We live in a difficult world where mothers and fathers pass as well as tragedies heightened by the media, which becomes unavoidable. We watch many folks age and take countless medications. We see people in their sixties and seventies walking with canes and walkers and wow, we say this journey sure goes quickly! I think a lot of us senior runners because we are lucky from of good fortune of good health makes us more compassionate about people and in turn we want to help our fellow humans. And for lack of words, help folks that are not as fortunate as us health-wise as we are. But our advice is usually on deaf ears.
Yes we are the fitness experts as we have learned from our experiences. We are the survivors as we experience pain and joy with every run which takes a certain personality type. We tell the obese and the not-so healthy that their predicament is reversible and they laugh or say it’s not their thing. So why is that? I assume by an educated guess that it is a lack of discipline.
I am lucky at 62 years of age. I have learned from my body and by cross training which I feel is the key to running longevity. And what I love like most of us runners is RUNNING. The wind, the cool air, the sweat, the mountains, the ocean, all part of what becomes life and living and the natural beauty we live with and what we call the running experience. And the all non-avoidable negatives like the chump that cuts you off while driving and what we perceive as the people with less awareness as i think we believe our life as runners we have heightened feelings of humanity so we therefore try to be good to our fellow human beings. Is this because of our running? Of course it is as running calms us and we see what others cannot…yes maybe slightly exaggerated to get my point across. It gives us drive and hopefully balance and we cannot just run and feel good about ourselves, but also try harder to help others.
So, can we mentor others who just do not seem to get it? Okay, so let’s take the folks who are stuck in fast food culture. How do you explain there is a better way or lead by example to mentor them in the right direction? There are also some serious issues of food addiction.
The extremely overweight do suffer everyday with their addiction. I was told by one individual that they were the health and diet experts as he did not drink nor smoke and many of the right elements like extreme water consumption blah blah but this individual was double his optimum body weight. Denial and petty lies is the first step to get through to the individuals that lack the discipline we have. The lying is purely self-defeatist on their part and certainly are only hurting themselves.
So again, I will make the bold statement that it is all about discipline. But how can you bring people away from one suffering of obesity to another different kind of suffering that brings self-esteem and pleasure through this kind of suffering of diet and exercise which will eventually turn into pleasure. The harsh reality is that being overweight is part of a general feeling of lack of control over the course of their lives and do they lie lie lie about it to escape their curse and reality.
SO HOW CAN WE HELP?
Well for starters, remember that many of these people are habitual liars when it comes to their diets, so tell them straight up to stop the bullshit because no need as we want to help. So you must get them to accept that you know they are lying and just lack discipline and that we can help if they will accept the mentorship. Then the simple equation of calories in calories out is the only way for them to lose weight. Then my belief is unless one is a professional trainer, we must steer them to a pro that can help unless we can break them down and feel we have the expertise to deal with these personality types. They need to be mentored and the old cliché of tough love once the program is set where some no nonsense trainer sets a rigid plan of exercise and diet and I believe our role is to encourage and at the same time be realistic by not buying into any lies and only help them to focus on their goals and the end result of breaking the cycle.
SO WHY DO WE RUN AS A LIFESTYLE WHILE WE WATCH PEOPLE’S PREFERENCE OF RUNNING TO THE KITCHEN?
Well, there are many theories, but all a matter focus and discipline in this writer’s opinion So mentor on and just maybe we can make a difference..
Now on to the non-traditional diet part of the equation. People are always looking for a magic bullet. Vegans swear by their diet but have no proof with regards to longevity, let alone quality of life. Yes, a vegan diet is better than a fast food junkie’s, but there simply is no proof that it is better compared to a variable diet. Then, we have the runners who feel we have the right to eat anything they choose as our running solves and balances out all negative food intake.
From the Vegan diet to whatever one chooses, as long as one is fit and it works for you, my belief is: get in the good stuff and if you want to eat the bad stuff, try to stay away from processed foods as much as you can. That works for me: I suggest to try it and see if it does for you what it does for me, haha sorry for the pun.
My morning meal sets the tone for my day. I run on an empty stomach in the early morning hours and after a shower, it’s breakfast time, where I am certain to break the traditions of breakfast. My breakfast consists of the following:
- half of a large bowl of organic chicken broth five to six spears of Broccoli and the same amount of cauliflower
- a handful of snow peas with carrots and one or two stalks of celery – all steamed in a steamer
- then they are all thrown into the bowl of steaming hot chicken broth
- add onion , raw chopped shallots with a mound of uncooked bean sprouts
- as for the steamer, put whatever you can find from regular fresh peas to cabbage,
- whatever you like, just throw them into the broth after steaming them
- I like to look for as much color as I can find and often will steam fresh beets as well
- then I add dry crunchy organic noodles to taste as a final addition
- a little bit of black pepper and I am a fan of Sriracha Vietnamese hot sauce as a throw-in, but this is my formula
The key is the veggies are off the chart nutrition wise. Also please change soup broth to taste such as beef broth or for the vegetarians miso or any veggie based broth.
The concept is simple: a mega nutritious breakfast that leaves you not stuffed, as you will see. And it sets the tone for the rest of day for the workplace, and for maybe another workout, like mine being an afternoon weight workout. As a method to enjoy the veggies, I use chopsticks to poke away at the individual veggie treats but of course, if a fork works better for you, that’s your choice, and of course, a soup spoon.
So why is this a life changer? Because we live in the world of temptation and us runners, reward ourselves for our hard work on the road, putting out such great amounts of energy. And for many, the work means food indulgence. So once we have the mega nutritious meal as our first meal of the day, it changes our thought process and our way of life. I could get on a long dissertation on how it changes our immune system as well, but I’ll leave that to the experts. For me, and I repeat, I am a blue collar thinker in this respect, these kinds of instinctive concepts as cross training being so important as we age, and the early in the day mega meal, is a major boost to our immune system, in this writer’s opinion.
So give it a try and see the results rather than traditional breakfasts. So does breakfast have to be breakfast? Well, I say NO.