Right now I am sitting here believing that it’s absolutely impossible I am sixteen weeks into my fitness goals. This leaves me with just 5 weeks left to really make some progress in my fitness goals. This isn’t to say that I haven’t made any progress. It’s just saying that I only have the five weeks to get to my goal. I know I have spent a great deal of time evaluating. So I don’t really want to rehash a lot of this evaluation again. It’s like beating a dead horse. I have goals which I will review here at the end. And I want to meet those goals. But as a former teacher, I am all about the learning that I have been doing throughout the process. And right now I want to share some of the things that I have been learning about the fitness process.
Aside from the fitness process, it just so happens that it is Memorial Day tomorrow in the United States. This means I should be remembering the people who have given their lives to make sure that the country I live in is free. It remembers the fallen soldiers who made sure that I could write this blog and not have panic attacks about what was going to happen with my daughter. Or whether I would be put in prison because someone didn’t like what I was saying here. I am sure I worry enough about my daughter with the situation she is in. But, I have to remember that what I have here is far preferable than being in other countries who would execute her for the very beliefs that she holds. Of this, I am truly grateful.
Remembering Someone Who Inspired Me In Fitness
Between my two competing sides of me, I decided that today would be a good day to remember people big on fitness. But since tomorrow is Memorial Day, remembering someone who was also involved in the military is important. As a result, the person I decided to remember today is Jack LaLanne.
I didn’t see Jack LaLanne until he was much later on in years. In fact, I don’t think I saw him until he was already in his sixties. But when my mother watched him on television, here was the buffest person that I ever remember. And he was in his sixties?!?! It’s crazy to think of this sixty year old man who had muscles bulging out from every direction. There was my mother, being inspired by this man who modeled for others what it meant to be healthy and fit. This made an impression on me. And he encouraged people to go out there and be healthy and fit too.
Born in San Francisco in 1914 from French Immigrants, Francois Henri “Jack” LaLanne bounced around in California trying to seek his way. As an early teen he described himself as a headache, and a real pain in the rear. He later attributed this attitude as a result of an addiction to sugar and junk food. (I suppose that they even had such things all the way back in 1914 before our crazy processed foods craze.) Suffering from headaches and bulimia, he dropped out of high school at 14. But listening to Paul Bragg give a talk about the evils of red meats and sugars, Jack became “born again” as he put it. He transformed himself through diet and exercise, something that he would do for the rest of his life.
In 1936, Jack would open his first health club in Oakland, California. He was hoping to help transform people with a whole body fitness plan. Doctors thought he was nuts. They informed patients of theirs that LaLanne was a “health nut,” who would make them muscle bound and cause severe health issues. Nevertheless, people kept coming. By 1938, he would take his fitness regimen into wrestling, as wrestlers were one of the few groups who were interested in weight training.
When the world went to war, Jack LaLanne never would sit on the sidelines. He would go on to serve in the Navy during World War 2, working as Pharmacist Mate, First Class. He would serve in the Pacific theater during the war. There he would serve at both Guadalcanal and Suva.
After the war was over, television was exploding in the states. Jack, being at the forefront of most things, decided that he could reach a larger audience through television. And in 1953 he began what would eventually become the world’s longest running fitness program. Originally, it was a local program, made to help him sell his fitness products. But it grew to be so popular that in 1959 ABC would pick up the program. It continued to be popular enough that it kept running until 1985, when Jack was 71 years old.
As far as fitness, Jack lived by a mostly fish and vegetable diet. He thought that processed foods were a bane on modern existence. To him, exercise was king, and nutrition was queen. Working together between the two produced a kingdom. He also felt like people resorted too quickly to taking drugs for health ailments. Jack thought that most ailments could be remedied by getting the body to go out there and move. All of those drugs were just crutches to LaLanne. This made him unpopular among many people in the pharmaceutical industry. But he still maintained a healthy sense of humor about everything. When talking about death, LaLanne famously said, “I’d hate to die; it would ruin my image.”
Jack LaLanne would live until the ripe old age of 98. And he maintained his exercise regimen even to his last breath. He would die of pneumonia on January 23, 2011. His family said that he had been sick the previous week but would not seek medical attention. He continued to feel like physical activity would see him through any ailment. Even the day before his death, he performed his daily workout routine.
We at the blog honor Jack’s dedication to fitness, his life’s work. And if some guy can still be working out with weights while having pneumonia at the ripe old age of 98, what is your excuse? Or what’s my excuse for that matter?
My Week Plus In Fitness
As always, I am looking at my last week in fitness. I cover the goals I made for myself and examine how good I lived up to these goals. No doubt, it has been a bit of a crazy week. From things with my daughter, to preparing for a birthday party a month and a half late, to not having a costume, it’s been a rather eventful time. Did I live up to my fitness goals? Am I living up to my nutrition goals? Or will the ghost of Jack LaLanne follow me home tonight? Hmmmm…. Let me see.
6 Times At The Gym Or Other Outings –
This last week has been an interesting week in trying to accomplish things. I feel like I have still let my writing encroach on some of my time. So I may have to be doing some further evaluation about things. How much time can I spend at the gym? And how much time can I dedicate to my blog. And Ultimately, how can I balance out this time. As such I would say that I made three gym or outing times in the past week. I still haven’t made six which is getting frustrating, so I really have to be honest with myself about what I can accomplish. It’s possible that the goal is too far out there, and so the frustration makes me quit. I hope not. So I am giving myself one last week to get to six or I will change it next week.
8 Glasses Of Water Per Day –
This is something that I most definitely accomplished this past week. I was able to get my eight glasses in and I even have grown to like the water. This, I believe, is a bigger accomplishment that drinking it. When I don’t like the water, it makes it easy not to drink it. But the fact that I like the taste helps. So I feel good about this for the week.
Counting My Calories –
I have continued my assault on the My Fitness Pal app this week. This means that I have tried to keep up with the regular counting of calories. I would say that I did it 75 percent of the time. While this counts, I realize that preparing food and then only eating portions of the things I cook makes it exceedingly difficult to count calories. So a few of those missing entries have to do with the lack of ability to know how much I actually ate. I will figure out something in the next week to rectify this, or make guesstimates. We shall see.
8 Hours Of Sleep Per Night –
I think this is the part that I did the most fall back from last week. I went out there and got too caught up in the writing and went back to 6 hours per week on the sleep. This is a bad trend. However, I made strides the last couple of days about getting back to the eight hours of sleep. This, I believe, will reap benefits in the long run. Having more energy will increase the likelihood of getting to the gym more often. Those are benefits I am excited to see coming. I’m crossing my fingers for this next week. We shall see.
Final Grade : B-
From a positive perspective, I have noticed that some of the pant sizes that were getting tight I am not able to fit into pretty well. This makes me realize that progress is being made, even if I feel like I haven’t been doing everything that I could have been doing. So I must be making some strides towards my fitness goals. This excites me. As such, I am sticking to my fitness goals for one more week. If certain things don’t change, like workouts, I will change things next week. But for now, I am happy with some minor improvements in waistline.
The following are my workout goals:
1) Six Times At The Gym Or Activities
2) Eight Glasses Of Water Per Day
3) Counting Calories
4) Eight Hours of Sleep Per Night
Continue The Conversation
So what or who are you memorializing this week? Who have been some of your inspirations? And who have been some of your fitness inspirations? I know many people have inspired me in different ways throughout my life. People leading by example always inspire me the most. This is why Jack LaLanne was such an inspiration to me, regardless of what you think about his juicer. He showed that one could be healthy and fit at any age. I will definitely be taking this as inspiration for this next week.
If you enjoyed this blog, please check out some of my other fitness posts, which will be at the end of the blog. And please subscribe to the guide here. People who subscribe via email will receive access to The Dad Rules. These are ten rules that every dad should follow, and every mom should know about.
I want to thank you for stopping by at the guide once again. It’s been a long crazy week, and I am looking forward to another long crazy week to come. Gotta love ’em.
Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life
Other Fitness Posts:
Week 0 : Not Another Fitness Blog
Fifth Week: Give Me A Five
Tenth Week: This One Goes To Eleven
Eleventh Week: Tooth Wars
Twelfth Week: Happily Ever After
Fifteenth Week: As The Fitness World Turns