(Editor’s note: Throughout the month of June, Navy Medicine is celebrating Men’s Health Month by urging our male Sailors, Marines, civilians and family members to “Get Healthy Like a Man.” Paul Ross, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery deputy public affairs officer, will be blogging about living healthy during the month.)
By Paul Ross, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery deputy public affairs officer
As I strive to meet my goals during Men’s Health Month, I will be faced with many challenges. Some of these will be internal struggles while others will come from those closest to me.
Just this weekend my daughter asked me, with her big cobalt eyes, for pancakes from a fast food chain. My wife overheard and said she could really go for a breakfast sandwich. These women, who I love more than anything on this earth, were now killing me. I’m sure if my son could talk he probably would’ve asked for a hash brown as well. Maybe they wanted to challenge me, maybe they knew I’d be strong, or maybe they just thought it’d be hilarious to send me to the drive-through knowing I couldn’t partake in the greasy goodness. So I did what any man who hasn’t eaten junk food in more than a week would do — I went.
After placing their orders I thought for a second about how good one of those mouth-watering breakfast sandwiches would taste. The words “bacon, egg and cheese” were about to exit to lips after the muffled voice from the speaker asked, “Anything else?” But I remembered my goals and the entire point of this campaign. I didn’t order anything for myself. The five-minute ride home seemed like 20. The delicious, unhealthy smells taunted me from the passenger seat. As soon as I got in the door I threw the white paper bag at my seven-year-old daughter and retreated to the kitchen to make an egg white omelet and some oatmeal.
Temptation did not win that Saturday morning, and that little victory was more satisfying then all of the McGriddle sandwiches in the world. But the whole reason I was able to be strong was because of the goals I set for myself as this month began.
When I started writing this goal-centric column I did what any self-proclaimed “talented” writer would do — I Googled the words, “quotes about goals.” Unlike my previous searches of “how to fix your garbage disposal” and “what to say when delivering the best man speech at your brother’s wedding,” the search engine actually helped me succeed.
Like a teenage girl does to her middle school locker with photos of Zac Efron, Justin Bieber and Alan Thicke Robin Thicke, I have littered my fridge with quotes to keep me motivated as I chase my goals. Here are a few of the best:
“What keeps me going is goals.” – Muhammad Ali
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
“The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.” – Michael Jordan
“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.” – George S. Patton
Originally, the quotes about goals portion of the blog was going to be used for comedic effect. I was hoping to find some cheesy ones and make jokes about them. But after reading a few, my motivation was renewed.
This month has already proved difficult on a few levels. It’s hard to maintain a healthy diet. It’s summer time and there are barbeques and parties to attend. While my family and friends are throwing back bacon burgers, chicken wings and the various refreshments that come along with this setting, I am looking for healthier alternatives like grilled kale, chicken breast and iced green tea. I am enjoying my new diet because I feel better. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to weep sadly for ever coming up with this idea when I smell a T-bone steak searing on my neighbor’s grill.
For most of us, we are pulled in many different directions. I’m very fortunate to be a father of two great kids, a loving husband to an amazing wife, and to have a job that I enjoy going to every day. The responsibilities to those things are enough to fill the 24 hours in most people’s day. But now I am taking the extra steps to becoming a healthier person. It’s takes time to cook right. It takes even more time to exercise. It takes time to maintain good mental health, which means keeping everything in perspective and my priorities in line.
So as I built my goals, I took all of this into consideration. I believe I’ve set the bar high and I hope to accomplish all of these by the time I bid farewell to the month of June.
Paul Ross’ 16 Mostly Attainable “Get Healthy Like A Man” Goals For Himself From Himself:
- Don’t be the dad wearing his shirt at the pool all summer, despite how nice the shirt is.
- Don’t say “I’m getting to old for this” as you chase your kids around the park.
- Do 65 push-ups in a minute … one-handed … okay two-handed is good enough.\
- Run a mile and a half in under 12 minutes.
- Do 55 sit-ups in two minutes even though you hate sit-ups so much that you want to punch the exercise in the face.
- Don’t run out of breath just by watching pro athletes fly up and down the court during the NBA Playoffs.
- Inspire others to get healthier.
- Have your wife tell you that you are as pretty as the day she met you.
- Get your waist measurement to 35 inches.
- Don’t get injured — always stretch and warm-up properly.
- Have someone tell you that you look like a young Brad Pitt … okay, maybe Ethan Hawke … fine I’ll settle for “that guy from that one movie I saw … he was in decent shape.”
- Learn to play “Stairway To Heaven” solo on the guitar even though it has nothing to do with Men’s Health Month.
- Convince your mom and dad to quit smoking cigarettes.
- Get at least seven hours of sleep each night even though you just discovered “Breaking Bad” and have two seasons to get through on Netflix.
- Do not eat a bite of fast food — not even that one brown French fry left in the bottom of the bag.
- Have fun — because if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?
Now that you’ve read my Men’s Health Month goals, share some of yours.
Click below for Paul’s previous “Get Healthy Like A Man” entries:
Blog #1: Get Healthy Like A Man