In Good Taste: The tipping point for food and fitness

Published 10:00 pm Monday, March 2, 2015

Fitness has been on my mind a lot lately. More on my mind than in my regime, unfortunately.

I blame the recent snow and ice, no cash in my wallet and never-ending workload for why I can’t get to yoga or a gym workout or even my free-of-charge, just change your shoes, walk/runs around Saluda. But the truth is, it’s my willingness that causes me to fall short of my fitness goals. And I do have goals.

Just like the food goals I set for my life many years ago, and again when I began these columns, was a pledge to eat “locally only” for 30 days to see what would come of it. I found holes in our hyper-local food system like grab-n-go snacks, sugar-free or gluten-free locally produced options, affordable farm-to-table cafes, food trucks and so on.

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Since then, and many years before then, my goals to eat good clean fair food at a rate of 9.9 times out of 10 quickly reached a tipping point to where now it is the norm for my daily intake and is no longer considered work. Indeed, when I veer off this course, I know it quickly and I don’t feel or fare well. It doesn’t take hypnosis to get me back on track. By the next day I race to greet my unprocessed mostly Paleo food plate with a cup of detox tea and a liver support capsule.

In my professional work, I try to encourage and make possible access to good clean fair food for the whole community. But what of fitness? There are real-life local fitness gurus, or as I call them fitness mutants (hello Melissa), to whom I will leave the job of recruitment. I am just speaking for myself. And the couple of dozen readers of this column, I am desperate to commit to fitness laws that will assimilate into my lifestyle just as I have signed my food laws into my DNA. And I need to enact my willingness to follow them with such deep conviction and affection that they, too, will remain my life-laws until I myself become compost again.

Another local fitness guru recently reminded me of what he calls “Personal Fitness Laws.” Adopting and following them is crucial to optimal fitness and wellbeing. The first law is The Law of Possession. This one is about the fact that your fitness journey, and where you take it, is 100 percent up to you.

He says, “It’s not up to your trainer or coach (we’re your guides, your educated experts, your cheerleaders, but we can’t do your work – you do). It’s not up to your workout buddies (they’re fun, they’re rooting for you, they’ll challenge and support you, but they can’t do your work – you do). It’s up to you.”

So we are to ask ourselves: Am I ready to take responsibility, full responsibility, for my own wellbeing? If yes, know that this means there are no excuses – zip, zero, nada. Stick to the changes 9.9 times out of 10; occasional one-day breaks are acceptable.

Share with your work and with your family what adopting regular exercise means to you, and make and ask for commitments.

We’ve all heard, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” I can think of every way in my life where this Law of Possession holds true: food intake, fitness goals, acceptance and forgiveness. My goal is to make the Law of Possession hit the tipping point for me this year.  I know if I succeed, my life will get a whole lot better.