I've always been the type of person that respects those that make well thought-out choices. This sometimes mean not making the "smartest" choice. Let me explain:
If you choose to go out to eat with your work friends most nights after work, have a drink or 5, eat some restaurant food and probably a wonderfully prepared dessert, you can NOT realistically expect to have the body and health that you might hope to have if everything was perfect. I don't respect at all those people who bitch and moan about how they can't lose weight while refusing to change their lifestyles. I CAN respect however, those who understand that they are not making the healthiest of choices and fully accept the health risks and the responsibilities of what could happen if they continue living that sort of life. Similarly, a climber who choses to climb some insanely dangerous cliff without support falls and breaks her leg; if she complains about how sucky it is that this had to happen to HER, well, no simpathy from me! If she accepts the responsibility for making those unsafe choices, knowing that hurting herself is a clear risk, well, I can respect that.
You can take this point and use it for pretty much anything in life. All I feel I want to say with this post is that there is really no point in taking the hard way your entire life. And there is REALLY no point in playing dumb and being blind to all the risks of the choices you make. If you choose to drink, eat like crap, commit to a high-stress life, don't exercise regularly or intelligently, then don't get all depressed when your life ends up sucking later on. You may be a lucky person and somehow don't experience the negative effects for a really long time, like years and years. But the second you convince yourself that you are invincible and that bad stuff can't happen to you because it's not happening now, well, you're kind of being an idiot.
I'm not saying you can't cut loose a little, or "have fun" as people call being unhealthily for some god-awful reason. I'm just saying make your choices intelligently and take responsibility for what COULD happen given each and every choice you make. "Playing Chicken" with life in my mind means that you just do whatever the hell you want. And you do so with ignorance and arrogance. And when life reacts, you just keep on charging forward with your head down, not caring what the outcome is because you KNOW you'll win! But let me tell you something, and I say this with 100% confidence and will argue with anyone this point: at some point life will absolutely kick your ass and you will lose. The harder you charge against it without knowing what you're doing, the harder it will beat you up. So do yourself and favor and put a little thought into your life. Make your decisions with the knowledge and acceptance of everything that could happen. Then charge forward with all the passion you have.
Don't charge forward AGAINST life, charge forward WITH it.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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