Monday, March 18, 2013

A Fork In The Road. Which Way Do You Go?

Life is full of choices.  They start every morning when our alarm clock goes off.  We decide to either get up or hit the snooze button.  That is a simple choice.  Some choices are more difficult than others.  The difficult choices are the decisions that change your path in life.  I see this every month when a new group of people come into the gym and make the choice to go through the On Ramp program.  These people have taken a massive step forward to help change their life and the decision will reward them with health, well being, and a  supportive community.  Recently I made a tough decision in regards to my fitness and my pursuits.  I have been at CrossFit since November 2008.  I went through On Ramp in November 2008 and after 3 months of CrossFit I moved out of the area and no longer did CrossFit until April 2009. In April 2009 I went through my level 1 certification and in August 2009 became a Coach.  I have been coaching and doing CrossFit since then and have truly enjoyed it.  Along the way I have learned a lot from others in our community.  My decision to walk into my first CrossFit gym and sign up for On Ramp gave me the world I live in now and all the people I have had the pleasure of coaching, working, and WODing with each day.

Recently I approached a "fork in the road" in my CrossFit journey.  I needed to decide whether or not I continue to train the CrossFit WOD's and strength cycles or do I put the focus into training the Olympic lifts.  Through CrossFit I was able to reignite a relationship I had many years ago with Olympic Weightlifting.  When I was in middle school and high school I was bullied every day and many times multiple times a day.  I had my head shut in lockers, teeth chipped, embarrassed, kicked, knocked on the floor, laughed name it.  During my freshman year of high school my gym teacher and football coach saw this and knew that my little 93 lb self was not going to handle much more but I could not do anything about it.  He took me under his wing and put me in the weight room.  He taught me everything about lifting and personal development.  He taught me patience and forgiveness and to never surrender to the odds.  He gave me life lessons through a barbell.  He gave me Olympic Weightlifting.  He was a USAW certified coach and because of that we learned to clean and power clean, and some days dabble in the snatch/power snatch.  It quickly became something that came very natural to me.  I ended up being part of a 2 person group that he took to different high schools in the area to help teach other coaches the skills and the techniques.  I still remember one night when I was a junior and weighing about 119 lbs we were at a seminar and he put 205 on the bar and told me to clean it.  I had never done it before but I believed in him and didn't want to let him down so I stepped up to the bar and cleaned it.  It felt great and I loved the feeling that I could use technique and physics to move an object like that even though I was so small.  When I got to college there was no place to train like this and I feel out of touch with Olympic Weightlifting.  Many years later I found CrossFit and through it started the Olympic lifts again.  I realized that this is direction I needed to take.  While attending the Texas Outlaw Olympic Weightlifting seminar I  realized this is what I wanted to do and what I wanted to spend my time training.  I came home from that seminar with a goal and purpose.  I knew that I had to make a tough decision.  Do I continue to do CrossFit and use the Olympic lifts to supplement that or do I focus solely on the Olympic lifts?  After some great debates I came to the decision that in order to pursue what I knew was best for me and in order to do that I would need to reduce my CrossFit.  I knew this would wreck havoc on my abilities with the Open and that this would make the CrossFit Open WOD's tough for me.

Unfortunately I believe my decision to choose Olympic Weightlifting as my focus of training has disappointed some people.  I think that people were looking forward to seeing me create some spectacle of the WOD's and to make earth shattering scores.  I was lucky on the first WOD that there were snatches.  Since I have been snatching, cleaning, jerking, and squatting 5 days a week for the last couple of months this was an ideal WOD.  Lot's of snatches, long time domain, and very little actual traditional CrossFit demands.  I hung in there but I felt awful after the WOD.  I was not in CrossFit shape but my snatches were technically good throughout the WOD.  13.2 happened and I struggled with it...big time.  I had a very low score.  I tried my best throughout the WOD, the weights were light, box jumps were explosive but there was no CrossFit engine.  I think that my score disappointed some people and I apologize that this is the case.  In reality I am doing my best at CrossFit and since my training goals are different my capacities are different.  It disappointed me to know that people were looking at me for some magically high score when they were surrounded by their teammates and gym mates who were crushing the WOD and posting awesome scores.  I will continue to try the WOD's each week and participate as a part of the gym but I hope that people can focus more of their time and energy on their fellow teammates and gym members who have been training for this for a long time.  There are so many awesome athletes in the gym and they deserve to have the focus of each one of us.  Remember I have made a decision to change my training focus and I still respect and highly admire each person doing CrossFit.  At some point in the future I will be doing CrossFit again but that time is not right now.  My focus is to be the best Olympic weightlifter that I can be just as each of you have made the decision to be the best CrossFit athlete that you can be.  Respect in each other's decision and support each other in our pursuits.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Trust and Faith

Trust and faith...simple enough right?  What do they mean to you?  Could you list people you trust or people you place faith in?  Think about it and once you have those people think about some of their other qualities as well. 

Trust and faith are a unique gift that we can offer to others.  Trust and faith can be a process of conscious thought, a feeling we have towards others, or a belief that we have.  Sometimes the one you trust and have faith in the most is a higher power. To me that is our Lord.  To each of us it is this can be something different.  Where do you put your faith and trust?  When it is tested what do you do?

For a long time I thought that I had to force trust and faith.  That I had to spend time and effort making things happen my way.  This caused a great deal of stress and anxiety for me.  Things would not go how I wanted them to, they did not happen when I wanted them to, etc.  I would get so angry and frustrated and it became a vicious cycle.  One day I spoke to my Dad about it.  He being a very spiritual man told me to "relax.  You cannot force faith.  You must trust that the Lord has a plan for you and that he will show you when it is the right time."  This was hard for me to grasp.  I have spent many nights awake trying to figure out how to make things happen and again ending up frustrated.  Monday while driving with Kara home from Indiana I said to her "You know what?  I am just going to let things happen.  I will continue to work hard, be a good person, and place my trust and faith in our Lord.  He will show me the way and when the time is right he will show me the path". 

I believe our  Lord makes us face trials and tribulations.  I believe that without these tough times and moments of sacrifice the gifts that he affords us cannot truly be appreciated.  A real life example:  We have all know the rich kid whose parents give him/her everything they want or need.  They go through people, possessions, and money as if they are completely disposable.  They get a job that their Daddy set up for them and start making money they don't truly deserve because they have not worked an honest minute in their life.  They get their paycheck and don't think anything of it and live a life that lacks a sense of reality and are less for it.  They never faced trails or tribulations.  They never had to make the tough decision.  Do I buy food or pay my electric bill.  I know I have been there and to this day every cent that I earn and every minute I work I am thankful.  These sacrifices define my existence and was the method the Lord used to show me to be thankful and gracious. 

I have finally learned to place my trust and faith in the Lord.  I have surrendered my anxiety and forceful ways to patience, understanding, and acceptance.  I accept the trials and tribulations and know that the suffering will end, the hardships were well fought, and that our Lord and Saviour has shown me a path.  His love and benevolence are greater than the universe is wide.  Without faith and trust in the Lord we do not truly allow our soul to show it's true power and beauty.

"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit." 

-Emmanuel Teney

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Year of Kara and Patrick

Today is the first day of 2013 and it started off as good as anyone could hope.  I woke up next to my wife and to the sound of my hound dog Mable on the floor snoring.  Once I was more conscience I started into my usual overactive stream of thoughts and worries.  My phone suddenly started to make all kinds of noise.  I picked it up and I had a list of reminders/updates from various apps including a series of updates from a post that I had made on a certain social network.  My post was short and simple..."Screw you 2012.  Worst year ever".  There were some replies that agreed and some that were funny and some that were questioning why.  The reason for the statement is the same reason that formed the basis for the discussion that Kara and I had.  We were tired of 2012 and all the suffering and grief that it brought to us and our families.  Don't get me wrong there were a lot of great moments for a lot of people and there were even great things that Kara and I experienced but in general we were done with 2012.  This is the first time that I can ever remember hoping for a year to end and for a a rebirth of hope. 

Last night Kara had a great idea to start a tradition for our family.  I listened to her idea, misinterpreted it at first, but then joined in.  Her idea was that each New Years Eve, starting with last night and moving forward, we would make a list of all the things we can remember good, bad, and indifferent that pertained to our lives, our family, or our loved ones.  After about an hour of thinking and writing Kara said to me "Was there anything good that happened to us this year, everything was bad".  Now this statement comes from one of the happiest, sweetest,  positive thinking people in this world.  She is an optimist to the core where I am a realist.  She looks at the good and positivity in every situation where I look at things in black and white.  Her influence always gives meaning to the black and white that I see.  Now knowing this you can see why it was so hard for me to hear a statement like that from her.  We sat together and thought of each month and the moments we can remember and I can honestly say that other than a random positive moment here or there that there was almost no positive memories until the last 3 months of the year.  Can you imagine for a moment that you and your significant other would have to spend that better 3/4's of an entire year dealing with the hardest, meanest, and saddest things you can imagine?  Well Kara and I lived it.  We had things taken from us that no one can ever replace.  We spent weeks apart, nights of struggle that no amount of consoling could help, and moments of anger at people or things that had no resolution.  I will not share the list in great detail but just think about a few things for a moment.  Imagine 5 to 6 of your great fears or things you would never want to lose.  I will give you a moment.  Okay got them?  Okay now imagine all of them happening at the same time, watching them unfold in front of you, and not being able to do anything about them.  Now imagine all of those things plus thousands of other smaller things, plus the stress of everyday existence, and anything else you can imagine and have those all occur at the same time. 

Now imagine this.  Through all of this you are still a happy person, your love for your significant other is stronger than ever, and you know have a crystal clear vision of what you want.  You are tired of the world taking from you and now it is your turn to take from it.  This is what Kara and I decided.  We are tired.  We are tired of everything.  Every moment of our lives we spend giving effort, energy, and love to others.  Kara and I can say that we don't feel the world reciprocates this to us.  We have reached a limit and we sprinted past it!  We decided that this is our year.  This is the year of Kara and Patrick...kind of sounds like "It's the season of George!".  You may be asking yourself what does this mean.  Do you want to know?  Really?  Well here is what it means.

It means that if Kara wants to do it then we are doing it!  If I want to do it we are doing it!  We are going to go places, see things, have adventures, see our loved ones, spend time with them, and enjoy them for being themselves and love every minute of it.  We will not feel guilty for doing it or for being selfish.  I know I just don't care right now what other people think about it because it is our year.  We sacrificed more that anyone can ever imagine in 2012 and we are tapped out.  We are moving on and are refilling our souls.  I love you Kara and hope that we find what we need this year to bring balance to the sadness and frustration of 2012. 

Last thing I wanted to do as a new year begins is to put down a few thoughts towards some influential people in my life.  I did not get a chance to tell these very special people a few simple things before they left my life. 

Granddaddy thank you for giving my mom a chance at a life greater than she could have ever imagine.  Thank you for bring her into your family's life and giving her a chance.  Thank you for always being at all of our important family events, for taking an interest in what I did as a child and as an adult.  Thank you for the childhood of memories at the beach and Christmas.  I wish Kara could have met you.  I am sorry that I could not get her to see you and I will always regret this. 

Dennis thank you for creating such an amazing woman.  Kara is truly the greatest person I have ever met and I am fortunate to be married to her.  Thank you for loving me and showing me it is okay to hug and that hugging is a much better way to say hello than a handshake.  Thank you for showing me how to change brakes on the car and for letting me drive your beloved MG.  Thank you for taking your time and effort to help me build my dream, for standing by me when that dream fell apart and for being a man and a father that I hope to be one day.  I am sorry that I could not help you more in your time of need as you had done for Kara and I.  I regret not being able to help you when you needed it most.  I just didn't know what to do.  Thank you for loving me, for believing in me, and for letting me marry your daughter.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nutritional Balance Beam...

Tonight I weighed myself for the first time in a long time.  I have always hovered right around 153lbs but tonight the scaled read 159lbs.  I thought the scale must be wrong so I weighed myself again and again it read 159lbs.  I kind of freaked out and started to look for reasons why I have had this weight gain over the past 3 months.  Many reasons came to mind and some have to do with my nutrition.  Let's look at a few.

The first reason for the weight gain could be due to increase in muscle mass.  Some of my lifts have increased significantly in the past 3months.  I put 20lbs on my snatch, 15lbs on my clean and jerk, and 10lbs on my squat.  These increases came from increase muscle mass so that could be the reason.  I like this line of thinking.  I am getting stronger so in turn I gain weight.  There has to be more to it than that. 

Then I began to look into my nutrition.  Chicago as a whole creates many nutritional traps.  There is so many great places to eat and they all serve massive portions.  Now I have not been going crazy eating out all the time but I can honestly say that I haven't always made the best decisions while eating out.  I have consumed unfavorable carbs and fats and I am not proud of this.  I  have also consumed more beer than I did all of last year.  Now I am not saying that I am drinking all day everyday all I am saying is that there has been an increase in alcohol consumption.  So the combination of poor dietary choices and alcohol could be a huge contribution to the weight gain.  This is a good possibility but one cheat meal and 1 or 2 beers on a weekend can't add 6 lbs.  There must be more.

How about we look into my block counts and what I consume at each meal and snack.  I eat strict zone and paleo foods...ONLY those foods.  My zone block count for each meal currently is 5-5-15 and for snacks it is 2-2-6.  Now some of you know what this means and some of you may not.  I will give a brief explanation.  If you want more info refer the book "The Zone Diet" by Dr. Barry Sears.  This basically means that on any given day I consume a total of 19 blocks of protein, 19blocks of carbs, and 57 blocks of fat.  At each meal I consume 5 ounces of a protein source, a combination of low glycemic high fiber carbs, and lots of healthy omega 3 fatty acids and fats.  A typical dinner will be 5 ounces of chicken, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of cauliflower, 3 cups of spinach and a combination of zucchini, tomatoes, and onions sauteed in olive oil.  I then will also consume 1 whole avocado.  This fulfills my 5-5-15 requirements.  I have decided that I need to reassess my dietary needs.  Let's go through the process!

I need to calculate my body fat percentage.  First I measured my waist at my belly button and got 32 inches.  Next I measured my wrist...6 1/2 inches.  I now need to subtract the wrist from my waist and the result is...25.5 inches.  Using a chart I found out that my body fat percentage is 11.5%.  Now I need to calculate my lean body mass.  Multiply my weight by my body fat percentage.  159 x .115= 18.25 which is the total weight of the fat in my body.  Now I need to subtract my weight from my body fat mass.  159-18.25= 140.75.  This is my lean body mass.  Now I need to figure out my protein requirements.  Okay I need to determine my physical activity factor.  According to the chart I am active (1 hr per day 5 days per week) which equals a factor of 0.8.  To get my daily protein requirement I multiply my lean body mass times my activity factor.  140.75 x 0.8= 112.6.  I need to consume 112.6grams (113) of protein a day.  Now each block of proteins equals 7 grams.  I need to figure out my block consumption for the day.  113/7= 16 blocks per day.  I have been over shooting my nutrition by 3 blocks per day.  Looks like I need to adjust my intake.  I will need to go down to 4-4-12 per meal and 2-2-6 per snack.  Okay so here is the goal starting tomorrow reduce the blocks to the right portions and see where I go from there.

There is a lot of science behind the zone but in my opinion there is some wiggle room.  I three times my fats because that is what I have found to be the right amount of fats to consume in order to fuel my body.  Any less than that per day and I suffer massive headaches.  I will eat the 16 blocks of protein and carbs and see how I feel.  I know that I will feel great and I need to get back to this point.  I knew my nutrition was off but I wasn't sure how much.  A solution has been determined and away I go.

Let me give you a small fact list about what The Zone Diet and Crossfit has done for me.  First of all it got me to lose 35lbs, reduce my cholesterol from 204 to 130, decreased my blood pressure from slightly above normal to 112/72, cleared up my skin, reduced aches and pains in my body, decreased my body fat from 26% to 11.5%.  Crossfit has done more for me than I can explain in words.  Lets just look at some numbers.  My first Fran time was a 11:30 mins and now it is 2:39mins.  My deadlift went from 295lbs to 405lbs, squat from 300lbs to 365lbs, snatch from 155lbs to 205lbs, clean from 225lbs to 260lbs, and front squat from 250lbs to 300lbs.  You want to know what else this was all in less than a year.  I started Crossfit at CF Durham July 20th 2009.  It is now June 24th 2010.  11 months!!!

See what determination, sacrifice, proper nutrition, and an undying desire to succeed has achieved.  I wish that everyone could experience what I feel right now.  I am very happy and excited and know that the only way for things to go is up.  So I gained 9 lbs...I can fix that, hit the workouts harder and more often and adjust my nutrition.  A great inspiration to me is my friend Melinda.  With proper nutrition, Crossfit, and yoga she lost 100lbs and she is still going.  I love her story and love to see her accomplishments.  She is one of my inspirations for never giving up and always looking on the bright side of life. 

If you have any questions or need advice on nutrition let me know I will do my best to help you or send you links and resources that can help.

"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
- General George S. Patton

Monday, June 21, 2010

Trust the programming...

It has been a while since my last post and there are many reasons for this.  There has been a lot going on recently and I have been extremely exhausted.  Today was the fourth day in a row of rest.  I have been hitting the Olympic lifting classes really hard but haven't really done a metcon since last Wednesday.  I feel really guilty about this but at the same time I think that my body may need this extended rest.  During the past four days I have had a lot of time to think about my training and where I feel I am in Crossfit.  I am working hard, studying the journal, and pushing my limits during the Oly class but something does not feel right.  I am still motivated as ever but something is missing.  I am not sure what it is and I am having a hard time figuring it out. 

I looked back over the past couple of months of training and narrowed it down to the week that was the most motivating.  I loved how I felt before and after each WOD.  It was the week of the affiliate team tryouts.  It was so exciting, so difficult, and a great test.  I loved the wods.  They were incredibly difficult and required not only strength but skill as well.  I miss those wods.  I really love tough programming and WOD's that leave you feeling  like you can't take another step.  I decided that I need to get back into more regular Crossfit WOD's.  I still plan on doing the Oly class but may double WOD on those days.  I want to feel the pain, suffer with my friends, and compete.

I think that what one person finds to be difficult programming to another may not be.  It must be extremely difficult to prorgam for everyone in a box.  There is so many different levels of ability and experience.  At what point does a coach decided to increase the difficulty of the programming for certain memebers of their box?  I think this a very difficult question or situation to tackle.  I don't think there is ever a right time but I do think that coaches should program to the ability of the most experienced or best Crossfitters in their box.  This gives the newer members or less skilled members something to shoot for.  I also think that it is probably frustrating to the less skilled or newer members to always see the fire breathers finishing so quickly or finishing and be looking for more.   What if those fire breathers were on the floor right next to the newbies.  Struggling for air, suffering in pain, and just exhausted.  I personally think that is how it should be.  This builds unity and community but most of all it builds a better Crossfitter. 

Give me crazy heavy strength cycles and massive WOD's and I will eat it up.  I want to be destroyed by the WOD's and I want to be strong.  Most of all I want to be the best Crossfitter that I can be.  I am not sure how to do this but I do know that I have to hit WOD's on a daily basis and get after it during the strength segments.  Most of all being the best Crossfitter possible means being competitive.  Being competitive with people in my own box as well as with potential competition during the games.  I need to increase my work compacity and to train my body to recovery effectively and quickly.  This comes with proper training, strength cycles, nutrition, and discipline. 

My goal for the next couple of months is to keep my chin up.  Always look and train in the positive direction and have faith in my coaches and programming.  I am placing my faith in the hands of people I respect a lot.  They will help me achieve my goals and ready me for the next competition...I just have to be patient. 

"We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy”
-Walter Anderson

Monday, June 14, 2010


This past weekend I attended the wedding of one of my best friends.  The wedding took place in Columbus, Ohio and the Wife and I decided to drive down to it.  I have never actually visited Columbus, Oh but have driven through it a number of times.  It was a nice little city with a nice arena district and a great collection of little bars and restaurants.  I can't imagine how crazy it must be when all the OSU students are there especially during football season.  The wedding was great!  Lots of family and friends all coming together for a common cause...celebrating the union of two wonderful people. 

There was a very special moment during the reception.  Instead of throwing the bouquet the bride decided to give it away in a different manner.  She had all the married couples stand up and move onto the dance floor.  At that time the DJ started to play a slow song and as the song progressed he would ask people to leave the dance floor based upon the length of their marriages.  "If you have been married 5 years or less you can leave the floor now", etc.  He worked his way through everyone except one couple.  This couple had been married for 54 years and they were my best friends Grandparents.  They played a very special song for them and they got their own personal dance.  The bride handed my friend's Grandma the bouquet and the room erupted with cheers.  People throughout the room had tears of joy streaming down their faces.  At that moment I thought to myself how amazing it must be to have a love that has lasted that long.  One decision these two wonderful people made many years ago led to everyone celebrating that night.  Trust, faith, and love brought these two people together and has kept them together for more than half a century.  They were was amazing!

So how does this relate to my usual Crossfit stuff?  In every way possible.  Longevity is very important in an athletes career.  Without longevity success is only short lived, training is not effective, and the health and fitness benefits are not obtained.  Why would anyone want to put so much time and effort into something and not stick with it?  We have all seen it within our boxes.  There is the person that starts in the foundations/on ramp course, makes it all the way through and then never comes again.  There is also the person that comes for a couple of months makes huge gains and improvements but then just stops coming.  I get so frustrated with these people.  I want these people to be successful and to stay with it but they just won't.  I think that maybe they get in over their heads, find it too difficult, or other things in their lives interfere. 

The simplest solution to all of these problems is to take a step back and re-examine their pursuits in Crossfit.  Maybe they don't fully understand the movements, are using too much weight during the WOD's, or in need of more coaching and support.  Whatever it is we need to give it to them.  Now we cannot make Crossfit easy...that would be a sin.  What we can do is help teach these individuals that they can conquer the hardest of Crossfit challenges... it just takes time and hard work.  Maybe this will carry over into their everyday lives.  Maybe they will improve their work output at their places of business or will work through tough times with their significant others instead of running away and giving up.  Whatever it is the lessons in Crossfit longevity can carry over to longevity in their everyday lives.

We need to train consistently and with purpose and direction.  We need to work to make consistent gains and improvements and to never be satisfied with where we are in Crossfit.  To increase our longevity in this sport means that we need to train smart, maximize recovery, and perfect our nutrition.  We need to realize that even though there may be sprints in our WOD's that our career in Crossfit is more of a marathon.  What I mean is that it takes time for us to reach our maximum potential.  We cannot just walk into the games and win them.  It takes many years of refining your skills, building strength, and working tirelessly.  I have to remind myself this on a daily basis.  I need to contribute more time to becoming a better Crossfitter and refining my skills.  We are a product of what we contribute to fires that forge our being.  If we work hard and contribute all of our effort into our training we will become the athlete we only dream of.

"The way to learn to do things is to do things. The way to learn a trade is to work at it. Success teaches how to succeed. Begin with the determination to succeed, and the work is half done already.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Everyday during my lunch break I spend at least 15 minutes reading current news and affairs on BBC.  I really enjoy the BBC news service it gives a totally different point of view than the usual American news channels.  I am not knocking the American news channels in any way all I am saying is it is nice to see how others in this world report the news.  So during my lunch today I stumbled upon a news story that made me laugh at first and then it made me extremely angry.  The title of it was "Is that woman fat of pregnant?" 

WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  We need a news report about how to determine if someone is just obese or pregnant.  This is out of control.  I started to read the article because I needed to understand why this is important.  The basis of the article was about public transportation and how people are less likely to get up these days for women because they are not sure if they are pregnant or obese.  Fellow commuters are too polite to ask these people if they would like their seat because they do not want to offend an obese women by asking her if she is pregnant.  Oh the article gets better.  They then interviewed pregnant mothers and asked them how people, especially men, could tell the difference between the two.  They listed out seven items to look for that included huffing and puffing, belly or back rubbing, look at swollen feet, what she is reading, inflated ankles, waddling walk, and a well defined solid bump in their abdomen.  Okay so I get it these are all signs of a pregnant women.  But come on this really that big of a problem.

Now ladies I am not singling your sex out I am just floored by this article.  I have seen plenty of men that look pregnant but based on their lack of proper equipment it just isn't possible.

So I finished the article and I was fired up.  I can't believe that there are so many obese people in this world that we need a guide to help us differentiate between pregnant and non-pregnant women.  I got an idea... get your lazy ass up off the couch, put down your fried khaki colored foods, and do some exercise.  Maybe we need to ask these people if they are pregnant.  Maybe they will get the point that they look like a pregnant person and they should loose weight and become a healthier person.  I know we are supposed to be confident in our skin but come on there needs to be a limit.  I know that I am far from perfect but at least I eat right and exercise.  We need to stop encouraging this type of behavior.  The behavior of encouraging obesity in our communities.  This is driving me crazy.  This needs to change.

Please let me know if I am crazy and if my expectations are too high.  I don't think so.  I don't expect everyone to walk into their local box and crush a 2 minute "Fran" but I do expect them to make little changes like going for a walk or eating a few colorful fruits and vegetables.  I wish I could go to people's houses and give them the tools to help themselves.  Maybe some day.

Obesity is an epidemic and is slowing killing many members of our communities.  We need to find a way to change the course of the American diet and to help eliminate problem foods.  I hope that this motivates you to help a friend or family member become a better person. 

To all the pregnant women out there.  I think that you are beautiful.  You have been given an amazing gift.  You can create, nurture, and bring a new life into this world.  That is something that I find to be one of the most amazing gifts that any person can have.  I am even more in awe when I see you pregnant ladies crushing Crossfit WOD's and doing pull ups or push ups.  You staying fit during pregnancy sets the precedent for the rest of your life and your baby's life.  Remember that special gift when you are making nutritional and fitness choices for them as they grow.  You are building the path for the rest of their lives. 

"Epidemics have often been more influential than statesmen and soldiers in shaping the course of political history, and diseases may also color the moods of civilizations”