The choices we make

As I approach my 43rd birthday, I find myself pondering my own mortality far more than I do the unlimited potential on the blank canvas of life that lies before me. Now, I know 43 is not “old,” but for the overweight, middle aged person, it can seem a lot closer to the end than to the beginning.

Do I continue to lament the day of my pending demise or do I chart a course down a different path? Should I just throw caution to the wind and see how far a lifelong diet of wings, pizza and beer can take me, or should I start to mix in a new attitude of healthy eating and see how far I can take myself? I choose the latter. The time is now to acknowledge and embrace the changes that need to be made to alter the course of my destiny.

I joined a gym the other day. I’ll be honest. I rue the day of my pending confrontation with Mr. Treadmill. I do not expect this relationship to be filled with exuberance and mirth. I will simply respect the fact that it is a necessary evil on the road to a healthier me. I also must understand that it is only one half of a dastardly duo of inconveniences that I must endure on my path to wellness.

Exercise can only take one so far. Healthy eating (we called this a diet in the olden days) is equally essential to achieving the desired outcome of wellbeing. Exercise, as daunting a task as it can be for the overweight person, is easy. Get on the treadmill. Push start. Walk. Simple. Diet is a little trickier. What is good for me? Sure, I know carrot sticks are better for me than bread sticks, but what about some of my other favorite foods, like cereal, chips and pasta? What options do I have? Am I sentenced to a life of hard labor (see treadmill topic above) and rice cakes? The short answer is no. There are plenty of great options to choose from in helping to define the new you.

You should know that this journey is best not traveled alone. Everyone needs a helping hand. If you’re like me, lazy by nature, you don’t want to spend all day in the grocery store trying to figure out what brand of product X is better for you than another. That’s where the little blue guy can help. He’s the one with the stars that is hanging around on the shelf yelling “Hey! Over here! I’m a good choice!” He’s not going to make me lose weight. I have to choose to do that on my own. But, he can help.

Life is all about choices, and so what if you have some help in making those choices, as long as you know they are the right choices in the end? As for me, I’m going to choose to see what a future of wellness has to offer. I’m going to rely on the little blue guy to help guide me to some good choices along the way. If only I could convince him to take my turn on the treadmill.