I can’t help getting older, but I can help being fat.
I lost about forty pounds, and I weigh as much as I did when I was 20 years old. It took 5 months and it feels great. Here’s the secret to weight loss – you can’t outrun your fork. I exercise moderately, more short intense workouts than anything else, and some semi-regular yoga sessions, but I count and log calories tirelessly and stick to a daily calorie budget. There are lots of apps and web sites to help with that task, I use LoseIt.com.
I saw some pictures of myself and thought “Wow, I’m fat!” and immediately changed my decision-making about food and health. I only have one body, and I’ll only be on this rock for a set period of time, a very short period of time at that. I consciously realized and told myself that I can impact the duration of this stay, and I owe it to my family to do so.
Dwelling on the shortness of my stay here has lead to other revelations. My time is too valuable to spend around shitty people. Tapping into my limited supply of energy to consider opinions on trivialities like politics (you ever heard a conversation between a democrat and a republican end with “You’re right, I will vote that way from now on”???), automobile brands, places to live, how to cook a meal, what mobile phone is better than another, et al. is a slap in the face of living a meaningful life. Whether or not I can hold a lengthy conversation about an actor, or a musician, or a book, or an internet meme is completely irrelevant to the betterment of myself, my family, my community, society, or humanity. Athletes don’t care if I scream at my TV while they’re playing, nor if I wear a hat with their team’s logo on it. And taking it further – I’m not interested in hearing the opinions other people hold so dear on matters of such frivolity, I don’t care at all.
There’s a strange feeling of having seen it all, while knowing their must be more to it than what I’ve seen. All the cliches about getting older ring in my ears: “The more it changes the more it remains the same”, “You can’t take it with you”, and “If I only knew then what I know now.” I feel like I’ve escaped the world of the energetic yet uninformed young man into the world of a more measured, even if more cynical, grown man.
I’m neither vain nor naive enough to consider that this realization of the brevity of life is unique to me. I’m certain billions before me have had the feelings that manifested themselves in similar notions. I don’t even know what exactly to do with them outside of acknowledging them, but I’m hopeful I can find a way to use them to help my kids, my wife, and the community around me progress towards a happier existence.