I got out and did my 8 miles this morning. Although there were a few inches of snow on the ground, and it was sloppy and slushy, I was really glad to be out there in the fresh air, taking in all the surroundings along the Big Walnut Creek. Now I have cleared my head, my body is oozing endorphins (believe it or not, those things really work), and I am ready to take on the day. I am ready to take on the New Year.
I feel recharged after I exercise first thing in the morning (usually 5am during the week). It starts my day in a positive way. By the time I am backing my car out of the driveway around 6:45am, I have accomplished something great even before most people get out of bed. It sets the tone for the rest of my day. When I don’t start my day with exercise, I am more sluggish and just going through the motions. Building healthy habits makes me feel good, which helps me in all facets of my day, my week, and my year.
As we approach the New Year, Andrea and I want to wish you and your family peace, prosperity, and good health. Bring it on 2010!
For the last 10 years, my buddy and I have had an annual bet on where the Dow Jones Industrial Average will finish at the end of the year. Whoever is closest gets treated to lunch from the other guy. Just a friendly wager to keep us engaged in the financial markets. Last year, we added a second bet. Not sure exactly how it materialized, but to win, my buddy had to lose 25 pounds, and I would help him along the way. The payoff: 2 tickets to a University of Cincinnati basketball game. Bottom line: he didn’t make it.
For 2010, he wants to go double or nothing. I thought for a moment that meant he had to lose 50 pounds, but no. So we’re doing our usual Dow bet as well as the weight-loss bet, and another friend is in on it, too. This time, though, I am expected to be more intentional with the support I provide, working with them on healthy eating habits, fitness tips and motivation, all to help them achieve their goal.
It got me thinking; can these two bets be any more different? For 10 years, we have been betting–guessing, really–on the year-end close of the Dow. Although we try to come up with some Alan Greenspan-type explanation for our numbers, it’s just a guess. A roll of the dice. The outcome is 100% out of our control. The weight-loss bet, on the other hand, is 100% within their control. They can absolutely control the outcome. They can decide how much weight they will lose and how fast. They can decide how commited they will be to meaningful exercise. They can decide how healthy they will eat. It is ALL them!
Is getting healthy & fit a game of chance?
I plan to help them as much as I can, and last year, I actually took it personally that I did not help my buddy achieve his goal. Even if these guys don’t make their goal weight, I hope they come away at the end of 2010 understanding that this is NOT a game of chance. It is choice. It is a lifestyle change. It is taking charge of their lives. In the end, I hope they understand the purpose of the bet is to achieve a healthy lifestyle, not just hit a random number for some predetermined period of time.
I am not really a social media guy. About a year ago, I didn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account. But, Andrea told me that I had to get out of the 1970s. It was hard for me – hey, I still do business with a Day-Timer (love my Day-Timer!) and a white board. Seems to be working out ok…
Meanwhile, without me paying too much attention, Andrea set up my Facebook account. I wondered why someone commented on my Wall about how I must really love racewalking. It took me a couple months before I realized that Andrea filled out my User Profile by answering every question with something about racewalking. Andrea thinks she’s so funny. (See for yourself: Facebook.)
Over my strong objections, Andrea also set up a Twitter account for me under the name, @LarryWalksFast. She handed me my laptop and said, “Here you go. You are ready to start Tweeting, LarryWalksFast.” I was not amused. But, one night at a fundraiser, someone introduced herself to me by saying, “Oh I know you, I follow you on Twitter. You’re LarryWalksFast.” I have followers?? That’s pretty cool! At that point, I decided that I liked it. After all, I am LarryWalksFast. I have since learned to really enjoy Twitter, and I get a lot of use out of it. It is even better now that my really close friends call me “LWF,” for short. But, hey, what’s in a name? Thanks @AndreaApplegate.
This is the time of year when people start to think about “New Year’s Resolutions”. Makes me cringe. It certainly is a great time of year to reflect back on the past year, and try to make adjustments and improvements to your life in the coming year. BUT, this is also the time when people say things like “I am going to lose 30 pounds this year”. Or, “I am going to run a marathon”. Admirable goals. Terrific goals actually. But, then it all falls apart. It falls apart because most people don’t have a plan. They make sweeping statements without the faintest idea of how to approach achieving the goal. Or, assessing if it a reasonable goal.
If your goal is to lose 30 pounds in 2010, great. But, you have to put a plan in place to make it happen. Thirty pounds in a year may be attainable; it is about 2 1/2 pounds of weight loss per month on average. Make a plan to reasonably lose the weight. Improve the type and amount of food you eat. Increase your workout routine. But make them manageable, achievable, and fun! You have to put a program in place so that you set a program for SUCCESS. Not failure.
Through this blog, I will be talking about how to set up manageable, reasonable, and fun ways to help you meet your health and fitness goals in the coming year and beyond.
Remember this: You didn’t put on the 30 pounds in 30 days. Quit trying to take it off in 30 days!
Ahhh…my first blog. Not sure where I am heading with all this, but with the support of Andrea, I am going to share my thoughts (and hers) of some of our experiences and lessons learned over the last four years in our quest to become healthier and happier. We have found that it is a process. It is a journey.
- The beginning
And, looking forward to where it takes us next.