Be Proactive: It’s Your Health and Your Life

Prior to my New Year’s Day workout at Gold’s Gym Venice, California, I ate at a restaurant that I frequent. (In fact, I started eating there in 1994. So, this new year of 2014 marks our 20th anniversary as restaurant and customer!)My pre-workout meal consisted of trout, scrambled egg whites, steamed spinach, one slice of rye toast, ice tea, and water. That is a special order that you won’t find on the menu. I enjoy designing my own meals at the places I frequent.During my otherwise pleasant meal and after I was warmly greeted by owner and staff, a woman sat next to me at the counter and began to ask question after question about what I was eating, and then about what else do I eat, where else do
I eat, and more. Tedious, considering that she was not a client or a friend – she was, in fact, a complete stranger, and, moreover, it was a holiday.
When she was asking me all the questions, I answered them to an extent, but I also suggested that she read my eBook. After asking “What’s an eBook?” (turns out she has an iPad), she asked “Does it cost anything”? Yes, $6 or $7. Oh, no, she couldn’t pay anything. (However, her meal cost over $20.) She let me know that she doesn’t pay for trainers, either, and she doesn’t have a trainer even though she said she needs one. (I’ve spent thousands on trainers over the years. Money well spent. And thousands more for my certifications. And have read thousands of pages. And still learning.)She announced that she is 71 and then described to me a wide array of her own various health issues.Finally, she decided to attribute my own state of health and fitness to the fact that I am single. In her words, if you are in a “long term, loving, and nurturing relationship” (again, her words), you cannot be healthy and fit because you cannot focus on your own health. You would have to be unattached.Wow. I leave that part to Dr. Phil. (But I admit the name “Jack LaLanne” did pop into my head later, by way of counterexample, as my mind re-played the restaurant encounter. He was married for 50 years up to the day of his passing.)

On the more straightforward subject of time allocation, here is some insight I didn’t get to impart to her: I average about 4 hours of exercise per week. Lately, it’s been less than 4 hours per week. The most I’ve ever exercised is 5 to 6 hours per week. However, I exercise with intensity. My exercise is also coupled with a consistently healthy diet.

My parting words to my uninvited meal companion were “Be proactive about your health.” She pointed to her meal and said “I’m trying to”. She had ordered my special order meal, as in “I’ll have what he’s having”. I headed over to Gold’s and worked out.

Be proactive about your health. In my opinion, the goal of wellness is to achieve an acceptable state of health through lifestyle, without the need for long-term medication for conditions that are preventable, manageable, or even reversible by a healthy and fit lifestyle. If you are in your 40s, 50s, or even early 60s, get the jump on it now. If you’re older, it’s still do-able.

I know of someone a few years older than yours truly who was height-weight proportionate for all of his adult life — until after he retired (at younger than 50) from his job of many years, a job which had required annual physical ability tests. He gained about 80 post-retirement pounds during his 50s. His health profile has greatly changed — in the wrong direction –as a result of the weight gain.

A reminder of some of the factors that can be prevented, improved, and/or managed by a healthy and fit lifestyle (by being proactive about your health): type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and risk of heart attack or stroke, blood pressure, joint problems (from being overweight), mobility problems, mood, some cancers, hormonal problems, energy levels, metabolic syndrome.

Consult your physician, dietician, and exercise professional for guidance in designing your own nutrition and exercise program. (Scroll down for a couple of images. Happy New Year!)

Quotes to Consider:

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear — Buddha

America’s health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention –Tom Harkin

More on health, exercise, wellness, nutrition in my eBook, “Age Re-Defined”; Watch a free video, download some free content, and/or purchase the entire eBook:


Robert is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, and a Certified Wellness Coach in Los Angeles. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University, is an attorney, and is also an experienced flight instructor and jet-rated pilot. Robert is 57, and the author of “AGE RE-DEFINED: Take Control of Your Health, How You Feel, And How You Look – Even In Your Forties & Fifties”, an eBook available from major eBook retailers (with Nutrition Contributor Deborah Klein, MS, RD).

Minutes after finishing a vigorous beach workout, age 57.


Santa Monica Beach, age 56