But that's not why I signed up.
The real reason I'm here is that my father passed away unexpectedly on April 3. I was on vacation in New Mexico, and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to North Carolina because my 61-year-old father was in the hospital. My father who didn't look or feel sick. My father who was up walking around and watching the NCAA tournament. Who was talking and laughing with us the whole day. Who was pronounced dead just minutes after we left the hospital because his arteries were a calcified impasse, and he didn't know until it was too late.
When I signed up for KFB a couple weeks later, I was unsure whether I was in the right headspace to maintain such a regimented lifestyle. Sometimes, I'm still not sure. But I believe in the power of food to prevent and heal disease. I believe that if I stay active, my joints, my muscles—my heart—will always be in my corner.
It's not as easy as handing over years of ideas and habits. As having a lightbulb moment and never eating another tortilla chip. Before my father died, I understood that it was important to eat healthy and exercise. But now I finally get it. We really are what we eat.
Everything we consume either contributes to or detracts from the processes that keep our bodies functioning, but our relationships with food can be complicated. It's hard to make the mental transition from eating for pleasure or comfort to eating to sustain our lives—to enhance our lives. Or to work out to keep our muscles working and not just so our pants will fit. But making the choice to change is a no-brainer for me, and that's why I'm here.
I will still trip up. I might bake chocolate chip cookies or have four beers one night and throw up on the train (right, I didn't mention that part Friday.) And I don't believe it's healthy to deprive ourselves completely of the treats we enjoy. The Kung Fu Body has to work in real life. So I am giving my body and my mind over to Patrick and Chen once more for experimental purposes, but I am reserving the right to make my own choices. To eat fewer carbs if I'm not hungry or have some extra fruit if I am. To do fewer punches and kicks if I need more sleep. That's what I believe the mind-body aspect of this program is about. By sitting with our minds, it will grow easier to understand what our bodies really need.
My father couldn't save his own life, but at least he can save mine.