There is an old saw in the vernacular – “fat, dumb and happy”. I doubt that “happy” should ever have been a part of that phrase and the dumb part would have been better served by the phrase “in denial”. I have been overweight (my preferred term for being obese, according to the scales used to measure these things) for a long time. So, in the vernacular I was fat, dumb and happy. In fact I was fat, in denial and unhappy.
About three months ago I finally decided to do something about my overweight state. I bought one of those diet drink plans, the ones where you substitute a diet supplement shake for 1 or 2 meals a day. I chose the Body by Vi supplement from Visalus, mainly because the lady who sells it is in the local Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce with me and it seemed to be as good as any. That helped get things started for me and works well. I dropped some weight with it alone fairly quickly. I also reached a plateau fairly quickly and decided that I really needed to ad step two to the plan, which is adding exercise. So, a little over a month and a half ago, I joined the Anytime Fitness gym here in Milford. The lady who owns it is also in the Chamber with me and owns two other gyms on the east side of the area. She’s a great person to know and I felt really comfortable joining her gym.
I knew that I was out of shape, but how far out of shape was proven to me when Amy, one of the club fitness trainers, did my initial assessment on my first visit to the Anytime Fitness gym. Let’s just say that I had nowhere to go but up. I have since been to the gym just about every day for about an hour. I probably need to do two-a-days for a while, but it’s a start and I’ve worked my way back to some level of fitness that is at least above the zombie-like level that I started at. I’m still huffing and puffing by the end of my workouts, but it takes longer to get to that state now. Every time I get too comfortable with the exercises on a machine I add an extras 5-10 pounds to the resistance to increase the workout intensity.
What I’ve also come to realize is that I’m way happier throughout the day, if I start it with a workout (likely due to the endorphins released during exercise). I have the luxury of having time in the mornings to go to the gym. It’s hardly ever crowded then and I can cycle through all of the machines at my own pace, with no waiting. That is one of the appeals of Anytime Fitness. I can also go there at any hour and I’ve discovered that there are times when it is literally empty, so I can get a quick workout in without any distractions or waiting for anything. They have those little alarm pendants that I could use to call for help if I ever needed it.
When I started this program I established several goals for myself. One is a weight goal, which I’m about half way to achieving. When I get to my weight goal, it will be the first time that I’ve been at that weight since John F. Kennedy was in the White House. For those too young to remember that, it was a long time ago – before I discovered beer in college and began working on turning my six-pack into a keg. The second, and likely more important goal, is to get off all of the medications that I’d been taking to deal with my type II diabetes. I can happily report that I’ve also achieved a part of that goal and my A1C blood sugar level has dropped 2 full points. I got to drop one of my meds at my last check-up and will likely get to drop the rest at the next visit. I plan to keep at it until I get off all of the meds.
Of course, the longer term goal is to keep the extra weight off and to maintain a healthier lifestyle, including regular exercise. I’m not in this for any ego driven desire to look like Adonis. I’m too old for that anyway. The real goal is to live as natural a life as possible, without lots of medications. Like many, when I was in my denial phase, I fooled myself to thinking that anything for which there was a pill was OK to live with. Not so! Things like Type II Diabetes lead to other things like high blood pressure, eye problems and many other health issues. None of those are things to be happy about, even with pills; or conditions with which one really has to live.
Every morning, when I hit the gym, there is another old dude (like me) there walking or exercise cycling away. He too is trying to work his way back into shape to avoid having any meds prescribed. We kind of lend encouragement to each other and I wish him well on his efforts. He was happy to hear that I got off one of my meds due to the work that I’ve been putting in. I hope he makes his goals, too. I’m sure he will because he is as dedicated to being there every day as I am. Anyway, I just thought that I’d share this little bit of my life. Now I can say that I’m slimming down, more intelligent about my health and definitely happier. I’m on a journey that beats that old saying all to hell.
Have a great and healthy day!