Transformations and Other Necessary Changes

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.

mays

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.

fatboys

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.

workout

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!

What? Me a Vegan?

Well perhaps! 

Many of us like to say we struggle with our weight.  But if we look a bit deeper, most of us who feel we fall into that category really struggle with discipline at the dinner table.

Believe it or not, food is an addiction… especially in America where we have access to so much.  I’m not trying to give you an enormous amount of detail here because the information is easily obtained.  But between processed foods, sugars, salts, and fillers our bodies become hooked on what’s easily available.

As I get older, I have become very much in-tuned with my body.  At present I weigh more than I’d like, but to most people I look just fine.  If I fast for instance and someone at work gets wind of it because of my lemonade mix via The Master’s Cleanse, they quip “Why are you on a fast?  It not to lose weight is it?”  For me it’s not merely about the look but rather about the feel.  I know when my system is running at it’s optimum level.  I know the weight that I feel the most energetic and productive.  I know exactly how my clothes should fit.   I know when I am sluggish and not quick and sharp.   

It’s not very difficult for me to reach a comfortable weight.  It’s just a matter of me being disciplined for a couple weeks to do whatever program I choose.  I am stubborn enough to train my body and say no to it’s food lust when I get to that place mentally.  My problem is that eventually I get back to those same habits that put me in a place I’m not comfortable with. So I am thinking of changing the game up and perhaps becoming a vegetarian or a vegan.  I hear that vegan is better.  

A lifestyle change in food can be challenging.  Most restaurants for instance don’t have many vegan options.  And let’s face it, I love having a Steak n’ Shake double cheese on sourdough every now and then.  And when I go to LA to see my mom, am I really ready NOT to have a Double Double from In-N-Out Burger?  FOREVER?

Well yea it may have to be like that.  I don’t know.  Do I go vegan with moderation meaning I can have a Double Double  once or twice a year, or never?  One thing is for sure.  I want a change and I must change my food choices.  

Experience has taught me that you just can’t jump into a lifestyle change overnight.  One has to have a plan.  Part of that plan is knowing what choices are out there for the vegan.  Where can the food be purchased?  What kinds of foods are mobile and can be taken to work or for snacks?  How do you prepare foods so that they can satisfy the taste buds?  How do you deal with cravings if you get down emotionally and desire “comfort” foods?  Answering these questions first will help me sustain for the long haul. 

So here is the plan.  I am going to research this vegan thing.  See if I make a plan of action.  In the meantime, if there are any vegans reading this post, I invite you to give me some tips or offer some sights I can look at.  As I acknowledge my own set of food addictions, I know myself enough to know that I ready for a permanent change.  I am also wise enough to ask for help and not attempt to do this on sheer will alone.  I need wisdom, the benefit of someones experience, an encouraging place to go, and dammit some great food choices that taste as good if not better than the shrimp chimichanga  Las Fuentes Mexican Restaurant. 

If you got love and knowledge – get at me!