The Biggest Loser sometimes because the format of the show allows everyone to see that hard work, careful diet, and discipline really does yield amazing results. But even the contestants do not get immediate results that take them to the "end" of their ideal journey. I included the before and after image of a former Biggest Loser, Eric. What an incredible transformation he made!

I dislike the show for several things they do that are very wrong. Too much emphasis is placed on the weigh-in they have each week. It seems that not enough education has been given the contestants regarding what really should be happening inside their bodies during this transformation. People are shedding desperate tears because they lost nine pounds in a week instead of twelve or sixteen. Madness! Why not measure changes in much more informative terms such as BMI, Body Mass Index? I suppose that adding complexity to the contest would turn off viewers. The show has used fairly shameless product endorsements embedded in the program, which I would rather not see.

I saw several people in the gym recently who are there to add years to their lives rather than to look cute at the beach this summer. That is a real inspiration. I'm continuing with my own fitness plans for a variety of personal reasons. Long life and good health are a very appealing combination. I know how I feel when I have been in fitness mode for many days. I also know how much worse I feel when I have stopped the exercise routine.

Along with the rest of the city, I will strive to outlast and foil my own efforts at self sabotage this year. My family deserves a father, husband, brother, etc. who feels good about himself. When that happens, I feel better about everything else in life. It's not a very hard deal to accept. Join me.

Live Well.