Oh my God! They’re everywhere! Fat people! Old People…power walking, jogging, running, biking, roller blading- there’s no escaping them!
A couple of weeks ago it was even worse! On a long stretch of open path I saw an enormous shape on the horizon. As I approached it came into focus- a ginormous obese woman, rolls of fat hanging over her too-tight spandex shorts, bare midriff under her also too-tight spandex training top.
All I could think was…BEAUTIFUL! Seriously!
By the way, for you haters with a BMI of 2 who think a 300 pound woman has no business in a spandex two-piece training outfit; what would YOU be wearing for a workout on sun drenched 90 degree day?
In the spirit of full disclosure, my reaction was not some altruistic expression of political correctness. I’m no fetishist and I do not normally find “big babes” sexually alluring.
She was beautiful because she was out there literally busting her ass to be healthy. I couldn’t help but admire her spirit and courage. If she’s anything near the psychological norm, she was facing down societal norms and expectations and braving the scorn and judgement of the skinnies out for their morning exercise. This is a woman who THINKs Like a BLACK BELT!
While she was out exposing herself to the world and getting healthy, too many others are sitting their fat asses on overstuffed La-Z-Boys stuffing themselves with toxic junk food and watching Judge Judy.
- “I don’t live near a gym!”
- “I don’t have the money!”
- “It’s boring!”
There is no excuse for not exercising. Scientists have demonstrated that ANY and ALL exercise is beneficial- no matter how modest. If you’re on the couch, walking is a great start. By the way, recent studies show that sitting is horrible for your health! We all need to get up and move!
One of the excuses I hear most often, and one of the most ridiculous, is “I don’t have time!”
Years ago the father of one of my martial arts students told me about a recent prognosis from his doctor: Unless he started exercising immediately, he would experience serious heart issues within six months and may not even survive the year without major surgery.
I said, “Why don’t you start classes? You’ve been watching this for the past two years and you’ve already told me several times you’d like to do it.”
His response? “I don’t have time.”
He told me that with the demands of his job, any spare moments, which were precious and few, were to spend with his family and kids.
Being the kind and understanding soul that I am, I said, “Didn’t your doc just tell you that if you don’t exercise, you could be dead in less than a year? How much time will you have for your kids…when you’re DEAD?!”
Long story short, he enrolled for lessons and eventually earned his black belt along with his son. He is now healthy and happy. A regular program of moderate exercise literally saved his life.
But what about the old people? What the hell are they doing out there busting their asses? Do they think they’re going to live forever?
Exercise can add years to your life and even reverse some of the damage some of us have done in more adventurous and youthful years. More important than quantity, however, is quality. At any age, exercise is key to health, mental sharpness, mobility and independence.
I plan on being a very active, virile and dangerous old man!
No excuses…make it happen. Here’s how:
- Exercise: Simple- not easy…just do it! If you haven’t worked out in a while, start walking…walk before you run. Join a gym- or a martial arts program! If money is a problem, get a set of exercise bands and a pair of sneakers…that’s all you need. And- look for workout opportunities in regular daily activities. You know what they are- walk or bike instead of driving…take the stairs…do your own yard work…stand instead of sitting…this isn’t rocket surgery!
- Eat MORE…AND less: Eat more meals- and less at each meal. Your body is programmed to store fat when you starve it. Eating smaller portions more frequently gives your body more energy to sustain exercise- and whatever else you have to do during the day.
- Workout FIRST: It’s too easy to let other priorities get in the way. Workout as soon as you wake up- then you won’t have to worry about it. This will also give you more energy to face your day.
Simple- not easy; but regular exercise is essential. It’s the most important part of living a healthy life. Make NO excuses…just do it!
Now every time I see an overweight person out walking, running, cycling- or punching and kicking in my martial arts center, I no longer see a fat person- I see the beautiful, healthy and vibrant new person they’re creating!
Lest you think I’m preaching from the mountain, I’ve been there too. Even as a professional martial artist, around ’01 or ’02 I found myself in state of stress induced lethargy. I was CEO and Head Instructor to 5 martial arts centers; my workout and practice time was always placed in second position under the demands of the office and administrative duties, training instructors and travel. I ballooned from a fighting weight of about 175 to just over 200 in less than six months.
Nobody knew! The “gi” can hide a lot of gut! The fact was I had put on the “Master’s Belly;” also known as the “Coaches Belly,” the “Beer Gut” or “The Ab.”
I discovered some simple techniques that helped me get down to a trim 165 in less than a year. I’ve stayed in shape since and even enjoyed a 6 year career in semi-pro football from ages 44 to 50! I have to admit that I’ve since gained my weight back to around 200, but this time it’s (almost) solid muscle thanks to my Marin bike, a used set of Olympic style weights from “Play It Again Sports” and my “insistent” personal trainer wife!
Need a gentle start to your new exercise program? Try “Basic Qigong,” an easy-to-do program of stretching and breathing exercises by Jim Bouchard, author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT and founder of Northern Chi Martial Arts Centers.
No previous experience necessary! Great for beginners!