My Perspective #77: “The Appreciation Paradigm.” Let me explain.

I have always been a pretty active guy and moderately fit throughout my life. At different times throughout my life I was more healthy and fit than other times. I don’t think that’s a very shocking statement, and probably even relatable.  

When I ran track in college in my early twenties I was more fit and healthy than I was in my thirties trying to establish myself professionally. In my latter thirties and especially throughout my mid-forties, I ended up weighing the most I had ever weighed — ~230 pounds.  

Again, nothing is probably too shocking about this, and yet still relatable. 

Well, with the benefit of hindsight and learning & implementing different healthy tactics, plus deciding to be consistent with some positive lifestyle tweaks, all of a sudden, I’m 30 pounds lighter (hovering between 196 – 202 pounds), plus I feel in one of the best shapes of my life. 

So, being 48 years old now (as of this blog entry), I now have the luxury to draw parallels to the different times of my life when I was/felt fit, healthy and well.

I’m thankful for the comparisons I now have related to active vs inactive, fit vs unfit, healthy vs unhealthy, motivated vs unmotivated and disciplined vs undisciplined. With the lenses of different life experiences, I get to appreciate the benefits & pitfalls of certain lifestyle choices over the benefits & pitfalls of other lifestyle choices. 

With this newfound ability to “eat the meat and spit out the bones,” I coined what I call The Appreciation Paradigm.


• Position in Life #1: “The State of Unappreciation and Ignorance” (this happens to almost all of us): 

In our early years (teens – 20’s), we are ignorant and unappreciative of our youth, health, fitness, our metabolism, etc. We just live life, take for granted our blessings and don’t know any better. 

• Position in Life #2: “The State of Oblivion and Acceptance” (this happens to almost all of us):

In our working years (30’s – 40’s), our metabolism slows down, our activity lessens, our eating stays the same (or gets worse). But, again, we just live life and accept that “life” is just happening to us.  Tiredness, overweight, frustrations, complacency etc. typically take hold during this time. 

• Position in Life #3: “The State of Appreciation” (this happens to very few of us): 

Later in life (40’s – 60’s) we reverse course and undo a lot of things. We decide to take necessary steps to take back our health, fitness and well-being to avoid the doldrums consistent with being tired, overweight, frustrated, complacent etc. Upon taking back our health, we appreciate the work it took and the work it takes to stay there.  

“The Appreciation Paradigm” can be applied to many other aspects of life too: faith, relationships, health, education, finances, experiences, etc. It is a blessing to be able to appreciate how ignorant we were, appreciate what we had obliviously accepted for ourselves, but mostly appreciate the work, commitment and discipline it takes to maintain it.

What position of life are you in?

Try one of 4 of the Lifestyle Modifications in The Arena Disciplina today.

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