Nagging Doubts · 29 August 2012

Day 2: August 28, 2012

I have had some nagging doubts about this whole eating, running, blogging thing.

Most of the doubts have come on the blogging side. Does anybody really want to read about some guy trying to eat in such a non-American way? Will anybody even care that somebody who can barely run for 15 minutes wants to run to health? And who does he think he is anyway, writing like he is some expert? Those doubts creep in and if I thought on them too much, they might make me stop. At least writing. But for some reason, I am convinced that even if only one or two people read my blog and learn a little about becoming a fit middle-aged (or any-aged) person, I will be happy. Besides, at least one of my cousins and readers wrote me a message of encouragement on my Facebook fan page. (Thanks Robin.) While my confidence might have wavered for a moment, I am in for the long haul. I am going to write about my journey. At least until I go to my next physical.

While I am committed to eating, running, and blogging my way to health for at least the next year, I have had at least one other snag. Since I am a football coach, I wonder what the impact my message of lowering (if not altogether eliminating) my meat and dairy intake will have on my young athletes. The snag I hit is that people think no meat means no protein. And it also means going against the grain. What I discovered is that there are vegan professional football players like Tony Gonzalez (tight end, Kansas City Chiefs) and Arian Foster (running back, Houston Texans). If they can learn to eat vegan and play at a high level, then anybody can.

I am not quite ready to go vegan, but I am pretty close. The thing I need to do is educate myself more on how to get the protein I need. That education is what most people are unwilling to do. Or it is what I am afraid people reading my blog will fail to do. My readers will just see some moron trying to do things his own way. Some might even be waiting to see me fail. But I am ready to do the research and do my homework to make it all work for me. So when my students, players, or other coaches read that I am reducing my meat and dairy intake, I hope they are willing to do the research too. I hope that they can see beyond the label.

Then again, reading the labels is part of my story. Food labels, that is. When we read food labels and see what we are really eating, we ought to shudder. Somebody said that if an ingredient in our food was longer than three syllables or if we could not pronounce or recognize what was in a package of food, we ought not eat it. Personally, I do not need partially hydrogenated anything. My dad’s perspective is a quote from longtime friend, Mrs. Pitman, who asked, “If a fly won’t eat margarine, why would I?” I would ask that about any processed food.

If I ever completely go vegan, I am sure I will be able to live up to any ridicule or misconceptions the label might produce. But I will be ready by then. I will have done the research and I will also have my own anecdotal and chemical data (blood tests from my physicals) to back things up.

I am sure I will have more doubts along the way as I travel the road to better health. But as I eat and run my way to health, I am sure those nagging doubts will become fewer and less vocal. Even if they are just in my own mind.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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