IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT – Words of Wisdom from Real Men
I train a small pack of men four days a week. I make them spin, lift, run, yoga and bootcamp – and they sweat, stretch, swear and smile. It’s a total blast. I’ve worked with some of them for months and some for years, and they’ve all made incredible gains in strength, balance, stamina, and I’d like to say flexibility, but that would make this a work of fiction. They’re totally awesome, but like it says in the title – real.
This past summer, they started asking about those “stubborn” last few pounds that they’d really like to lose. “Why am I still over 200 pounds?” “What should I be eating?” “Why did I gain 5 pounds this month?” So I grabbed a marker and asked them, “How much beer do you drink?”
“Come on,” I said. “Let’s do the math.”
So they all sat down and I started writing on the mirror.
“I’m going to guess an average of 10 beer a week – sometimes less, but sometimes more. Am I close?”
“I’m also going to assume that you drink good beer, so each bottle has approximately 150 calories. Times that by 10 – equals 1,500 calories per week of non-nutritional intake.”
“And do you know how many calories are in a single pound of body fat?”
“3,000! So that 1,500 calories in beer, equals ½ pound of weight gain each week. And working our butts off in the gym four days a week burns approximately the equivalent calories. You’re lucky to be breaking even!”
They looked at the numbers, and I could tell it was really sinking in. I prepared myself for their beer resignations as they all started to look at each other. I waited with anticipation for the first declaration.
“So you’re telling me that all the exercise we do each week, is equal to about 10 beer?” Kevin, my longest client asked.
“That’s right,” I replied, starting to feel quite proud of my breakthrough.
He smiled, “That’s totally worth it.”
The rest all smiled and nodded in agreement. I threw my marker at them.
But he’s got a point. We all need to decide what’s “worth it” for ourselves. Losing the last 10-20 pounds of extra weight is a great goal, and could definitely make you feel better. But would it have a monumental impact on length/quality of life? Probably not. For these guys, the benefits of exercise (besides the beer-calorie burn) supersede vanity and perfection. Sweating, lifting and yes, even stretching has far greater wellness impacts than just losing weight. Movement strengthens us, inside and out.
I hope that’s what my guys mean by “totally worth it.” I also hope they take time to revel in their accomplishments while still looking forward to the next goal. And I hope they know they inspire me every single workout – even if they still can’t touch their toes.
Lori Friend Moger, M.Sc. is a writer, speaker and Kinesiologist. She is co-founder of No Finish Line Living, a wellness company providing keynotes, seminars and retreats with the sole purpose of pushing people into their best lives possible. For more information, visit us at www.nofinishlineliving.com.