Tip #2: How do you deal with scepticism from family, friends, and colleagues?

The obesity levels for the senior population in the U.S. is now over 40 percent. If you are a former high school/college/post-college athlete who has been on the couch for the past 20-30+ years, this series of twice-monthly posts will show you how to resume an active lifestyle.

Fortunately, numerous studies have confirmed that it is never too late to resume an active lifestyle. I will show you how to reduce your fitness age, a more reliable indicator of longevity than your BMI, by 20+ years over the next 12-24 months. You will definitely be healthier, happier, and an inspiration for your family, friends, and colleagues. What’s better than that?

How do you deal with skepticism from your family/friends?

Ideally, you’d like the support of family and friends during your transition to an active lifestyle. But, it is more likely that you will face their skepticism as your example challenges their unhealthy habits. The most important thing to keep in mind is that while we can’t defy the grim reaper, we can certainly stack the deck in our favor. You control the risk, so aim to choose more healthful options at least 80-90 percent of the time. And, the perfect response to the taunt that you will be the “healthiest corpse in the graveyard” is “I’ll be the last one to arrive.”

What have I learned?

I have not experienced any scepticism from my family/friends. What I have experienced is total apathy. After 20 years of living an athlete’s lifestyle, and reaping all of the health benefits, not a single one of my family members or friends has asked for my advice on how to change their lifestyle choices. There have been moments of curiosity about my dietary restrictions, particularly about being gluten-intolerant, when meeting new people. But, overall, as soon as I mention that I’m a competitive cyclist, I’m dismissed as some sort of a freak. In a way, that’s what I am. There are perhaps a couple hundred individuals worldwide at my age who are active competitive time trial specialists.

Am I fine with this? Not really. The level of denial and self-delusion exhibited by my family/friends as they grow more obese and sickly is disheartening. But, I will continue to live an athlete’s lifestyle as long as I’m physically able. My ultimate goal is to win a national masters cycling championship at age 100.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about living an active lifestyle or about your cycling goals, training, racing, or gear, I’d like to hear about it. I may address it in a future post. Just drop me a note.

Tip #3 Preview: Should I reward myself for exercising?