The Middle age creep, How did I get here?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that your body was tone and tight? You had a fresh diploma on your wall and the whole world was in front of you. Fast forward a decade or two and for many it is hard to recognize that person. This is a phenomenon that I like to call the “middle age creep”.
It starts out slow, you get a job that you’re pretty happy with and start a career. Now, there is not quite as much time to go to the rec center or do some of the other activities you enjoyed while in college. You gradually may notice that you have gained a few pounds, but no big deal, right?
Then you meet that perfect someone and set a date for the big wedding. You realize that you’ve got to look good for that and some of your motivation comes back to get in better shape and look good in your wedding photos. Whew! That took a lot of work and you are noticing that you’re still about 10 lbs heavier than you were a few years ago.
Not soon after the “big day” comes the babies! Less time to work out, your hormones change, “kid food” is everywhere around the house. It’s easy to tack on another 5 to 10 pounds, so you do, in the blink of an eye.
Your focus has shifted from staying healthy and looking good to caring for your family and your career. I want to be clear, family and career should be a few of your top priorities but you must have balance and you must take care of yourself.
I remember getting on an airplane a few years back and just before takeoff the flight attendant went through her routine about the emergency exit doors and so on. Then she said something that stuck with me, a “Golden Nugget” so to speak. She said “in the case of cabin pressure change the oxygen mask will drop from the compartment above you. If you are with the child, put your mask on first then assist the child”. This was genius! How can you help your kid breath if you’re slumped over due to lack of oxygen because you’re trying to be “selfless”? You must take care of yourself first so that you are in a good physical and mental state to help others.
My next set of thoughts after “genius” was am I really just spinning the reality of things so I can be selfish. I don’t think so. I can be a better father, husband, boss, employee and person in general if I’m at the top of my game. I will be healthier, have more energy be more confident and more productive if I am taking care of myself.
When I turn into grumpy cranky pants, and my work, family, and me time is out of balance my wife will encourage me to hit the streets of Cleveland to get my blood pumping and I can get it back together.
My message here is if you want to improve in all areas of your life you must carve out some time for yourself to stay fit and healthy.