Health is not a hobby, It’s a lifestyle!

I started saying a few years ago that; “health is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle”. I would like to add to that, a little less eloqunetly/concisely now.

Healthy living is like sleeping on an air mattress with a really slow leak.

Okay, so I’m not saying I’m going to be putting it on a bumper sticker any time soon, but this concept has been weighing on me lately and that is the best way that I can come up with to verbalize it. So lets walk through it:

You get to your in-laws for the holidays to find out that you drew the short straw and would be sleeping in the entry-way on the air mattress, because every other flat surface has been taken by someone with apparently more familial seniority than you. No sweat, it is the holidays so you are going to be a good sport. You unroll your aerobed and turn on the pump. Within a few minutes the balloon has filled and swollen to a firm mattress shaped rectangle ready for sleeping.

After throwing a blanket or something on top of it you crawl onto your temporary bed. At first its rock hard, firm, supportive and almost rigid. You settle in and get comfortable. Within a few minutes (sometimes more) you find a sweet spot that feels perfect. You may think its a place on the mattress or even a sleeping position, but more than likely the inaudible slow leak has now equalized the pressure (ever so briefly) to EXACTLY where you feel comfortable. And at the moment of equilibrium, you fall asleep. Perfect.

Then you awake in the morning. There is a crick in your neck, your tailbone is sore from grinding into the hardwood floor beneath the mattress and your head, feet and hands are 18inches above the rest of you as you are being swallowed by this marvel of modern convenience. You know EXACTLY what happened. However, you can’t pinpoint exactly when, nor how you didn’t notice it happening earlier based upon your level of discomfort.

Living healthily is exactly like that.

We decide we are going to be healthy, so we reorganize our lives. We diet, perhaps even exercise, we start strong. We cut out everything unhealthy or moderately enjoyable and perhaps we get to our ideal rock hard, firm bodied goal. It took some serious sacrifice and maybe we find that maintainable, but most often we let a few of the sneaky creature comforts back in our life. We exercise a bit less and start to relax a bit more. We hit a point of perfect equilibrium (briefly) where we feel the best we remember feeling, but still eating and behaving the way we want. And within this moment of brief perfection…WE FALL ASLEEP.

Then suddenly, we wake up when we get winded by a flight of stairs that had formerly been something we bounded without problems. We look in the mirror and see sag where there was definition. We feel tired when we use to have energy. We are older and feel the concept of going back to original stage of getting in shape daunting and unachievable… but the worst part is, we seriously can’t remember exactly when this happened, or how we didn’t notice it earlier based on the level of discomfort.

Health is not a hobby its a lifestyle. There are 1000 different people out there trying to sell you schemes, plans, pills, supplements or other concoctions to make it “easy”. Let me make it fairly easy up front: It isn’t easy, it is never going to be easy, it will take work everyday, it will take diligence when you don’t want to give it. Age leads to lower muscle density, which leads to a slower metabolic response. If we don’t keep the air mattress full, it is going to get more and more difficult to do so.

Consistency is the name of the game. I’ve started studying for some of my specific clients with particular health concerns / considerations and I have found one resounding truth: The best workout for you is the one that pushes you AND you can do consistently. Going to the gym on a day off is wonderful, and a great way to spend some time. But if you only get there 2 or 3 times per month(or less) its almost worthless. Keep your body active. Keep your diet consistent. Keep youR calories clean and free from garbage…. forever…. and you will stay healthy. Does this need to be a life consuming concept? No, you will very quickly find ways to make it work within our life, but we need to make it part of our lifestyle, not just something we do when we notice.

Health is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.

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2 Responses to “Health is not a hobby, It’s a lifestyle!”

  1. Saltless in Woodbridge Says:

    So ture. Its a tough road tring to eat right, esspically durining the holidays when you are out with family and dont make a lot of the food you eat. The only think you can really do is to keep filling up the air matress.

  2. EiffelTowerMaster Says:

    Belisimo. Truly. In all honesty I’ve been battling my weight all my life. Unfortunately it runs in my family so I always seem to be the underdog. But that phrase really does hit home. Great article! Keep it up!

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