You’re Taking It Too Far, Dad!

     “You’re taking it too far, Dad!”, my 16-year-old son told me, when I told my sons to use the MyFitnessPal app to track their exercise and food intake.  I was working with them on their training programs and wanted better information to adjust their training routines.

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Kenneth, Caleb and me on the day we promoted Caleb to Red Rank.

     I think he feared my personal emphasis on health and fitness over the last year was going to detrimentally affect his ability to enjoy a cheeseburger from time to time.  However, I’ve always tried to keep my personal journey from affecting their lifestyle.

     Since they were little kids, I’ve tried to emphasize exercise and healthy eating for Caity, Kenneth and Caleb.  I didn’t try to put them on my personal fitness plan, which is not for most people.  For years, I worked out 8 to 10 times a week with three to four days being two-a-day workouts.

     A couple of years ago, my arthritis got so bad, I was forced to cut down to one workout a day.  I began to think my martial arts instruction days were winding down.  I didn’t realize at first my diet may be affecting my arthritis.  I thought Father Time was finally catching up with me.

     However, after watching Hungry for Change (2012) in September 2015, I stopped consuming diet soda and any other food with aspartame.  Within a week, my arthritis was manageable again.  By December, I embarked on the hardest weight training program in my life.  I was able to work out twice a day in January and February 2016.

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Kenneth and Caleb Promoted to 2nd Black Rank and 1st Black Rank respectively.

     I am not a chemist, so I cannot perform a scientific study on the effects of certain foods and chemicals.  I can only tell you their effects on my body.  I encourage you to use tools such as MyFitnessPal and my new toy, Garmin Vivofit 2, to measure your diet and fitness outcomes.  For some reason, my son asked me, “Why are you going so crazy about this?”, when he saw my Vivofit 2.

     What he doesn’t understand is that you are indestructible at his age.  You can eat what you want, do a little exercise and no one knows you’re a junk food junkie.  When you are in your 30s, we know you are a junk food junkie.  When you are in your 40s, your heart specialist knows you are a junk food junkie.

     I’m pushing 50, so diet and exercise are critical to my goal of looking out on the dojang floor and seeing three generations of my family training together.  I have to take it that far.

     The proof is in the pudding.  I spent 8 hours this Saturday at a friend’s house picking up limbs and throwing them in the wood chipper.  Despite bending over and throwing heavy limbs in the wood chipper all day, I only have a little hamstring and back soreness but not enough to keep me from working out later.

     My only warning is not to force your health choices on other members of your family.  My wife and kids are on their own health journey.  I am on mine.  You can’t force enthusiasm on anyone.  If you are interested in your own health journey, I hope you found this article inspiring.

     You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.

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