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Men in the Battle of the Bulge

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Men

Our wives and our daughters need our help.

The struggles they face, not unlike the battle we are waging, is proving overwhelming to them and they are losing the war.

The outcome of this defeat is a lifetime of unhappiness, frustration and disappointment. Financially it will effect them and you with a small fortune of direct and indirect costs.

I want you to calculate the damage of this conflict working from a large circle inward to a smaller circle. Begin by making observations as you are out in public. Move inward to observing your workplace. Come further in by considering your family, first the extended family then your immediate family. Finish by a close observation at the body in the mirror.

Here is what you should be calculating through your observations. What percentage of the people that you observed in each of these locals are overwieght? Obviously we aren’t here for exact science – was it 25%, 50% over 50%?

Think about that reality. A person in today’s affluent American society has a great chance of being overweight and malnourished while millions of people around the world literally die of starvation. Realize that I said malnourished. Yes – overwieght is not a sign of being well fed – its just a sign of being over fed. The lack of nutrition in much of our food supply is one of the main culprits causing the obesity problems we face. And we are all together in facing these problems.

The reason I address this to you as men is because, (and maybe many of you are already on the front lines) in a traditional setting wives often make decisions around the food choices, menus, and working with the children around topics of diet and exercise.

Guys – we as family members and we as a society are losing this battle, mostly because we fail to recognize and name the enemy. If we are to wisely enter this arena and come out a winner we need to know the enemy. Some will say it is our body type, others will point to our metabolism. We can blame our sedantary work and home environments, labor saving devices and endless amount of mindless entertainment. But that is nothing more than making excuses, rationalizing our behaviors and passing the blame.

Peter Walsh in his book – “Does this clutter make my butt look fat?” correctly labels the problem – we are fat. Not obese or any other term that can allow us to disown the problem. If we don’t own the problem and take responsibility it is easy to consider it a medical condition and look toward the medical community to give us a pill to make it go away.

This is to the men out there who need to step up and help, encourage, lead by example and assist our loved ones in creating an environment of healthy eating and healthy living. This can be a tough place to go so it will take courage. You may find that silence is the first step. Covertly making decisions about shopping and menus and food choices without speaking a word of your intentions. Simple words of encouragement or no words at all. This is not a competition, men will lose weight quicker than woman so the deck is unevenly stacked. Be an encourager, a gentleman with kind compliments and smiling eyes. Help the women in your life learn to love who they are right now, while you lead by example in the expermentation of new habits.

More to follow – comments welcome and encouraged.

Sincerely yours, Steve

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Fitness

If I knew I was going to live this long

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If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
Mickey Mantle,(attributed) US baseball player (1931 – 1995)
I’m not sure what other regrets a man like Mickey Mantle may have had at the end of his life, but this quote has deeper meaning than giving us a short chuckle. Wouldn’t it be great to go peacefully to your grave with no regrets and no remorse for what you meant to do or say and never got around to accomplishing. And since we have no idea when that time will come, the question needs to be restated: Wouldn’t it be great to never have a regret or be remorseful over something left unsaid or undone?
Another, lighter way of saying it is – “If I had only (fill in the blank) sooner.”
Not wanting to have any regrets, – this is not meant to be presented in a remorseful way, I am a firm believer that timing is everything and “when the student is ready the teacher will come”. Yet as a parent and coach I often find myself wanting to say “one day you are going to wish you had……..”
So what is yours? For me it would be; If I had only appreciated my wife more in our early years together. If I had only not ridden the horse that day. If I had only spent a little more time listening and less time talking. (still can do that). If I had only written more notes to my family (still can do that too). If I had only learned sooner about healthy foods. If I had only spent more time reading and less time watching television. In fact there is very little that I can’t start doing right now. Not too old, not too weak, not too stubborn. Truth is – the only thing standing in the way is me. No Regrets, No Remorse. Just doing it. Borrowing some cliche’s and looking back with a smile.
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Fitness

“You are strong enough for another five minutes.”

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A sign at the gym read – “You are strong enough for another five minutes.”

How true I thought, but I saw it on my way out, already showered and dressed for the day.

Had I seen that inspiration a half hour earlier I would have given it another 5. Maybe another machine, maybe another rep, maybe another muscle group.

Only later in the day did I recognize that my strength was something I used all day long.

Am I strong enough to stick to my morning project five minutes more before I took a break?

Could I make one more prospecting call? Am I strong enough to get that yard work done instead of relaxing after work today. Am I strong enough to finish reading that book I started so long ago. Do I have what it takes to write that letter to my son that I’ve only been thinking about.

The truth is everyone of us is stronger than we think. We can reach higher, hold our breath longer, push ourselves a little further, challenge ourselves a little more and in the end – Enjoy ourselves and our life a little deeper.

Where would be a good place to push yourself a little further – where would a stretch feel right?

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Fitness

Men need to join the battle against violence.

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Most men in their lives will not commit sexual violence,
but most acts of sexual violence are committed by men.”

There is a sad reality to that truth. Now add that a great percentage of mental illness is the result of abuse, either the abused or a witness of the abuse and we men should hang our head in shame.

If you found out it was your sister, wife or mother you’d probably get all macho and start talking about beatings or lawsuits, jail or the back alley. But just some other woman, the girl down the street, or the college student working in the file room, and we join the ranks of gossipers and guys that do nothing. We men should hang our head in shame.

The increase in violence & domestic abuse goes up during hard times. And we are in hard times. Chances are there are men you know, maybe even yourself, that are facing the strain of economics and job lose. The image we hold of ourselves is fragile and threatened. We don’t know where to turn for solutions or even someone who understands. If this is the case – I offer myself as a listening ear and a friend to turn to.

But this in no way lets anyone off the hook or excuses the use of violence to any degree what so ever. We will never see the end of violence against women unless men step up and do something. We need to hold our heads high and take a stand to support and defend.

Here’s a good article worth your time. Then add your comments here. Thank you.

How men are necessary in the movement to end sexualized violence   http://goo.gl/Vv54b

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