by Jeff Lund
In college, my buddies and I would descend on Chili’s and order the Queso dip by its nickname, “Fat Dip.” This happened so often, one of the waitresses would greet us with a flirtatious smile and, “Hey guys, fat dip?” None of us were fat. We made numerous appearances in the University of Arizona Intramural B-League Final Four in not only basketball, but flag football as well. But it might be even more dangerous that way. Looking like you’re healthy sometimes makes you think you can get away with not eating right or exercising. It fools those around you, and tricks yourself into thinking that everything is fine so when your intramural career ends too all you’re left with if a terrible relationship with good food, no workout routine and no plan as you speed toward 30 and beyond.
Studies have shown that 100-percent of people start with a body, and keep that body throughout their lives. Outside of the occasional appendage or organ replacement, the one you got is overwhelmingly the one you’d like to keep.
These sort of realizations come to you when you’re out of shape or something snaps you to attention. Since you want to keep your body, and you’d prefer it to work correctly, at some point you are more diligent with what you give it.
I’m not an uber health nut but I followed Danny’s advice of holding myself accountable without resenting my diet. I don’t do soda because I like my teeth and my pancreas. I don’t do fast food. I drink my PR Blend coffee straight, I eat lots of spinach, fresh vegetables and I’ve even started spooning out all natural peanut butter rather than Skippy for a little snack. I’ve acquired a liking for what my body likes. My tolerance for french fries, sugar and grease (except for bacon) has waned. The body cuts me off. For this, I am happy.
The thing is, it gets a little easier. I’m far from aligning perfectly with any of the Paleo, gluten-free or organic diets which are trending, but I’m miles from Fat Dip and dollar pizzas. Except maybe on trips back out into The World where I’ve replaced Fat Dip with Buffalo Wild Wings. Again, not my fault.
It’s becoming more the exception than the habit. Being healthy is more important to me than ever, though I’ll never be the poster boy for restraint.
There will be a day I can’t get to my alpine spots for deer, a day I can’t make it up trailed routes to mountain tops, or cross waist-high rivers, but I don’t want that to be for decades. I don’t want it to be because I didn’t treat my body right.
Jeff Lund is a freelance writer and high school teacher in Ketchikan, Alaska.
His podcast The Mediocre Alaskan is available on iTunes