Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
November 27, 2016
I have to tell you one thing my friends, this past Thanksgiving was quite a good one for me. While I have spent much of my time the last few years trying to flex my muscle and make myself a better man in regards to my fitness, I realize the changes in my life quite fully on days like Thanksgiving. Here I was, getting myself ready for the day and making major contributions to the total day’s plans. I made delicious food and I felt like I was useful in the grand scheme of things. Of course, in my zeal this year, I kind of went overboard and contributed to a major oversupply of food. And by major, I am downplaying just how much we made for the event. The good thing is this…my family as a whole is not eating as much as opposed to the old days. The downside of course…just too much food to go around. A lot of family will watch sports games or play board games in the wake of the post holiday gorging, mainly because you finally have a lot of people to actually make that game of Monopoly interesting….or in my case, play a massive game of Risk that would make for a long winded evening that would most likely result in a lot of yelling and rule changing. We didn’t have that this year, mainly because we were too busy trying to figure out who was gong to take home what food. I ended up taking a small feast on my own, taking some good green beans and other goodies in the process. Needless to say, the vegan stuffing pretty much went home with me, along with all of the vegan meats that I cooked up for the gathering. Seriously, I had plenty of sandwich meat the next three days to satisfy all my potential hungers. While I was a little upset that not enough people ate my couscous, at least I finally had the opportunity to actually cook and make them. While I am a lover of all couscous, I prefer the pearl version rather than the smaller version that is more typically associated with the dish. Just call me weird, but hey, the couscous go really good when mixed with a little stuffing! It took us more than an hour to figure out who was going to take what, and while we had a lot of grumbles about the amount of food we all had to pack into our various cars, I was pretty darn happy with the fact I didn’t have to cook anything for more than three days. Trust me, I needed that removal from my life.
You see, I work in the cell phone industry right now, and let me tell you, the first couple days after Thanksgiving were a stinking nightmare. First of all, the depths that people will go for a supposed deal is rather disheartening, and then thinking that getting mad at me will somehow change their fortunes just piles on the patheticness. My favorite situation was when a guy was complaining about a really ganga deal that would have been a huge windfall for him in regards to trading in his phone. But he didn’t do it on Black Friday and lost the trade-in the next day. He thought trying to intimidate me over the phone would help his cause, and he hung up on me in a huff when I told him I wasn’t Doctor Who and couldn’t alter time and space for him (though not in that manor of course). Typically when someone hangs up on you like that, we are supposed to call them back, but I just said “fuck you” under my breath and didn’t have time to begin with…another person instantly came on the line looking to pay off their device payment agreements for three phones and a tablet so they could take advantage of some massive trade-in upgrades. I had no remorse for the guy that hung up on me anyway…I didn’t get to tell him to get another phone rather than some crappy Moto X phone that no one else on the planet wants (and by the way, the woman that did the buy-outs spent well over a thousand dollars on that phone call…just so she can get the newest stuff! Go figure). I try my best to not judge the people while they do some of the craziest stuff I have ever seen, like the guy that transferred 10 numbers from four other accounts onto his, assuming the liability of his relatives. I just wonder why? Why would you subject yourself to these kinds of liabilities in your life? The worst thing you can actually do in my opinion is buy something because you have the idea in your mind that the item is free…to an extent. Trust me, no matter what the price tag is, nothing is free. There are always conditions to the decisions you make and the things you say. You just need to read them closely and make sure you ask all the pertinent questions in regards to the matter. Trust me, if you ever got me on the other line, I will not pitch you some of the nonsense that people are promised.
For me, I try my best to maintain a certain life style. I do have a fairly fancy iPhone 6S, but I don’t intend to replace it the instant my device payment agreement finishes up next year. Beyond that, I really don’t own anything that is of huge numeric value. I don’t own items that would turn the heads of people and earn the gaze of women. If anything, the greatest monetary investment I have to show for my life is my life. Let me explain. The reason why I don’t care much for television or heavy foods or binge drinking these days is because they cause a negative impact on my personal development. The investments I have put into myself are far more valuable than the newest gadget or the nicest television on the market. Like I always say, our greatest investment is our own health, and while I am not seeing too much of a monetary or romantic gain out of the endeavor, I am seeing a good monetary gain at least. I don’t spend all my money at restaurants. I don’t spend all my money on alcohol either. While I would like to purchase some new music and movies eventually, I am kind of holding off of those adventures once I start getting a little bit of cash in my coffers. Beyond that, everything else I do is for my body and my fitness. I dropped a ton of money to go to Ragnar Del sol, and while I have been lazy in regards to the training this week, I will get back on track today. The shoes I have probably cost more than my car, and eventually I will be getting some Carb Boom! pureed fruit packs for the future training. I spend much of my gas money going to work, but I am also putting a lot of money into driving to Parsons Training and getting to Reid Park and when I want to do a little night running. So yes, the money I make is essentially going for bigger and better things in my life.
Trust me, I am not getting all hoity toity on you and judging you for the decisions you make in your own life, I just proclaim you should stop to fully analyze what you spend your money on. When you have “things” that are just creating negatives in your life and tying you down, then what was the real need for that purchase to begin with? It is easy for me right now to say these things, mainly because I pretty much take anything that no one wants off their hands and claim it as my own. I pretty much have all my furniture for free and even my old and nearly useless television set still sits in my living room. Frankly, the only things I buy on a regular basis is what I have to get some additional kitchen wares.
Here is a good question for you? Is spending a little time in the gym and even on the track (whether it be walking or running, really makes no difference at this point) really worth it? Considering the amount of money our health care system is trying to gouge out of us year by year, I would say a gym membership and a little bit of extra cash in regards to buying better food for yourself will certainly be much better for you in the long run. I found a pretty nice article form the Mayo Clinic on the subject, which noted that not only personal costs in regards to insurance and procedures will get to you, the fact you could also lose work hours and benefits due to your bad health will adversely affect you as well. http://www.tcyh.org/employers/downloads/Extra_MayoCostOfHealth.pdf I’m sure I may fall into these categories myself some day, especially if I keep working a job where I am pretty much sitting on my keister the whole day, trying to explain to people why you should not download sketchy apps on their phone and why they can’t disconnect a line because they signed a two year contract and will get hit with a massive penalty if they decide to get rid of that line after six months. At least I have done much better at regulating my blood pressure.
Anyway, I think too many people get in their heads about the supposed fads and easy cleanses and diets that will certainly help you lose some weight in the interim, but never really give you that long term health you will need to keep being strong and healthy. There was an interesting question posed to me on Thanksgiving on why organic food is more expensive than non-organic. There is a variety of reasons, especially stemming from the idea that organic farming doesn’t use chemicals and genetic engineering to create better crop yields with frankenfood. That is always the go-to answer, but the real answer in my mind is the fact that corporations, much like the grip they have on our government, obviously control the farm lands in this country and therefore those who already have the wealth will continue receiving the wealth through political positioning and farm subsidies (some 63% of the subsidies go to the top 20%). Personally, this saddens me because I think a great many people would take that massive investment of health more seriously if the cost was much more reflective of their needs. While I love to take advantage of some premade food at restaurants and meals from services, I find much more joy in my life through cooking and prepping my own meals. One of these days I will take advantage of some good cooking classes and seek out better opportunities to improve my abilities. I mean, I have to expand my horizons eventually!
Since this week was such an aberration for me in regards to my eating and my working out, I definitely felt a little sluggish and tired. If you can believe it, the man that used to eat his body weight in food and drink on a typical Thanksgiving barely got through his second plate, and the second plate was mostly greens and a little vegan lasagna my aunt made. For crying out loud, the majority of the food I was looking to eat at the dinner was saved for the days after, mainly because I was so full just from TWO plates that I could barely move afterward. I should have gone for walk but I couldn’t. I will admit to you all though, I did not fall asleep and take a nap. That would have been the old me. Besides, I had some early evening coffee to boot, so that was the final guarantee for me in regards to staying up. But I was also in that weird state of being, the one where you feel lazy and run down but you have enough energy to do your thing. It was a weird feeling as I walked back and forth between the back yard, visiting the dogs, to the living room where I would sit down. Good thing my parents house had Wi-Fi or I would have been forced to watch football during the down time. I don’t care how good the Cowboys are playing right now, I still think that franchise is garbage.
Anyway, before I veer off into negative land, just remember as you look at getting that third television or setting up a new mortgage to buy a third car, your health should always be No. 1 in your life. Take it from someone that has seen the difference between the two extremes.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.