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The Health Gamble

20190902_exercise The amazing impact of a little bit of exercise.

What’s your health worth? This is an interesting question that typically gets the response, “everything!” It’s when you begin to drill down on it that you soon discover that “everything” is actually a negotiable concept for most people.

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I was speaking to a person recently that was on a fast train to some major health issues due to their lifestyle choices. I suggested that they may consider making some changes to what they were doing so they don't run into the brick wall of a medical crisis that many people experience.

I asked them the question, “What’s your health worth to you?” They replied, “everything” and then proceeded to negotiate what they should and should not eat to help them get healthier. I then asked them why they felt that their health was a negotiation, and this pulled them up short.

Too many people view their health as a negotiation. For many years I did exactly that. I justified how much exercise I didn’t do and shoved food into my mouth no matter what the nutritional value. It was a crazy way to live and was damaging my body as it tried to cope with the abuse.

I’ve never believed in diets as I always had the view that as soon as you go off them you put the weight back on again. This meant that I had to make the difficult decision to make a lifestyle change. It was gradual at first but slowly but surely, I did more exercise, ate better and got into balance the different aspects of my life.

My wife and I now eat a largely plant based diet….notice I didn’t say we were vegans or vegetarians as that seems to put an annoying label on people. We prefer to eat plants and the reason for this is that we feel better after a meal and it has dramatically helped me out health wise. That being said, let me share with you a story.

My wife and I recently went out to our favourite restaurant for our anniversary (32 years btw). After looking at the menu we both ordered steaks as the plant options looked terrible. I got about half-way through my steak and I’d had enough…..but me, being me I persisted and ate another 30% or so.

The joy of a steak in my mouth was soon traded off by the gurgling of my stomach. It didn’t help that we had dessert and experienced a massive sugar rush from how sweet it was. Later that night and for the next day or so I felt incredibly bloated and horrible as the meat slowly digested. It was then that I realised that this was the way I used to always feel but had just gotten used to it.

Skip forward to last night. My girls took me out for Father’s Day (we celebrate it in September downunder) to a burger place. I love burgers and I selected one that was completely made from plants…..it was awesome and I feel great!

Am I still carrying too much weight? You bet I am, but the trend is showing that it’s coming off. For me the key differentiator is that losing weight is NOT my goal, it’s the outcome of my lifestyle choice.

I’m pretty simple about things like weight loss. If you put into your mouth more than you burn as energy, then it will be stored as fat. Now, everyone burns energy at different speeds, and this is largely reflected in their metabolic rate (there are exceptions) and this in turn is impacted by physical activity.

If you eat one spoonful less of whatever it is that you normally eat over an extended period of time the trend will go down to a new level and then plateau. If you eat healthier food in sensible portions and do exercise then your body will grab hold of those activities, thank you, and weight must come down. It’s called the conservation of energy…..anyway, I could be totally wrong but that’s what I use and it seems a heck of lot better than counting calories.

The next thing, if you are planning on changing both your exercise regime and eating habits then make sure your activities and eating are something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then you’re just kidding yourself and in no time you'll be tucking into a Costco sized donut.

This all brings me back to the title of my blog. For many years I gambled with my health and then a number of years ago I decided to take charge and make some significant decisions in my life. Has it been tough? I would rather say that it’s been a journey.

The end result is that I feel physically better than I can ever remember and mentally much more alert. My blood work is awesome, minor ailments are largely a thing of the past and I have a zest for life that I could only remember back in my teens.

Remember, it’s not just about diet. That’s only one part of who you are. Every morning at 7am I sit in my favourite spot on the couch and spend around 30 minutes reading and thinking about the day before me. This mentally gears me up and gets me excited about the prospects ahead and sets my mind at peace.

If you’re struggling with getting some peace in your life, then I would highly recommend you take some time-out for yourself each morning. It’s really worked for me and during my time of inward reflection I end up discovering all sorts of amazing things about myself, get great new business ideas and generally feel like the world's a better place.

This is my journey towards a new lifestyle. I’m not muscle bound and still carry too much weight, but I’ve set off and I’m looking forward to what each day will bring. I would encourage you to consider what needs to change in your own life so that you too can become a better person for yourself and for your loved ones.

Cheers!
Michael

apTLD Here I Come!
My Registrar/Registry Nightmare

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Comments

joezeppy on 04 September 2019
Gambling on Ice Cream

Hey Mike,

All with you on this but I have decided it's worth it to trade one year's worth of life expectancy for a measure of ice cream or a some chocolate once in a while.

Although I'm not a vegetarian, I find little joy in eating and having to digest a hunk of meat nowadays; haven't in years with the exception of an Inn and Out burger once in a while.

Hope all is well.

Hey Mike, All with you on this but I have decided it's worth it to trade one year's worth of life expectancy for a measure of ice cream or a some chocolate once in a while. :D Although I'm not a vegetarian, I find little joy in eating and having to digest a hunk of meat nowadays; haven't in years with the exception of an Inn and Out burger once in a while. Hope all is well.
mgilmour on 09 September 2019

I think for me the rule is everything in moderation, including moderation. Which means there are NO taboo foods for me but I know when I'm eating something that may taste great but not necessarily be good for me. I'm happy to have a steak or some chocolate but I'm not happy to have those things every day.

I think for me the rule is everything in moderation, including moderation. Which means there are NO taboo foods for me but I know when I'm eating something that may taste great but not necessarily be good for me. I'm happy to have a steak or some chocolate but I'm not happy to have those things every day.
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