Favorite workout song: Anything fast. I love Icon for Hire, Switchfoot, TobyMac, and NeedtoBreathe.
Favorite outdoor activity: Running.
Favorite motivational quote: It comes from a “No Fear” poster in my study. It shows the silhouette of a climber at the summit of a mountain with the sunset behind him. It reads:
“We take these risks not to escape life but to keep life from escaping us. Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams. No fear.”
Favorite Words to Sweat by (or other) mantra: To achieve something you’ve never had, you must do something you have never done.
The Heavy Lifting
What does being “healthy and fit” mean to you?
Taking the time to care for yourself. Your mind and body are your best natural resource. Eating well, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and having fun are vital to one’s long term physical, mental, and emotional well being. Being healthy and fit means being a good steward of oneself in order to live up to your long term potential.
Have health and fitness, in some form, always been a part of your life? If yes, how so? If no, why not?
Unfortunately, no. I took karate for a few years as a teenager, but throughout college and the first ten years of my career I spent most of my time at a desk, in the car, or on the couch. I always used the excuse that I did not have the time or energy to exercise. Consequently, I put on more than 30 pounds over the next decade.
What challenges have you faced over the years related to your health and fitness?
By 2005, my health was getting compromised. I caught every virus that circulated, kept sinus infections almost constantly, and generally felt terrible.
During this period, I was emotionally spent, as well, and after a particularly stressful period in my professional life, I came close to having a nervous breakdown. I experienced emotional and physical burnout to such a degree that it became necessary to turn to medication for a season simply to make it.
I am completely convinced that I would not have “hit the wall” if I had been in better shape physically and emotionally during that time.
What goals around your health and fitness do you set and how do you stay motivated??
I finally decided there was no reason I could not be at least close to my ideal weight. I’m not there yet, but I have lost over 30 pounds and feel so much better.
I was able to discontinue my medication, and have had far fewer medical issues since losing weight.
Reminding myself how bad I felt before and how much better I feel now keeps me motivated. I do not want to ever go back to how I was in 2005.
What types of lifestyle changes have you made over the years that were the most beneficial?
Once I made the decision to lose weight, I knew if I was going to do it correctly and succeed, I needed professional input. I also knew that I would commit to it more fully if it cost me something. So I hired a personal trainer.
He worked with me not only on exercise but on nutrition, as well. So, now I make every effort to stay active, exercising 3 – 5 times per week. I have also learned how to eat a more balanced diet and how to enjoy eating without going overboard.
What tools or approaches have you found most useful in meeting your goals?
I cannot overstate the value of hiring a personal trainer. Yes, it’s expensive, but I have found that if you want to truly excel at something, you must invest in it and get the best input available.
My trainer pushed me farther than I ever thought possible. One day, I mentioned that I had never run a mile and that it was one of my goals. He told me, “You can run a mile right now.” When I protested, he took me outside of the gym and made me run a mile with him. And he was correct. I could run a mile. I just didn’t know it.
What workouts do you find most effective for your needs and your time constraints?
I greatly enjoy running. If I’m pressed for time and can’t make it to the gym, I’ll go for a run. That and a few push-ups keep me moving.
However, if at all possible I try to get to the gym two or three times per week for strength training.
The Cool Down
What are your next goals related to your health and fitness?
I want to run a 5k. It’s not much by some standards, but it would be a huge achievement for me.
I was on my way in training for it when I developed some problems with my knee. But after getting help from my chiropractor, I’m beginning the process of preparation once again.
What advice do you have for people looking to find their own health & fitness groove?
Make the decision and do it. It won’t be easy at first, but it is so worth it.
Do more than make a New Year’s resolution to exercise. Invest in a professional who can show you the most effective ways to reach your goal and then hold you accountable to reaching it.
We don’t change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat. There is value in paying a price to commit to your goal.
Do it. It’s the best investment you can make for your health.