Many a day I have quietly obsessed about my weight. I have been successful at reaching goals as well as frustrated with what seemed like little or not movement in the direction I’ve wanted to go in.
As I approach 47 years old, I’ve faced many changes in my body. A life long athlete, it’s often said that as we get older, ‘confidence is the last to go. And the mirror is the last to know.’ In other words there is a bit of rebellion in us that says we can do what we used to, at the same level without any falloff. I’ve always prided myself in being able to compete when people of a younger age. Being an sports official has helped. And I can honestly say, there are no high school, or college age ballers that can out-run me on the court. As an official I’m going to be in position to give myself the best chance to make the right calls.
Still, after 7 surgeries, a few grey hairs, and a history of horrific back spasms, I can’t deny that often it may take me quite a bit to recover and be ready to officiate night after night during the season. Frankly, there have been countless days where I’ve awaken and said to myself, “I can hardly move. How in the hell am I going to officiate tonight?” Between the aches and pains including a well worn set of rickety knees, it may take an entire day of preparation. But when its time for tip off I go out there and taken care of business.
One of the surest ways of staying healthy is by keeping unnecessary weight off my frame. I’ve gone up and down with my weight as I said before. And again that is challenging. During the day time, I eat relatively small and healthy without a problem.
However, I work most nights, and when I get home I want to eat big time. (And I don’t mean veggies and fruit either.) Eating after a long night of managing high level competition and competitive people is a comforting exercise. This includes tasty meats and starches along with a cold brew. Normally the night ends with some type of sweet. This exercise is far more mental than physical.
The results may mean that I am in essence fighting against my own cause. So what am I to do?
Though I’ve done many things to fight excessive weight gain, my new mantra is to totally take my focus off of weight. I took a long walk today. (6 miles to be exact) And while thinking about it, I figure that weight is not a problem but a symptom. A symptom of food choices, age, the amount of exercise, genetics, and perhaps other factors I cannot think of. Some items are within my control while others are not. The best thing I can do for myself to alleviate the unnecessary stress (stress being another internal homicidal factor) by focusing on what I really want out of my body.
What I want is to be in shape; meaning able to do my job and enjoy normal physical activities; Gain strength and maintain a certain level of flexibility and elasticity. Being physically in shape can help me complete my earthly task and serve in a fashion that I am capable of. As much as I enjoy sports and working with youth, being in shape allows me to gain a certain level of respect and credibility from the get go.
So, instead of being weight conscious, I have decided to be health conscious. Meaning I am going to control the things I can control. I may as well face that I like to eat. And sometimes the things I like to eat are not that good for me. That being said, it doesn’t mean that I can’t consciously take steps to make sure that I move a lot more. Walking that 6 miles today took me a little less than 90 minutes of my time. My thinking is, if I can keep a daily regime of exercise, stretching and strengthening of my body, (even outside of my officiating activities) I will be more healthy and the weight issue will take care of itself. Don’t get me wrong, I ref a lot of games. But my body has become used to that. I can’t measure that activity the same way I used to. So I have to do more. This is what I promised myself I will do starting today. I am committed to doing some cardio, strength training and or stretching every day in addition to the work out I get every night officiating.
Therefore I am determined to reject being weight conscious, and affirm health consciousness. I am going to challenge myself to move and stretch, to work more. I am going to walk this journey and make each day a day to win. I am going to live with a liberated sense of self and allow my spirit to direct me.
With that said, excuse me while I attend to a piece of sweet potato pie. There is still plenty left! And ain’t nobody in this house helping me to eat it!