Health Scare

Recently I mentioned while being in Hawaii that I passed out for no reason at all. This event has been weighing on me and I feel like maybe it’s time to address some things that have been hiding in my closet, or medicine cabinet.

For years I have had body issues. We all do right? But it isn’t everyday that I hear a males perspective on how they feel about their body and looks. I feel that there are lots of dads out there that aren’t happy with their body image and wish they too could go back to that pre-baby weight and size. We may not have carried a baby, but we sure did gain some sympathy weight.

Well, growing up I was completely insecure about my body. I didn’t look like my friends who were in great shape and ate whatever they wanted. I was the token fat/funny kid. I was fine with it, but not really. I wanted to have that body that I had seen in Mens Health and GQ magazine. Well, once I graduated I was going to do something about it.

There was a new pill that came out called Hydroxycut and I had heard that it gave you tons of energy and also helped you lose weight. I was all about a “magic pill” to help me get into the shape that I had always wanted. I completely fell for the commercials that were telling me of these guys that were on this pill for 30 days and lost tons of weight and were shredded. That was exactly what I wanted!

I didn’t care that this wasn’t exactly approved by the FDA or any doctors for that matter. I wanted a quick fix and was willing to do whatever I needed to for that fix.

Well, it worked. In college I was in great shape, had tons of energy, and was feeling like I looked pretty good. I had so much energy that one day I woke up for school and thought that I should run to the gym (which happened to be on the other side of town…5 miles away). When I got to the gym I jumped on the elliptical for an hour (8 more miles), ran to school (2 miles) and back home (4 miles). Granted, when I arrived home I collapsed on the front lawn, but I felt like I had accomplished something.

I then trained for my first marathon, then a triathlon (taking 3rd in my age division), and many more half marathons. I was running like crazy and it seemed like these pills were really a dream come true. I was right where I wanted to be.

One day I got a letter from Costco that these pills had been recalled. I felt like they were working great, why would they be recalled? Apparently they were causing people’s hearts to beat out of control and causing heart attacks. This was a little frightening to me, but at that age I wasn’t really thinking about future consequences. I wanted instant gratification and that is exactly what I was getting.

I decided that maybe it was time to lay off these pills and go to something else. I had gone into a local health store and they sold me something that they pulled out from under the counter. Was I really going to purchase these? The guy told me that they were the best pills they had and they couldn’t just sell them to everyone. I was falling for the oldest trick in the book. I purchased the pills and went on my way.

Again, the results were phenomenal. I was full of energy all the time, I was looking great, and I felt great about myself. But the second the pills would wear off I had a little bit of a incredible hill moment. I would get super upset and not want to talk to anyone. I wasn’t happy, but it was totally these pills that made me feel that way. I only purchased them once because I had noticed the drastic change in my personality.

I decided to take a break completely from these pills and focused on what was important at the time.

Time passed, I got fat, lost motivation to exercise, and wasn’t happy with the way I was looking. I thought to myself, why not go back on energy pills? They helped you get through your crazy exercise plan, lose tons of weight, and still gave you the energy to get through the rest of the day. Plus, I am sure they have made great changes in the pills now and I know I am not going to buy some that a shady kid pulls out from under the counter. The only difference this time is, I have a family. Now I actually care about people other than myself.

It couldn’t hurt to try some new things out and see what happens. So I did. I got another energy pill and was hitting the gym hard. They worked great, gave me plenty of energy through my early morning workouts and through my entire work day. I was getting my old self back and loving it.

Then it happened. While in Hawaii I decided that I was going to just relax and not take any energy pills with me. I was going to have fun with my family. When I passed out the first thing I thought of was that I hadn’t been taking these pills and my body was now dependent on them. I’m not the young buck I used to be that could handle these things, and now I have a family that I want to be around for.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I think there are lots of guys out there that get hooked on these things and we don’t know how to just work hard and get natural results. I am finally back to the gym and feeling my energy kick back up, naturally. We can do it, but as we get older it gets harder. Plus, having a family makes it hard. But if this is something that you truly want and you work hard for you can make it happen.

So throw all the supplements away and lets get going. Lets be healthy for ourselves and our families. This doesn’t mean I have to be looking like the Calvin Klein underwear models, although my wife would like that. It just means that we take care of ourselves and don’t do anything drastic, we look healthy, and we are happy with ourselves. I have found that having a healthy lifestyle is easy when it becomes a family thing.  We eat healthy and exercise motivating each other and enjoying the results together.