James Gandolfini is dead.

He was 51. 

He died of a heart attack. He didn’t have any history of heart problems. There was no sign of foul play nor were any illegal substances found.

This is tragic.

He was only 51. 

I don’t know his medical status, but he looked overweight. Those extra pounds add so many complications.

Reports say that he spent the day vacationing with his 13-year old son. He had an excellent day and felt good. He also has a one-year old daughter. Makes it even harder to understand.

I am 51.
I have children and a one-year old daughter.
I also am out of shape and need to lose some weight.
I used to be in shape. I intend to get back in shape.
But I continue to put it off. I always think I'll start tomorrow.
As the old saying goes, “tomorrow never comes.”

So, what am I waiting for?

James Gandolfini was an amazing actor. His Tony Soprano is of the most iconic portrayals in all of television. He was able to take an unsavory character and make us like him. He showed power and invincibility.

But he died at 51.

This is a wake up call for me.

There are hundreds of excuses as to why I have been putting off exercising, eating better and just general healthier living.

I am not a doctor.
I am not a nutritionist.
I am not a fitness expert.
I am not a trainer.
I am just a 51 year old guy who realizes today is the time to change.

Some of my excuses: 

I'm too busy. This is probably the easiest to one to use. We're all busy. We work hard, spend time with family, and run from place to place. It's easy to procrastinate for a few hours and then the moment has passed. So I have decided to carve out time to exercise. It's like any other meeting or appointment in my book. I have it listed as an appointment. It's one I need to keep.
 
I'm too tired. This ties into being “too busy.” After a long day of working and making sure the kids are taken care of, I am tired. But working out and sweating creates endorphins and helps make me feel better. So, although I am tired, I know I must not fall down and rest. I need to get up and sweat.
 
Hey, I enjoy eating and food is one of the great pleasures of life. But there are ways to eat smart. Throughout the day I look for things to munch on. I now am resisting these urges. By cutting out many of these “mindless” meals, I expect to reduce my calorie intake. Sure I am still going to enjoy a great meal and dine out. But I also realize by thinking a bit about it and watching what I eat, it will go a long way.
 
I have drugs to take care of that. Big Pharma has us hooked on pills. High cholesterol and high blood pressure affect millions of Americans. So instead of working out and eating right, we can just take a few pills. The problem is, I stopped taking the pills. They made me depressed and slow. The side effects are not good. The drug industry’s’ solution? Take more drugs. Time to stop the insanity and cut it out.  One pill leads to two, which leads to three, which leads to four. It is a never-ending cycle. As Tony Soprano once said Dr. Melfi, "Lithium, Prozac. When’s it gonna end?”

I will start tomorrow. When I tell myself that I will start tomorrow, this makes me feel better in the moment because I'm telling myself that I plan to live a healthier life. But it's just a stall tactic. By saying I'll do it tomorrow, I'm just delaying the action. I need to start today.
 
The last excuse is one that drives the others. If I can just get started today, then the others will fall into place. The idea that I'll do it tomorrow is the harmful one. It allows me to ignore doing anything but gives me the comfort that I am going to do something.

James Gandolfini died a few days ago.
He was 51.
I am sure he felt he had a lot of time left.

But we don’t.

I am getting started now.
I’m off to work out on the elliptical now. 
Do it today.

Photo Credit: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com


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