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Monday, March 28, 2016

The Body is Bent and Broken but the Facade is Alive and Well

It is a theme I have been putting into practice on a daily basis for at least 2 years now.

Despite the challenge of a 30 year downhill journey on an arthritic left knee and 3 acute injuries in the past 18 months, I have refused to go belly up - dead bug.

I have continued to work around and through a left knee with little or no cartilage, a torn pectineus (groin) muscle that was so badly detached that the doctors thought it was an inguinal hernia, a 40% detached left Achilles tendon that 2 orthopedic surgeons swore would require surgery to repair and removal of a 1-1/2" long 3/8" diameter bone spur from my left knee.

In retrospect, the groin tear and the Achilles tendon injury could have been avoided.... the left knee issues not so much.

Regardless, it is a path I have chosen in life - to be active, to be as fit and healthy as possible and to....

Look Good.

Yep - that's important to me.

Some people would say.... "I really don't care what I look like.  That's just not important to me".

To which I would say "That's Bullshit.  Every sane and normal person wants to look good.  They're just not willing to put in the work and exercise the self discipline to do it so they swear it off by saying the don't care".

And then there's those people that say "Yeah I wanna look good.... I just don't have time".

To which I again say "Bullshit - I have been writing for several years now and have demonstrated in countless pictures and commentary that the single most important element of having a lean, muscular, fit physique is WHAT YOU EAT!"

And I have also demonstrated repeatedly that it takes less than 45 mins a day to prepare 3 different, nutritious, body building and lean meals that are pleasing to the body and palate.

And then there's the "Yeah but just meat and veggies and fruit doesn't taste that good."

To which I say a 3rd time - "Bullshit - I have fed all the food that I have put on this blog over the years to at least 100 - 150 different people from my daughter's high school friends to my son's hunting buddies to finicky vegans and socialites from Texas to California to New York to the mixing pot of race, culture and culinary variety represented by my Santa Fe hiking group and every one of them went back for seconds and thirds with expressions like "I never liked meat before but I love this steak.... .and this is eggplant and how did you prep these vegetables - they're fantastic! .... or you didn't use any oil in this - it's healthy but tastes great".

Ok - here's one more for the Excuse Column.... Eating Healthy Costs Too Much!

Again - Einstein - Bullshit.  I've tracked my grocery budget for many years including "Pre-Healthy Eating" and "Post-Healthy Eating" and given the 2.5 - 3.0% annual inflation factor, my grocery budget HAS NOT INCREASED.  Believe it or not, all the "ready made" and processed foods you find on the "inside aisles" at the grocery stores kill not only you but your budget too.  While I am not 100% organic or grass fed or whatever, I would say I am at least 60% organic and do buy the best and freshest vegetables and meats I can afford.

So - What's the excuse now?

But I digress.... this is a post about maintaining an appearance of looking good and being Alive and Well....

Even if you don't feel that way!

My 3 favorite quotes on this subject are:
  • "It's better to look good than to feel good" - Fernando Llamas
  • "I'd rather look fit than be fit" - Mark Sisson
  • "Live Hard, Die Young and Leave a Pretty Corpse" - James Dean
I think maintaining appearances in the face of challenging health situations is important for several reasons:
  • It often brings you positive feedback which in and of itself, can boost your morale and make you feel better.
  • "Fake it to Make it" is an oft-used adage that has verifiable and repeated good results in the field of Self Healing.  Maintain healthy eating habits, get a little sun, get your hair highlighted, buy some new clothes, maintain physical activity as much as you can, Encourage someone when you yourself need encouragement, Smile when you wanna cry! This kind of positive representation of yourself to the World will come back to you in ways that will nourish and heal the Mind, Spirit and Body!
  • Maybe just Maybe, your unwillingness to succumb to Life's Health Challenges may inspire and motivate someone else to do the same.  Passing Your Energy, Positive Outlook and Willingness to experience a little Pain and Discomfort in exchange for Maintaining Your Appearance may seem ego driven but could be the most selfless thing you ever do and the best example you could ever provide to your friends and family.
People in my PIYO and other Group Exercise classes know that I am experiencing some pretty significant left knee pain in my workouts.  

If my limping between movements, grimaces and grunts are not evidence enough, the loud and audible popping and grinding of my left knee, that can be heard by many around me, is proof enough.

But they also know that it is important to me to maintain as much strength and muscle in my left leg as possible - to maintain my mobility, to prepare for my upcoming Total Knee Replacement Surgery, and....

To Look Good.

Yeah.... The Body is Bent and Broken....

But the Mind and the Spirit that Drive that Body are Alive and Well!

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