It’s Okay To Fall Back – Just Don’t Fall Down

Before I start, let me apologize to those of you who look forward to reading this blog each day.  Last week I took a spill on the ice.  I should tell you I was performing a triple-axel while training for the Olympics, because that story would be a lot more glamorous than what really happened.  Suffice to say I was walking into work when my feet went one way and my body went the other.  And at the age of 53, the ground isn’t nearly as soft as it used to be.  Damage was pretty much limited to my ego, but I spent most of my spare time last week with a heating pad on my shoulder.  So for those of you who missed me, thanks for hanging around.  I’m back. 

An unpleasant side-effect of bodily injury is that it tends to keep you out of the gym.  Well, it tends to keep a sane person out of the gym.  I tried, but my body got the final vote.  The combination of inactivity and a little comfort food took its toll, and I gained seven pounds.  Okay, I only gained two pounds because of that – the rest came on over the holidays and it’s still hanging around.  Still, any time you can blame weight gain on an injury, I say go for it.

I started my weight loss crusade in October.  I’ve tried lots of different diets over the years, and none worked very well for me.  The problem with diets is that they all want you to eat less of the stuff you like, and more of the stuff you don’t like.  That would be okay if broccoli were an acquired taste like beer, but it’s not.  And nothing can take the place of fried chicken.  

I’ve tried losing weight for years.  And over that time, I’ve heard the magic words repeatedly – eat less and exercise.  Okay, eating less isn’t that hard.  Well, it is.  But moderation is the key there.  I’ve learned that I can still eat fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, hot buttered biscuits, and key lime pie.  I just can’t have it all in the same meal.  Okay, I can’t have it all in the same month. 

And the whole exercise thing just never really appealed to me.  In high school, when all my friends were trying out for football, I was playing a guitar.  Weightlifting, running, and body-building just never appealed to me.  And it shows. 

But my priorities changed one day last year when I found myself in the emergency room with a sore chest and blood pressure that was higher than Keith Richards on Saturday night.  I couldn’t see the blood pressure monitor, but the nurse did.  “Let’s get Dave a baby aspirin.  In fact, let’s make it two.” 

Her voice was as calm as a flight attendant.  “Ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed that the engines have gotten silent and we’ve begun a vertical descent.  Our final destination has been changed to an alternate location.  Thank you for flying with us today.  We’ll be on the ground shortly.” 

As it turns out, I wasn’t having a heart attack.  But it was a wakeup call.  So like everything else in life, I spent most of the year deciding to do something about it, then planning a strategy.  Finally it occurred to me – I knew what to do.  I just needed to do it. 

Now, for anybody who thinks there’s nothing funny about being overweight, you need to spend an hour with me in the gym.  I make more noises than an old Chrysler with flat tires and no oil.  I tried running, but it’s like I’ve completely forgotten how.  And you should have been there the day I laid back on an angled bench and tried to do sit-ups.  Okay, when I tried to do a sit-up.  Thanks for making me admit that.  Suffice to say I wasn’t the only person laughing. 

But you know what?  I’m not there to impress anybody else.  I’m there for me.  I’m doing it so I can enjoy a more active and healthy life with my wife, daughters, and grandchildren.  I may not live any longer, but I don’t want to spend the time I’ve got sitting in front of a TV because it’s all I can do.  And I was quickly headed in that direction. 

I’ve still got a long way to go before I reach a healthy weight.  I was making progress, but setbacks are just part of the game.  The key is not letting them get to you.  And I firmly believe our best defense against letting things get to us is maintaining a healthy sense of humor.  It’s hard to be upset when you’re laughing. 

I’ll write more on this topic over the coming weeks.  And if any of you have stories you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.  The thing to remember is that any worthwhile change comes with challenges.  It’s how we handle those challenges that makes the difference.  So lighten up!  Laugh a little.  It makes the tough spots (and icy sidewalks) a whole lot easier to handle.

Copyright 2011 – Dave Glardon

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About Health and Humor - by Dave Glardon

Dave Glardon is a writer, speaker, and stand-up comedian. He has written hundreds of articles relating to humor in our world, and has performed for audiences across the entire United States. In this blog, he shares his insights with the goal of helping you achieve a higher level of physical and mental well-being through a healthy sense of humor.
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8 Responses to It’s Okay To Fall Back – Just Don’t Fall Down

  1. Dave Dave Dave – I’m right there with you. I stare at my husband’s perfect sculpted physique and think – wow – he’s married to me? I always have 1 of 2 knee-jerk reactions: 1. Let’s go to the gym! 2. I’m depressed – where are the Little Debbie cakes?

    I hate exercise too – I get bored. The only thing I like is dance but my knee is a little too f’d up right now for that. So I go and do the elliptical a couple days a week. I know it’s not enough but hopefully spring will get me out doing things more.

    Can’t wait to keep following your journey!

    • Thanks for chiming in Heather! I can blame the gym (or lack of it) for some of the recent weight gain, but the truth is Little Debbie may have had something to do with it as well. That or too many Twizzlers.

      I start each workout with the elliptical, because it’s the only thing a klutz like me can manage with any level of finesse. After that, it gets comical. But hey, if you can’t have a laugh along the way, why bother?

  2. Jan says:

    Dave you certainly are right; only way to lose weight is eat less, exercise more. And, the ground really does get harder every year. But fortunately as you age, it also gets a bit closer. As in, I used to be 5′ 5 3/4ths”; now, at 71, I’m 5′ 3 1/2″. Ground is closer, if not softer.
    The biggest problem with ‘shrinking as we age’ is, all that body mass is still there; it’s just repositioned. Usually it goes South…like other parts of your body and the hair too; my body mass seems to have stopped at the equator, and the hair went clean to the toes. I still weigh the same; it just doesn’t look like it, because it’s all been repositioned.
    I can’t go to a gym; there isn’t one closer than a hundred miles one way. So in summer I do yard work, or ranch work…you’d be amazed how many miles you can put on chopping weeds in the summer! In winter I shovel snow. Well, OK, in winter I also lift a fork; all that shoveling makes you hungry as a horse! Besides which, using the oven certainly helps cut the heating bill; and cakes or cookies or pies sure are a treat.
    The last time I fell, on ice, in fresh fallen snow, I made snow angels. When my son came out to ask what I was doing, I told him, “Well, while I was down here, I just thought I’d find something constructive to do.”

    I surely do enjoy your column. Hope you heal fast…
    Jan in Montana

    • Thanks Jan. You sound just like my doctor – eat less and exercise! You’d think in the 21st century with all the medical advances, we’d have something a little less … well, demanding. If they could figure out a way to make broccoli taste like french fries and melt away five pounds per serving, I’d cook it myself!

      And don’t feel too bad about that “repositioned” weight. It happens to all of us. In 1994 I had spinal surgery that left a scar across the middle of my throat. I went looking for that scar last week and found it just below my collarbone. Makes you wonder about all these kids with barbed wire tattooed around their neck. In twenty years, it’ll look more like a stretched out necklace.

  3. Sharon says:

    You have it all down pat, Dave. Keep up the good work and you will reach your goal. Laugh at your boo-boos and keep on keeping on.

  4. Patti says:

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, Dave! I certainly missed reading your posts while you were on the mend. Tread carefully as we endure the remainder of this blasted winter.

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