There was a period about six or seven years ago in which I cut back on attending lodge and Masonic events to focus on my business and health; you know, those “usual vocations” that they talk about in the lecture things that we hear once in a while. During that time, through the Scylla and Charybdis of diet and exercise, I managed to lose close to forty pounds of body weight. When I resurfaced at a few events, a number of well-meaning brothers took me aside and asked if I was “alright” or “had “been sick.” The intimations over that time was that most of us don’t lose a lot of weight in middle age unless it’s involuntary — poor health, cancer, chemotherapy, or side effects of various medications will often take a toll in that manner.
Over the next couple of years, though, the questions and concerns were replaced by remarks of congratulations (and sometimes surprise) for having kept off the weight. Of course, some of those remarks were also followed by warnings that it would probably come back, and then some. “Yeah, I did that [Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, Grapefruit, Paleo, etc.] diet last year. I lost twenty pounds, but I gained back thirty pounds six months later.” And sometimes, after having seen some of my blog or Facebook posts about some bike ride, brothers might respond that they found most exercise to be boring, or that they too often hurt themselves while lifting, running, cycling, or walking.
Brothers, I totally understand. Dieting, which is already difficult with the easy access to all sorts of delicious foods, is made more difficult by those dinners at lodge — not to mention the desserts after the meetings. Cake, pastries, and cookies are staples at my own lodge, and probably at yours, too. And the apres-loge snifter of brandy (or bottle of stout, or glass of scotch) certainly are not low-calorie treats. Let’s face it: losing weight, especially as we’ve gotten older and our metabolism has slowed down, is difficult.
But it’s not impossible.
Recognizing that many of my brother Masons have had a difficult time researching, planning, organizing, and ultimately adhering to a diet and exercise program, over the past year I’ve dropped pretty much all other Masonic activities in order to become, what I believe, is the first Freemason Fitness Coach.
To that end, I have opened the first Freemason Fitness Training Gym, offering personal coaching services in dieting and weight loss. My program is tailored toward busy Freemasons who are often out several nights a week, and who don’t “have enough time to exercise.”
My brothers, maintenance is boring and expensive. But it’s not nearly as time consuming and expensive as repair or replacement.