Those of you who know me personally would NEVER call me perfect. However, when I work … I get a lot of “it’s easy for you, because YOU’RE PERFECT” comments. (Cue the eye-roll from folks who know me well.) Anyways, I’m definitely not perfect in any way, shape or form and will list the reasons why below. What you need to take from this though, is simply that my great habits outweigh the bad and that this person some folks call “perfect” used to be 45 pounds heavier back when I was in college. My kids and good friends would tell you that my personal motto is “Perfect is boring”. You don’t have to be a rigid weirdo to be healthy and fit, nor to have a body you feel good about. You just have to be pretty great MOST of the time. Make more good decisions than bad, and you’ll eventually be a person folks call “perfect” too.
Totally NOT Perfect Things I Do
- I eat chocolate every day. It’s usually something tiny though, like a Hershey Kiss. I consider the day a sad one if there has been no chocolate consumption.
- I eat bread. Yep, even (gasp) white bread. I just don’t do it a lot! Why remove something so prevalent permanently if I don’t have to? It’s caloric and un-nutritious, so I just keep it at a minimum.
- I drink Diet Coke! I take great pleasure in the annoying gasps when a newbie, neurotic fitness trainer sees me with a Diet Coke and freaks out. Dude, I drink a little here and there. Get over it. I also drink tons of water and unsweet tea.
- I don’t drink green liquids. Where in the world folks got the idea that smashing up vegetables and sucking them through a straw was a better idea than chewing them, I don’t know. But you’ll never find ME doing it. Health and fitness doesn’t have to be strange or taste bad. Don’t feel bullied in to that nonsense.
- I drink alcohol. But not very often. I drank like a sailor in college. No, worse – I drank like an IRISH Sailor! This probably had a lot to do with me ending up in size 13 jeans. Now, I drink rarely and make sure it’s usually on the type of night in which I might set my hair on fire. Sitting at a table downing calories makes no sense to me unless it preempts some legit freaking fun. One glass of wine or beer a night can eventually make you a too-big girl or a too-big guy. Just save the alcohol for special/rowdy/silly occasions.
- I love frosting. If I’m at a birthday, you better believe I’m accepting a piece of cake. I just don’t … eat the cake. I eat the frosting and leave the spongy stuff behind. It’s simply not worth the fat and calories to me. Be particular about what’s “worth it” to you too.
- I don’t go all-out every time I work out. Sure, I kill it on a regular basis. But sometimes, I just slide in to my gym and walk slowly on the treadmill while I chat away on my cell phone. Four miles of mindless bliss … and exercise.
- I don’t do yoga. It bores me to death and I hate being still. I stay flexible in other ways. If you love yoga, have at it! It’s just not a good match for me. I also despise the word “namaste”.
- I work out to vulgar rap music. The faster, louder and fouler … the better. Ludacris and Luke keep me quite happy in my gym. You’d think I was a 15 year-old boy.
- I work out in my sports bra, undies and sneakers. Not in public though. I’m alone in my studio and leave the fancy fitness clothes for the rest of the world. I wear the minimum so I can heat up without getting uncomfortable. If you work out at home, give it a go. Who cares?
- I injure myself in stupid ways. I’ve certainly been injured by blunt trauma and overuse, but on a few occasions, I’ve simply just ignored very obvious signals my body was sending me. WHY I do this? I have no good explanation. However, with the old “do as I say and not as I do” philosophy … I’ve spent more of my life on crutches than anyone needs to. LISTEN to your body. Stop or adjust your workouts when your body says “ouch” or “stop”. I’m working on doing better with this.
The Good Stuff
- Most of the stuff I put in my body is low in calories and high on nutrition. I’ve chosen to stay lean, so this is a must. I usually consume at least 8-12 servings of produce each day, and I DO count calories. Staying lean requires me to stay on top of things. I just do the generic math in my head throughout the day to ensure I’m on track. I also keep track of my finances. This practice ensures I’m without extra debt or fat.
- I never order fried food. Ever. If I want French fries, I bake them at home.
- I drink a ton of water and unsweet tea. Staying hydrated keeps my brain and body working properly.
- I only eat white chicken and turkey. I ditched all of the other meats over 20 years ago. I don’t like the links between beef and digestive cancers and can simply live without it and the others. You can eat them if you like, but I don’t.
- I exercise at least six times a week. My body feels bad if I don’t move it, and I like to look and feel like an athlete. Athletes do more and push their bodies harder than the regular crowd. I will do this until I no longer can.
- I mix up my workouts. My home gym is awesome enough to serve as a commercial gym, so I often do a mixture of: kickboxing, running, jumping rope, TRX, the rings, kettle bells, dumbbells, tubing, plyometrics, various pull-ups and more. I hit my muscles at every angle and fairly aggressively; this keeps them intrigued and responsive. I also go to a a gym-gym, and train outside whenever possible.
- I push myself until I curse. I might not drink like a sailor any more, but I sure do curse like one. You too, should try doing something until the F-bomb flies out of your mouth. It feels great and is a good sign you’re challenging yourself.
- I sleep. Unless something is on my mind, I sleep for eight hours each night … like a log. Tired people don’t make great eating choices and often skip their workouts.
- I don’t beat myself up. I’m a good person whether I’ve made good choices or not. My thighs do not define me.
- I choose amazing role-models. Mine are usually the older, broken folks running down the road in the heat of the day. If THEY can do it, then I can do it. I feed off of others’ perseverance. Choose YOUR role models wisely too.
- I walk the walk. I don’t do diets, take pills, supplements, weird shakes or wrap myself in ick. I sweat often and eat/drink wisely. 85-90% of my choices and actions are beneficial to my body and mind, so when I have a Diet Coke or a lazy day … it has no negative effect on me.
Screw perfect. I’m diligent, determined and aggressive, but make room for lazy, slow and chocolate too. Think about your body, what you’d like it to look like, feel like and do. If you’d like those things to be stronger, faster, leaner or more energetic … make a commitment to doing better and being better. Get to work!
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What are the good parts and bad parts about YOU and YOUR fitness/health habits. Fess up!