Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mixed Messages

Anyone spending time in the locker room of a local health facility tends to catch bits and pieces of various conversations. Generally, they are mundane and quickly forgotten. Every now and then, something will catch your attention and raise some interesting questions.

This morning's thought provoking discussion involved the scale and fantasy football. Completely unrelated, you say? Perhaps. Or maybe there IS a connection.

My attention was caught when someone commented that the scale was malfunctioning. My ears perked up, as I tend to use that scale three times a week, and didn't want to hear that it was providing bogus numbers. Was it possible that the weight loss was all in my head? No, it wasn't that. There was a hint of sarcasm in that voice, and his ongoing discussion confirmed the point. He was upset that he wasn't losing weight. That is something I can understand. Years of training for and running marathons had resulted in some personal weight loss, but less than desired.

It was the next part of the conversation that really caught my attention. The same gentleman who was complaining about the lack of weight loss began to regale those in the locker room with his fantasy football endeavors. Monday night was spent at one bar for the draft of a work league. Tuesday night was a scheduled draft at yet another bar. Wednesday night was a third league (though possibly not at a bar). And during Thursday night's game, he would be doing the draft for his fourth league, yes, at a bar.

I don't know a lot about fantasy football. And I don't know this guy from Adam. What I do know is that four nights at four drafts (three known to be in bars) for fantasy football is unlikely to burn considerable calories and result in any type of weight loss.

Perhaps the guy was joking about the weight loss. It might be that he doesn't care, or doesn't need to lose weight. While I don't recognize him as a regular at the YMCA, he may exercise on his own or at another location. Perhaps he is a vegan health nut who manages to complete all his training with plenty of time to run several fantasy football teams. He might be independently wealthy and do all his workouts during the day, leaving the night free for other activities.

But the mixed message is far too common. People around the country wonder at their expanding waistlines as they continue to increase their dietary intake while maintaining a near zero-activity exercise regime. Outsiders (meaning those with much better diets and exercise programs) can only stand by and shake their heads in wonder at the confusing signals.

There are a great many options available when it comes to personal health. Some take it to fanatical extremes. Members of the TBC are those who tend to push themselves to test the limits of their endurance. It is an extreme, even in the world of endurance sports. There is, however, another extreme. The result of that extreme is standing on a scale wondering why the newest fad pill hasn't generated the promised weight loss and has, in fact, resulted in weight gain. Whether pushing the extremes of training or the extremes of poor habits, choices are made. And we must each live the with consequences of those choices.

Make sure you are willing to live with the choices you are making.


Veeg said...

Amazingly, when I started making consistently good choices regarding diet and exercise, I lost weight.

It's almost like magic, really. ;)

Deb said...

soo true. making choices to live, then living those choices. Accountability...what a concept! ;)

Lance Notstrong said...

There's a guy in our office that complains that he can never lose any weight......as he cuts himself a big slice of b-day cake in the kitchen.

Fe-lady said...

I am constantly amazed at the excuses people come up with as to why they can't lose or have gained weight....
I try my best to tell them that if they really, really want to, they will get up at 5 (like I do) to get in a walk, run, bike-ride, swim, whatever...and set a goal (race, not weight) and the weight will start to disappear.
Most of them (if not all) don't want to hear that they will have to sacrifice sleep, sweets, alcohol, and the like. They don't want to hear that it is WORK to workout and keep unwanted weight at bay (hence why diet schemes and pills are still making some rich).
Most of them hate me... :-)

Hak said...

When I used to work as a personal trainer back in the day, I heard the same rationalizations on why people couldn't lose weight. Sooooooo many were focused on starving themselves...then binging on sweets...then starting exercise only to stop when the first beads of perspiration dotted their brows.

Everybody travels their own path to get to the start line. That being said, it's also frustrating as heck sometimes to look back and see some spinning in circles wondering why they aren't moving forward.