THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Ryan Mack's Confession: I LOVE Eating TOO Much!

I am great when it comes to numbers. I can break down a financial principle with the best of them and can speak on economic empowerment ALL DAY without taking a break because I love it so much. I know that it is protocol in the blogger world to only write about the things in which you excel because we are trying to maintain our precious "brand" or "image", however, I wanted to address a problem that has severe economic impacts on communities across the nation and potentially for me as well...our eating habits!

Sometimes, in the middle of a long day, I will sneak away to Amy Ruth's for some collard greens, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, and short ribs (don't tell my fiancée). This restaurant, located in Harlem, is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The food is amazing to me, but sometimes I know that I should be ordering all of those fatty foods with a side of angioplasty!

Due to my unhealthy eating habits, my body has shown some significant changes as I have gotten older. I used to have an eight pack, now I have a keg. I used to be able to play basketball for hours straight, now it takes barely one game before I am grabbing my shorts. I used to be able to see all sorts of cuts in my muscles, now the only thing that I am cutting open is a pack of beef jerky high in sodium. I find myself a frequent visitor of the "snack" cupboard in my home seeking my next snack like a seagull on the beach scavenging for any extra morsel of junk food that I don't even need. I used to have a regular workout regimen but now my excuse for not continuing it is that I am too "busy" with work. (I tell people all the time, "People are never too busy, they just don't find it important enough to MAKE the time." And it is definitely true for me in this instance.)

Well it is time for me to make a change. When I read that the number one killer of African Americans is heart disease, number three is stroke, and number five is diabetes, it was time to think hard about what I was putting into my body every day. The death rate for diabetes in us is 40% higher than in other races, over 80% of all African Americans over the age of 45 have high blood pressure, and African Americans suffer twice as many strokes as White Americans. These statistics are staggering to me, and as I have traveled across this country I have spoken to thousands of people, of all races, who are suffering from medical problems because of poor health. Over 60% of all bankruptcies are related to medical bills and many of them could have been avoided just with implementing a healthier lifestyle.

Today, I am putting on paper that I WILL make a change for the better. I will limit my Amy Ruth excursions to only once a month (that may not sound like much to you but you don't even want to know how many times I was going each month); I will limit all other intake of fatty foods and join my fiancée on a regimented healthy diet in which we will support each other (she is a health nut so this will be much easier for her than me); I will make a commitment to satisfy my snacking cravings with vegetables (which I love); I will go to the gym AT LEAST three times a week; I will lose 15 pounds in the next three months; and I will begin to train my mind to accept the fact that I don't need food just because I am watching a football game or movie.

I hope that many of you are with me on this because I am getting tired of seeing and hearing about poor health conditions that had caused someone to have their foot amputated because of poor health/diabetes. We only have one body, and this body is all that we get...we might as well take care of it. Who is with me!?