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Obsessively healthy people really can be annoying.

When I mention that I am trying to exercise and watch what I eat, I'm likely to get a couple of reactions.

Regular folks will generally nod and politely change the subject.

But committed, healthy folks will do the following:

Explain how they recently fell short of their program. ... "I could only run five miles this morning because I was struck by lightning into my second mile."

Talk about a "decadent" meal. ... "We used dates picked by trained monkeys and Patagonian llama grass in our salad. Yum!"

Refer to their last ultra-marathon. ... "I trained for that one by running on my hands up Rib Mountain."

Drink from an ever-present water bottle.

Obviously, I have an attitude about people who are in much better shape than I am. It's probably guilt or envy, but we're not yet discussing mental health in our 12 For '12 series of topics.

At the end of the day, although we have big differences in terms of goals and approaches, I can't let my attitude get in the way of my good health.

I'm not "one of those people," but we certainly face common obstacles.

There isn't enough time in the day. It does cost more to eat right and exercise than not. And just when I get into some kind of rhythm, there will be distractions to pull me off course. And, yes, I want results, and I want them now!

I think this is the place in this column where I'm supposed to lay out specific solutions after extensive research and experience.

Sorry. There are people who are actually qualified to address those issues, and I'm not one.

But a comment my doctor made the other day struck me. People have to care to make health changes.

It seems simple. But when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, I am my own worst enemy. I know I'll face a lot of obstacles. But I have to care enough to resume my workout if I've been distracted. I have to care enough to make time and change some long-held bad habits.

Just like those obsessively healthy people, I think I know what I need to do. I just need to care enough to do it.

And, man, that's annoying.

Michael Beck is the general manager/executive editor of the Wausau Daily Herald and Stevens Point Journal. He can be reached at mbeck@gannett.com.

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