Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Fight the Creeping Bulge

Winter is hard on me. During the spring, summer, and fall, I'm a regular exerciser. Benedict and I can be seen on our 4 mile circuit almost every day. When winter sets in, we're infrequent, if ever. I don't want to go out in the cold or the snow or on the salty road. Benedict, I'm sure, doesn't appreciate the cold wind on his face. It's usually during the middle of winter that I notice the creeping bulge.

If I'm not careful (and I haven't been this year), my weight will start to catch me from behind. All of my hard work is slowly but surely erased. By the time spring comes around, I've got a good deal of ground to cover to get back to where I was at the end of fall. The creeping bulge is very telling. Health is either improving or declining; it's rarely in neutral.

Getting healthy requires a lot of hard work. It requires us to tell ourselves "no" often. It's not just that exercise can be uncomfortable. Regular exercise is often impeded by weather, the time that it requires, or even travel. How many times have you taken your workout gear on the road with you and never made it to the hotel gym? On top of all of that, health is a two-part equation. Not only do you need to increase your exercise, you have to limit your intake. That means resisting some of the most delicious treats cuisine has to offer. It can also make parties and visiting family difficult.

Once you've put in the effort and done the work, the next challenge is to not let it go to waste. As with the creeping bulge of winter, it can be easy in any time or season to slip. This is where we need to examine our approach. Are we following a fad diet or making lifestyle changes? Improving health should never be seen as a short term objective. A long term attitude, approach, and plan will always outperform any short term gains.

We will all face the creep at one time or another. The best way to beat it is to stop it in its tracks. An early warning system, like a scheduled weekly weigh-in, can be the best tool for detecting impending danger. Patterns will emerge and let you know it's time for corrective action. Action is the second piece to the puzzle. Seeing the warnings and responding appropriately will help you reverse any negative trend. Those actions might be increased discipline in working out or perhaps better menu planning and grocery shopping.

We're all in this fight. Our health is our greatest asset and once it's gone, it's gone. Have the courage to fight the creeping bulge.