Health Is Wealth

It’s Friday. That day of the week where you’re usually going through your email box and see a blog post from me (if not earlier). You read it then suddenly remember that it’s almost the weekend and the rat race that’s called working will be suspended for 48 hours. Not me though! I’ll be grinding for my dreams. Picture me writing that last sentence with Gary Vee standing behind me and yelling, “do more work”! Said work for me consists of writing and working out. I’ve been rather quietly training for a half-marathon again. It’s one of those goals, that on the surface seems attainable for me, but will require me to be out of my comfort zone. Last year I didn’t run the race (that I paid for) due to a bit of bad timing and mostly self-sabotage. Bad timing is a mixture of not being prepared and things outside of my control, but deliberately making it where I don’t show up at all for scheduled training and the actual race is totally on me. Shout out to my better half for continually pushing me, but also providing suggestions where I can improve and avoid being in these situations in the future. God/Universe/Creator knows what they were doing when they designed it for us to cross paths and eventually blossom a relationship. That said, Julia and the kids, among others, are my constant cheerleaders and I’ll be eternally grateful. That sort of motivation is needed alongside my discipline. Speaking of which, I’m in week 8 out of 22 in my training program and have successfully completed 95% of my workouts thus far. Add that to being in the weight room again has me feeling like my old self. The benefits of working out isn’t lost on me either. Besides the perk of vanity there are other benefits of consistent exercise. The Mayo Clinic provides seven benefits of regular physical activity outlined below:

  1. Exercise controls weight

  2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

  3. Exercise improves mood

  4. Exercise boosts energy

  5. Exercise promotes better sleep 

  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

  7. Exercise can be fun

As I continue to age, hopefully I do it gracefully by hitting the weights hard and getting my miles through consistent running.

As I become even more vulnerable and honest in these here blog streets, I can’t omit another factor of my continued health success. I’ve been abstaining from alcohol consumption since Monday, September 23rd in the year 2019 of our Lord Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Today will be 60 days. I promised a friend that I would report back in a post if I made 60 days and if I’ll extend my time. So here we are, I’ve hit the 60 day mark and I’m shooting for 60 more. I’ll evaluate once more at day 120. Thus far it’s been a great decision and I haven’t felt any pressure to drink whatsoever. I’ve successfully made it through my birthday, Halloween, family celebrations, and hanging out at the bar with friends without indulging in any libations. This is by far the easiest break I’ve taken from the sauce. Barring one negative experience the first week of sobriety, I can report that I’ve experienced nothing but positive results. I’ve lost 12 pounds thus far and being vertically challenged (don’t call me short), that makes a big difference in physique and relief of pressure. Each morning I wake up well-rested and the next day I have the ability to give all of my workouts 110% effort. Teetotaling has made my dreams at night even more vivid. It’s as close to reality as you’ll get all while remembering them in detail. That comes in handy when I have ideas or a spark that only come to me while sleeping. According to Harvard Health published via the Harvard Medical School, there are a litany of benefits of limiting or totally abstaining from alcohol. In some recent studies, it’s been analyzed that sobriety had beneficial impacts to overall health which included the reduction of automobile accidents, infectious diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It was concluded that the best option for overall health was no drinking at all. With feeling the way I’ve been feeling, I definitely want to keep this streak going. The most important thing is that I use this extra time that I have to stay productive, practice self-care, and create an environment of mindfulness.

Finally, the last change I’m making in the pursuit of a better me is incorporating more plant-based foods into my overall diet. I’ve been on the struggle bus in this area, but I’m making better strides. I’ve talked about the documentary, The Game Changers, before in a previous blog post, but it really reinvigorated me to make smarter consumption choices. I don’t think I’m going full vegan or full vegetarian or full pescatarian or whatever other fucking name you can think of, but I want to ensure most of my meals during the day are sans meat. I may even follow one of my brother’s approach and only consume meat and meat by-products on the weekends. There’s plenty of alternatives out there and most grocery stores carry these items as plenty of folks are living more plant-based lifestyles and greedy corporations are waiting in the wings to gobble up all of that profit. I will say I’m still undecided on dairy. I solely have been using almond or soy milk in my cereal for a long time now. I think I’m giving up on up eggs all together. The thought of eating them just makes me want to go drown in ginger ale to cure my nausea. Regardless, I’ve made a commitment to my family and most importantly to myself to take my health seriously and make it one of my top priorities. So cheers to good health, albeit mental, physical, or spiritual. Just make sure you’re toasting with apple juice and not champagne.