- Stop asking. It's annoying.
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Some of you will remember a few years ago, I started to clean up my act. This usually happens in your sixties as you start to notice your friends beginning to pass away. I've been on this trip for at least three years now. Inevitably, people ask me how I feel. Well, I'll tell you...
I stopped smoking cigars three years ago as I found I wasn't really enjoying them anymore. It was an expensive habit which caused me to think about my health. People gave me a lot of "atta boy" compliments at the time as they admired my fortitude to quit. Recently though, somebody asked me if I felt better for staying off cigars for so long. Frankly, No, I didn't feel any better or worse for it. Shortly thereafter I quietly had a smoke with a friend and felt no different afterwards. I do not smoke as regularly as before, but I will sneak one now and then.
I've been going to the gym regularly now for two years as part of my effort to reduce weight and improve myself physically. I'm still fairly strong but when I'm asked afterwards if I feel better for exercising, I most emphatically answer, "No." True, my muscle tone is better but I still feel the wear and tear of osteoarthritis, so I certainly do not come out of the gym dancing.
I knocked my sugar levels down by cutting fruit juices and soft drinks out of my diet, but I also gave up alcohol in the process. This is perhaps the biggest reason for my loss of weight. I imbibed in a glass of Scotch whiskey now and then as there is no sugar in it, but I certainly missed a quiet beer at the end of the day. Again, I've been asked, "Don't you feel better?" No, not really. My sugar numbers are excellent now, so once in awhile I'll treat myself to an ice cold Lite beer. I had forgotten how good it tasted.
Based on my doctor's advice, I learned to avoid bread, pasta and sweets. It didn't bother me to drop the pasta and sweets, but I missed the bread. I haven't had a Publix sub in probably two years, and I eat mostly protein. I still stick to this regimen, but do I feel any better? Of course not.
Between the exercise, change in diet and less alcohol, I dropped a significant amount of weight. Do I feel any better from losing the weight? Yes, but I sure do miss the Publix subs. The only problem I encountered along the way was my relatives who started to say I looked too skinny and sickly. You have to remember, these are the same people who encouraged me to lose the weight in the beginning. The lesson here is simple, you cannot win, no matter what you do.
Net, net, net, do I really feel better? Not really. I could keep on knocking myself out concentrating on my health, but I would probably miss the little things in life that make it enjoyable, such as an occasional cigar, a cold libation, and something decent to eat. I guess it is all a matter of moderation.
Now stop asking.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim's columns, see: timbryce.com
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