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
April 2, 2019
The last couple weeks, I have been talking about the importance of communal health, and how we should all start taking a firmer stance on the problems that are falling upon our country. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, and are still rarely talked about due to more popular talking points about pharmaceutical drug costs (mainly insulin) and addiction to pain killers. The reason why is because they are easy trigger points, where accusations can be levied against companies and levied against doctors or in some cases, the individual. Deceased musician/singer Prince is still a talking point in the opioid crisis, even though his story is a usual one amongst the masses. But opioid overdoses account for roughly 50,000 deaths a year while heart disease is still No. 1 with 600,000+. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisisNow in a country of 300 million people, this does not seems like much, but you have to also count the millions of people living with heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and those numbers illustrate a massive problem in the country. Seems like something we should be talking about on a regular basis. But alas, let’s talk about the keto diet and the fake world of Instagram fitness influencers, who will say and take anything for a few bucks and also show you how to become one of these fakes. Either way, maintaining a healthy society is difficult when you have one part of a country that believes chicken fried anything should be on the menu and another portion of the country that has an empty cupboard by the end of the month and another portion of the country that doesn’t believe in cooking at all due to all of the restaurants and bars in their area. The United States has no national identity when it comes to cuisine, and while this is what makes the country great, it also makes it tough to come up with a healthy eating regimen that crosses all lines of ethnicity, socioeconomics and attainability. This is why I always think it is difficult to start a major fitness regimen.
First of all, having the ability to pick some of the healthier foods at your supermarket can be a trick. I have only two major supermarket chains near my house. Food City is okay I guess, especially if you want to touch your inner latino thanks to a large selection of Mexican Pan Dulces and other staples, they seem to have less of a selection of healthier options. Fry’s is the other chain in my area. While the one next to my house is merely okay, the one that really fits my needs is a good 20 minutes away. Since I have a vehicle it makes it easy for me to go get some kosher couscous, fruit, high end hummus, organic almond butter and even Inari sushi (fried tofu stuffed with rice and sesame seeds!!!)….my situation is atypical. Most people don’t have the access or the money to get these items. The tough thing about your food regimen is most people oversimplify their food due to this lack of access, and this can lead to boredom with your diet and cause far too many “cheat meals” to get some taste in your regimen. Of course, my side of Tucson is problematic, for just about any chain franchise that takes up root in my area, it instantly becomes the most heavily supported restaurant in the city. I mean, Chili’s, Olive Garden, and even freaking Red Robin (which left the city for years) are constantly overflowing with people! I seriously Trader Joe’s or Sprouts would take root in my area….we need it! Either way, taking on healthier eating should start with portion control and the extreme reduction of certain foods. Avoid that extra portion (unless it is salad or fruits or hummus…hehe) and try your best to stay away from fast food and restaurants in general. I once wrote an article that the average caloric intake of a meal at a restaurant could be 1500 to 2500 calories due to the fact they will do more to make the food savory and electrocute your taste buds, which will make your brain remember how awesome the experience was and clamor for more.
Food is always going to be the hardest first step, and there is a reason for this. With the amount of processed sugars and fats being added to foods these days…it’s not a huge surprise many of the food born illnesses in the country are attributed to poor eating habits. This is why I made a blog about researching diligently. You could go all in and do nothing but organic, locally raised food. If you have access to good farmer’s markets and food markets that take on this philosophy, then good for you. And if you don’t that doesn't mean you are out of luck. While some will state organic is the ONLY way to go, finding a good balance between what to buy just randomly and what to buy organic is always listed on various websites. Typically ground based foods and apples are listed as “definites” in the organic department, just to give you an idea. You can also figure that buying food low in preservatives and sodium is a good bet if you do not have a sizable budget. So yes, food is ridiculously tough to work with because so many approach it the wrong way. Always start with minute changes and utilize your multiple sources and spices.
Now I start with food because that is my issue, and for most people, the issue could strictly stem from the idea of just walking into a gym. Working out can be difficult to start, mainly due to self consciousness and other factors. You could be used to just sitting at work all day and doing nothing, and this in itself leads to the complications. Coming from a sedentary life and starting up a physical one is never easy. That is why I stated from the previous week…start with what you are comfortable with. This also means you need to get comfortable gear and shoes that will benefit you in the journey. And even then, start slow on that. Don’t go out and get a complete triathlon kit if you barely know how to swim, like myself. I think this one thing people get too laser focused on. They think they can train and look like LeBron James…but on the other hand, he has the money and power to look the way he looks and get what he needs. Most people don’t have those means, so you either focus on what you can do and then set goals or else really look for second hand equipment you can get o the cheap. Of course, if you have the cash to jump right in, then go for it and be sure to get your butt to Parsons Training to get you ready.
This was kind of a basics post for the week, where you need to real in your own personal expectations and just realize, getting out there is the key. When you see yourself in action and make the changes, you will quickly realize this was a great idea and start with some even better ideas down the line. For most, fitness is running a marathon, not a sprint. Figure out how fast you can run and take it from there.
About Parsons Training
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.
Meet the Author
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.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.