Staying Healthy Without Becoming A Fanatic

27 May

Jack LaLanne, Jimmy Dodd on The Mickey Mouse Club.  He was a frail chronically sick kid who eventually opened the world’s first private gym.  Experts said that using a gym would lead to heart disease, muscle damage and women would turn into men by overdeveloping muscles, growing mustaches, and never being able to have kids.  He invented gym equipment.  He inspired people to get healthy.

When he was 42 he set the world record for pushups.  It took him 23 minutes.  To do 1,033. 

Oh.  He also towed a 1000 pound boat across San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz to the Fisherman’s Wharf.  He was handcuffed and shackled.  And 60 years old. 

For his 70th year, he stepped it up a notch. He kept the handcuffs and the shackles.  He added strong winds and currents but still towed 70 boats with 70 people for 1 1/2 miles.

Clearly, he was not a slacker. 

He was also not a fanatic.  He did not believe in 100% excellence.  He believed that doing the right thing 90% of the time (whether food or exercise) meant you could stray 10% of the time without ruining the 90%.

One of his favorite sayings was “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen; put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”

I’ve been thinking about him often over the past 2 months as I try to transition from 100% effort 100% of the time.  Recovery from undereating and overexercising is not easy.  Combine that with my desire to be in control, my passion for healthy living, and an enormous stress load and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I  may never tow 70 people on 70 boats.  Correction: I will never tow 70 people on 70 boats. But I can and will return to a healthy mindset towards exercise and nutrition that is doable, stress-free and empowering. One day I will look back at these challenges and see them as mere speed bumps.

And then I will stop and do 1,034 pushups.

Just kidding.

I am a recovering-fanatic. Aiming for 90%.  Or 85%…


One Response to “Staying Healthy Without Becoming A Fanatic”

  1. Susanna May 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Good for you Liz! Cheering you on.

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