By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
June 21, 2015
With another Father’s Day upon us, there was a rather sad commercial that seems to be floating around on the internet, one hell bent on making you consume and spend more money. Turns out we don’t pull out as much money from our pockets for Father’s Day as we do for Mother’s Day, which is then of course followed with the “wink, wink, hint, hint” notion that you should buy your father some crappy foreign car that he probably won’t care much for (because like regular men, fathers tend to be picky about their rides even though popular media tends to paint the father of the family as some sort of buffoon). Personally I have very few preferences for a new car, so just something better than my 1993 Mercury Tracer would be a welcome sight.
Too bad my dogs don’t pull in any income to get me a new car! Anyway, in regards to my own father, it is pretty hard to spend much money on him these days. He doesn’t really care for things beyond books and such, never being one for “toys” or other collectable junk items that litter the man caves of many homes in this country. So it is always difficult to shop for him, which typically means he prefers to have us around and hang out with him rather than receive unusual gifts. Personally I never got him a tie, which is a good thing I guess but might be a good gift down the line considering he is dressing to impress more often.
It’s ridiculously hard for me to actually come up with idea for a gift in regards to my father, mainly because he pretty much trumped any gift I could have ever given him. For those that don’t know, the main reason why I got so many sessions in the early going was because we traded a lot of work installing lights and such at Parsons Training. These lights are still there of course, and they add a nice little accent for the room (taller people like myself or Hector’s client Laine, a 6-2 middle blocker, need to watch our heads when we do jumps and such, hehe). Thanks to expansion and the difficulty of said work, the first 60 sessions or so were traded in conjunction to this work. Eve though I ended doing much of the work, hauling stuff back and forth to the truck from the lower level of the building that Parsons Training is located in, I didn’t really complain about it. I rarely complained about anything in regards to the work, for subconsciously I knew this was for my own good even though I wasn’t 100% down with the idea. But here I am still to this day, going through the rigors that Jon has created for me and living the life that I so ardently jumped into. I would like to think my parents have taken some cues from me in regards to their eating habits, for I rarely see the Fritos and the junk food I used to see on a regular basis at my parents house, and they have completely changed all of their dairy milk habits to a collection of rice, coconut and soy milks.
I still find it interesting that my father even switched to coconut milk at all! Even my older sister Christina has take not some of this change, pretty much eliminating all dairy from her diet as well as red meat (she will occasionally eat some turkey or chicken, but that is also rare). But on the other hand, I shouldn’t take too much credit, for the trend kind of started with my younger sisters, who seem to be fairly lactose intolerant, especially my sister Michelle when she ultimately decided to change up her regular milk habits with almond milk.
It’s kind of funny how these changes in my family seem kind of rare. When you look at all the issues in our country, so much of it is tied into food and the consumption of it. Popular chain restaurants and fast food joints are gong out of business while others are setting precedents with newer, more modern standards of transparency. The dairy industry is so scared of losing their stake in the market that they have most likely been the root cause behind the blaming of California’s water issues on almonds and the rising popularity of almond milk (never mind the fact half of the water in California is used for industrial ranching and food for the cattle that are in the said ranches, with much of that food going to China!) Billionaires are investing in replacement food companies while local restaurants are providing vegetarian options on a regular basis. And of course, this leads to the more negative side of the coin, where obesity is running rampant as people become more and more sedentary, turning fitness apps into a multi-billion dollar industry while turning gyms into profitable ventures due to the fact so many people get a membership and then don’t use them! For me, I am pretty thankful for all I have, not to mention the fact I have a lot of accountability to make up for. Needless to say, I really don’t want to upset my parents, especially my father. I’m sure he has been a little fed up with the financial struggles I have gone through the last couple years, so the least I can do is continue to make dividends on one of his most risky (not so much anymore) “investments.”
It’s kind of funny when I merely talk about food. Everyday is still a struggle for me in regards to my intake and my fitness. I’m always hearing some new philosophy, like telling me to eat more calories to lose weight or go on crazy cleanses that might help me lose weight but lose some gains (especially since I run a lot, and I want to increase my distances, not decrease). I always share a rather simplified philosophy on this blog, that you must exercise regularly, eat better and eat less calories if you really want to lose weight safely, effectively and over the long term. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0
I’ll admit, I’m always intrigued by some of these crazy diet ideas that so many pass around and say are the bees knees. Heck, I just saw an article where people are actually purchasing human breast milk! http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/06/18/online-human-breast-milk-craze-has-serious-health-risks-experts-say/ I admit, a quick weight loss would be interesting to partake in, but the issue for me is I am a food addict, so depriving my brain of certain things might create a lust in my stomach for certain foods and once again get me back on track again for the food addiction train. I’m not gonna kill myself over a little bit of “scientific” study I did on Friday, where I tried Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs for my pasta dinner, eating pasta for the first time in over a month. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t half bad, though the expense will certainly make me think twice about going too overboard on it (but then again, it was on special at my grocery store when I did some fruit shopping! Take that Whole Foods!) Even though I am an adult now and still have to account for my often times poor decisions, I often think back about how active I used to be as a kid and how my new life is kind of a continuation of that life, even though I roughly took a 15-year redshirt on the idea. So yeah, it is pretty upsetting to see health reports like this article, which once agains illustrates the poor state of health amongst American children is. http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150619/Child-fitness-levels-falling-at-faster-rate-than-feared.aspx The growing issue of childhood obesity is one that I have touched on many times in this blog, but now it seems the other problem of sedentary living is rearing it’s ugly head as well. According to the article, kids are not quite as athletic as they used to be in addition to being a little heavier these days. That sort of combination certainly can’t be good for the populace. Anyway, it will continue to be a struggle as the kids who are healthy and vibrant will continue to be a rarity. I think about my last visit to Chipotle a week ago. Here was a mother, eating what looked like a vegetarian bowl, a pretty healthy choice even though it could net you a good 500-600 calories. But her two kids were eating McDonalds, and I’m talking the “chicken” nuggets, fries and soda combo. I found it quite bizarre to say the least, because why would you eat healthy for yourself and shovel junk down your kid’s throats? It kind of flabbergasted me, but is is not like I haven’t seen it before. The weirdest occurrence was when I went to the Shish Kabob house here in Tucson and saw kids eating McDonalds while their parents were eating some of the good fare the restaurant provided! I mean, this restaurant had amazing gyros, exceptional salads and my all time favorite Jordanian dish, Ouzi, and some troglodytes had the nerve to desecrate this local bastion of great food with fast food? Most likely for fear that their kids might not enjoy the meal?! (BTW, Ouzi is a very easy dish to veganize, for all you have to do is make some good rice, proper spices and pine nuts! It is awesome to say the least. In fact, I need to get into veganizing Jordanian dishes due to my love for the cuisine!). Okay, I’m maybe going a little overboard here, but let’s face it, thinking about these sort of hypocrisies is something I do more of these days. Jon thinks I’m getting a little too militant some days, which is true I guess. I think of a lot of foods the same way I think Taylor Swift--absolutely hate them. I think about the fact I don’t drink Cinnamon Dolce Latte’s from Starbucks anymore or the fact I don’t purchase a case full of brownies from Loving Spoonfuls, which happens to be a vegan eatery here in town. I find it nothing short of a miracle to the tune I have nearly eliminated these items from my life.
Anyway, looking down the barrel of another goal, whether it be my goal weight of 230 pounds (now just 25 pounds away from!) or the 600-mile goal I set last September on a hot fall evening (though I might break the 600-mile goal this week!). I don’t really know what to do after that. While getting in some bigger gains in the gym would be nice, my weird scheduling still makes it an interesting battle. Like on Friday morning, where I just decided to keep it simple and do some bench presses and kettle bell rows for 20, followed up with some barbell curls and side raises and then some good core stuff, finishing the session with sit-ups, crunches and planks. I really had no idea what to do, so I merely opted to take on some routine exercises I have been kind of lagging in lately, especially the planks. The bench press, along with my hang cleans and back squat, are all things I want to improve upon this summer in hopes of aiding my weight loss. My running is certainly going to be slowing down due to the record heat we have been getting here in Arizona, so why not partake in this fun ride? The only downside of course….multiple changes of clothing. Ugh.
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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
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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.