Looks Can Be Deceiving

By Mike Short

I hear it all the time. People lament their lazy attitude towards exercise and nutrition while placing me on some false pedestal of total health. I guess it’s because I’m a SWAT operator that makes people think I’ve always been super serious about what I put into my body and what I expect out of it.

But the truth is, it’s a lie. You see, I’m very hot and cold. Sometimes I’m on fire about CrossFit and Paleo and other times I polish off a sleeve of Oreos without a second thought. Like everything else in my life, I’ve found it hard to be consistent and resolute.

In an effort to get in shape and not die, Ron came to me asking for beginning CrossFit programming. He had already started eating clean and his results were not far behind. He became incredibly excited and his passion was contagious.

I stepped back and took a good look at myself, at my luke-warmness, and decided enough was enough. I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for 10 years and have been training people to exceed new fitness limits for years through CrossFit programming and teaching about clean eating. The problem was, I felt like a hypocrite writing about it. Over the past year, my personal nutrition habits have taken a nose dive, but I thought I was too fit, or too tough for these habits to affect me.

This dichotomy was even supported by a yearly physical that actually revealed my cholesterol, heart health, and glucose had improved from the previous year when I was eating clean foods. My body type hadn’t really changed, so I even appeared fit and was still keeping up with and often beating guys 10 years younger than me during workouts. Momentum was building for a fall and it didn’t help that I am a hard-headed SWAT guy who has been programmed to believe that I’m indestructible.

However, shortly after Ron began to report how great he felt from his changed nutrition plan and exercise regiment, I was slowed by debilitating fatigue. By 9 am when the caffeine from my coffee had run its course, I could hardly keep my eyes open.

I knew my body well enough to recognize that something was terribly wrong, so I went to the doctor for a full blood work up, and I honestly expected the worst. After all, I was too fit and tough for my terrible eating habits and little amount of sleep to affect me! All of my blood work was fine, except for my cholesterol which had shot up. Hmmm, I wonder why. Could it have been all the Chick-Fil-a chicken biscuits I had been eating?

It was time for a change, time to become intentional again about my daily habits, including prayer. Ron’s successes and energetic approach re-ignited my passion for greatness. Knowing what to do and even teaching what to do, wasn’t good enough. I wanted to feel good again and set new personal records like Ron was doing.

So often this is the way of conversion, or reversion. We meet and encounter someone who is living in a way that is different and attractive. We want to know what they know, and in the Christian life, Who they know.

This new spark inspired me to re-evaluate my sleeping habits and kick my Chick-fil-a addiction. It wasn’t easy, but like all of my experience has taught me, clean eating, sleep, and exercise works! I’m back on course and am thankful for the lesson in humility I’ve gained in the process.