The proverbial gamer stereotype, one of junk food, poor health and/or weight, and social inadequacies, exists for a reason. We've all seen it, and many of us have been one or more of the above at one point in our lives if not currently. I'm not saying this to demean anyone, or even to further an unwarranted stereotype. I'm saying this as an admission of my own past and present as a gamer. Thankfully the social awkwardness was over sometime around the early 2000's, but junk food, poor health and weight problems have all been a staple of my life for two decades now.
So why now? Why do I have a drive to live a healthier life, what am I doing about it, and how does it even pertain to this blog?
How about I tackle the easiest of those questions first:
How does this even pertain to this blog?
Well first off, it's my blog so that could end the answer right there. However I don't like to be that much of a jerk, and I really write this for more than just me. I've been going to local gaming conventions since I was a Junior in High School, and then national ones since 2005 when I went to my first Games Day and the folks that attend these conventions and play these games are the very same people that read this blog. Shocking, right? Have you ever really taken a look around your local FLGS, or that last convention? How many people looked to be in decent health or shape? I'm not talking the peak of physical health here, I'm just talking decent. Maybe 10 percent? 20 percent? I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just opening my eyes. I'm a part of the larger percentage that isn't in good health or shape, remember? Why do I think this is important that we all open our eyes to this? Because many of you are my friends. Many of you I'd like to become friends with and get to know better. That has a really good chance at never happening if we continue down the road of unhealthy living.
So why now?
The truth is the typical gamer stereotype exists for a reason: We perpetuate it. Well, I'm done adding to the cycle. I have a 6 year old son, soon to be 7, whom I love dearly. Yet I can't keep up with him when he wants to run, I have to sit down and catch my breath as I tire easily because of my weight. I have a wife of 15 years that I'd like to be around for when the 30 year anniversary comes to pass. I want to play tabletop games with grandchildren, teach them to fish and play boardgames with. I want to do this for them.
The final piece in the puzzle of "why now", is the one that pertains to my statement above of wanting to grow friendships and gain new ones. How that can't happen if I keep eating myself into the ground. Specifically an article written by my friend over at Mordian 7th. His best friend lost his battle with Cancer. This was obviously an illness that his friend Dave couldn't fight by losing weight, eating better, or exercising, and he left this world too soon. After reading his post here on November 25th, I realized that I could eat better, I could lose weight, and I could exercise. I could give myself a chance at a better, long life and I wasn't. In fact, I was throwing it away. That didn't sit well with me. Not at all. So the "I'll do it…sometime", became "I'm doing it now."
What am I doing about it now?
I used to practice Kenpo, and back in September I was watching my son at Tae Kwon Do class and I missed it. So I told myself that if I could lose 20-30 pounds, I'd join his Tae Kwon Do school. Come October I was given the opportunity to join the school for half cost. I realized at that moment that the promise I made to myself in September was an empty one. I had barely lost any weight, and hadn't changed anything really. Something in me snapped, and I joined. It hasn't been easy, and there have been times I thought I was nauseous and woozy, but I've pushed through. I've cut portion sizes and I'm tracking my activity levels. I'm hauling my lazy butt out of bed earlier in the mornings and exercising before work. I'm not the best at any of it, but I'm working, actively working at getting better and I've seen progress. I have a lot farther to go, but I'm actually going somewhere other than into the ground.
So what does this mean for you, readers?
I don't know, what does it mean for you? If you're in the position where it has meaning for you, only you can answer that question. What I can do is tell you that if you have a problem with an unhealthy lifestyle that you want to change, I'm right there with you. You don't have to do it alone, and nor should you. Shoot me an email, let me know and I'll stand by you.
I'll be posting updates every so often. I won't turn this into a fitness blog, trust me, but I will let you know what's going on.
We can break the mold.