On August 22, Englewood’s An Ideal Lifestyle Clinic  celebrates its one-year anniversary with an event (4 p.m.) open to the public. The clinic is a wellness, weight loss, and nutrition center—the official health and weight loss provider for the Douglas County School System—that helps people meet their goals through the Ideal Protein Diet program. Developed 25 years ago in Europe, the four-phase, physician-monitored plan provides weekly coaching to help you make eating and lifestyle choices that allow you to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass; with post-program support, the plan teaches people how to sustain the momentum and keep the weight off.
Now, I'm not exactly one for dieting . With my sweet tooth and diehard devotion to all things pasta, it’s hard enough to change my eating habits  for a short month, much less stick to a lifestyle regimen for any significant length of time. Luckily, I happen to be a fairly active person—but I’m also aware that what I put into my body might be having a more detrimental effect on my overall well-being and fitness abilities than it did, say, 10 years (and a couple of sizes) ago.
So when I learned that An Ideal Lifestyle will be offering free body composition analyses at the anniversary event—along with Ideal Lifestyle food products and snack samples, plus chances to win other freebies like a full program startup kit—I thought: Great! I can see where I stand in this fit-or-not game. A body composition analysis will give me the cold, hard truth about how healthy I really am.
This was immediately followed by another thought: Oh, hell no. A body composition analysis will give me the cold, hard truth about how healthy I really am. And I just didn’t want to know that. I surprised myself with that secondary reaction. Where did that instinctive aversion to “the truth” come from? Years ago—more now than I care to admit—I underwent a full body composition and physical fitness assessment when I joined my gym. At the time, I was beyond pleased with the report. The problem? I think I’ve been holding on to those stats and numbers ever since then, keeping it in the back of my head every time I overindulge or find a pair of pants in the closet that doesn’t quite fit right.
I’m in a different scenario than someone who’s embarking on the Ideal Lifestyle protein regimen for the purposes of losing a set amount of weight. But, like everyone, I should be aware of what’s going on with my health and how my lifestyle—my diet, my sleep patterns, my exercise habits—is affecting my personal (and professional) goals. So why am I so reluctant to see where I fall on the spectrum of fit, trim, and healthy? Is it safer not to know? Does it keep me from having to really think about my choices? Does it prevent me from feeling guilty about that box of gnocci I ate by myself last night for dinner? And will the ignorance-is-bliss concept come back to haunt me in another 10 years when my lifestyle decisions are even more critical?
Short answer(s): Yes. Are these realizations enough to get me to that free body composition analysis? Sigh…unlikely. (Hey, I might as well be truthful when I can.)
—Image  via Shutterstock.