Aug 15, 2011

DON'T GET FIT, LIVE FIT: A family affair

There are a lot of people that treat weight loss and fitness as if it was a destination. Obviously I am not discounting the importance of a goal weight or trying to achieve a certain level of fitness. When you have a LOT of weight to lose, you need to be able to start with the end in mind. Losing weight will undoubtedly improve your quality of life, but living fit is so much more than losing weight.

This weekend my family and I went camping up Big Cottonwood Canyon here in Utah. As one of the activities on our camp out, we decided to hike up to Doughnut Falls. As we hiked up the trail I couldn't help but think how impossible the journey would have been 150 lbs. ago. I was able to enjoy the climb as I walked with my boy, Jeffrey, up the trail. I never would have done this a year ago. Take away the difficulty level and I still wouldn't have wanted to go on the hike.
Donut FallsLength: Up to 3.5 miles out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

I was able to have long talks with my son and the moments we we able to bond together will remain in my mind forever. Because of a choice to be healthy, I was able to have moments with my son that would have otherwise never happened. You can't buy moments like that. In a very real way, cheeseburgers, fries, soda, pizza, corn dogs .... all of these were what I had been choosing over moments like these for so long. I am blessed to have realized what I was giving up before it was too late to change.

My boy Jeffrey my hiking buddy
We took a bunch of pictures of the family when we got to the falls and by then the kids were toast and so we didn't linger long at the falls. As I came down the mountain and reached the bottom I gave Jeffrey a five and said "We did it bud, you are such a good hiker." My cute boy looked back at me and said "Dad you are a champion." It was a proud moment for me.

Kids are so much more observant than we realize sometimes. Jeffrey knows daddy has to go exercise and that he goes to the gym. He knows that dad won't get an ice cream when he gets one. Most importantly he knows that his dad loves him and I am planning on being around for a long time to make sure he doesn't forget it.
The Badgers go camping at The Spruces
Hindsight is 20/20. I can know see that choices about food were effecting my life profoundly in other areas of life besides my physical health. I see what I was giving up when I chose to be fat. I see what it's like to be on the playing field of life instead of watching from the sidelines.

Beautiful Jordanelle in the morning

In the end, what matters most are the relationships with those you love. If your relationship with food is more important, as it was for me, you are missing what life is all about. Do something. Get outside. Involve your family. Show them by example what living life is about. Strengthen your body and your ties with those who matter most.

Caught a beautiful Rainbow Trout 16.5 inches


  1. Great post Mike! I'm still feeling the "hike pains" this morning. ha!

  2. The trout looks lovely and so does the weekend. How true that we can let food take over our life. Obesity robs us of so much more than our health. I love seeing how happy you and the family look!

  3. It's awesome that your family is involved in this whole lifestyle change with you! It looks like you guys had a lot of fun.


  4. That's awesome! Very true that a fit life has to be a goal!

  5. wonderful post! Just beautiful. Living instead of watching life slide's worth all the work.

  6. Awwweeeesome! Congrats. One day I wanna go on a hike!

  7. We camped in Bryce Canyon this weekend and I did a pretty intense ride through Casto Canyon. There is no way I could have gotten up some of those hills with the extra 30lbs I started this summer with, and Casto Canyon is a mini-Bryce that I would never have seen. You're totally right about the small moments.

  8. I want to live this last weekend all over again. Vacations just are never long enough:)