Fuel for the Road

Welcome back to another edition of The PT Fitness Blog.  I hope you’ve had a great Holiday Season.  This is a tough time of year to be fitness-minded because the opportunity to snack, binge, sample, and graze is all too present.  The challenge is made even tougher if you’re traveling.  Being away from your base of operations can limit access to your preferred menu.

Let’s talk about travel for a minute.  In fact, come take a road trip with me.  The car is packed, we’ve put together a great road trip playlist, and we just need to fuel up.  So, before we hit the highway, we stop and put 15 gallons of gas in to top off the tank, and we’re on our way.

Not long after we’ve made our way out of the Metroplex we see a gas station that’s known for selling great scented candles.  So, why not?  Let’s see what’s what.  We’ve only used about five gallons of gas.  Can I go ahead and buy 15 more gallons?  You bet I can, but I’ve got to find somewhere to put the extra fuel.  I buy a gas can for the overflow, we pack our Pumpkin Spice candles in the trunk and away we go.

Soon enough, we see another gas station.  Not just any gas station, mind you.  This one is a Buc-ees. Of course, we’re going.  While I’m there, I decide to buy another 15 gallons of gas, despite only having consumed about 10 gallons.  This decision obviously means I’ll need to pack on another gas cannister.

You can see where I’m going with this analogy.  We can always acquire more fuel than we need.  Our bodies will use what it needs and pack away the rest.  This season of grazing and oh-why-not-consumption usually leads to our bodies getting an abundance of fuel.  It’s why gyms across the country run aggressive membership specials in January.  It’s why resolutions are almost always centered on our health and appearance.

Back to the road trip.  The fact is, we’re always on a fuel consuming drive.  For as long as we keep moving, thinking, and being, we’re going to need, acquire, and use fuel.  The question then, is: How do we attain only the fuel we need?  How do we ensure that we are buying only what we need to consume?

Who’s driving? Where are you in the car? We find that folks are usually in one of three positions: Driver, Navigator, Passenger.

If you’re in the driver’s seat, your calling the shots.  You make the menu, choose your portions, and drive toward a goal.  You acquire and consume fuel with your destination in mind.

Navigators tend to release a little of that control, or a lot, depending on circumstances.  They attempt to make the best decisions with the given options.  A Navigator will choose a whole grain bagel over the donut, but didn’t make that decision until they were at the buffet station.  Navigators don’t plan the trip, but they make decisions along the way.  These decisions are not usually measured out and so are affected by mood, circumstance, and some other subjective elements to their journey.

Finally, we need to examine the Passenger.  The Passenger is along for the ride.  When the group is deciding where to eat, the Passenger is fine letting others make the call.  They arrive at the restaurant or grocery store with only the goal of immediate satisfaction in mind.  They arrive at the gas station and buy 15 gallons of gas to cover an eight-gallon need.

Please know, very few people fit into just one category all the time.  Even Passengers will decide they’d like to make better choices from time to time and attempt to play the role of Navigator.  Drivers aren’t in control of family gatherings and workplace grazing opportunities.  The difference between the Driver and Passenger is the assessment of the impact these decisions will have.  There’s an awareness on the part of the Driver that isn’t yet present in the life of the Passenger.

At PT Fitness, we love meeting Passengers for the first time.  We find that they enter into the conversation about their health a little intimidated and frequently overwhelmed.  We’d be foolish to thrust them into the driver’s seat automatically.  However, inviting the Passenger to become a Navigator is a big part of what we do.  By offering you the role of Co-Pilot, we can model good behavior and accessible practices.  We find that not everyone drives at the same speed, and that’s perfectly fine.

My hope today is that you identified with one of the three roles as I’ve described them.  If you’re a Passenger and feel like it’s time to Navigate, we can help with that.  If you’re a Driver who’s grown weary of the same decisions or has perhaps gotten bored with the ride, we can help with that as well.  Navigators, we’re here to keep you out of the back seat and moving toward the steering wheel.

Let’s pack the car and stop for scented candles and Buc-ees swag.  Let’s take a road trip.  We’re happy to provide some delicious recipes that keep you in the front seat and moving toward a great start to the New Year.

Hop in, let’s go for a ride.

Ron Green

 

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Here’s one of our favorite recipes to help make it easier to move into the Driver’s Seat:  Shayshay bites