Legal professionals often have demanding, intense schedules, which makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fitting in proper diet and exercise a unique challenge.
Richard Kammen, a criminal defense lawyer at Kammen & Moudy and IndyBar member of 33 years, recently took on the Indy Fit Challenge, hosted by the IndyStar.
His successful results are something everyone can learn from, but especially fellow attorneys who face some of the same struggles that he did. Read on to learn more about his journey to health and how you can follow suit!
Question: What is the biggest obstacle for legal professionals when it comes to having a healthy lifestyle? How did you overcome that obstacle or find ways to combat it?
Kammen: For me, the biggest obstacle is the end of the day – the time to take a breath – which generally involved eating junk and having a couple of drinks. Changing that was the difficult thing. That was the challenge which I generally, but certainly not always, met. The other obstacle is weekends. Eating out, again having a few glasses of wine – it all adds up.
Question: How do you handle high stress situations and a busy schedule in terms of making time for exercise and eating right?
Kammen: I really try to exercise, even if it is only an early morning walk or lifting weights if there is a gym. Because I am a morning person, getting up early is not too big a challenge for me. So that part is easy, depending on the place. When I’m in trial or in a multi-day hearing, it is more of a difficulty.
Question: What are the top tips you would give other attorneys to maintain healthier habits?
Kammen: I’m hardly a role model – that’s why I got involved with the Indy Fit Challenge. But for me, it’s doing things like exercise, even if it’s only walking for 20-30 minutes, eating more vegetables and less fried food, and paying attention to alcohol. Heather Fink, the dietitian, recommended the Lose It! app, which helps keep track of what I eat. This is good because it forces me to confront portions and the true calories. It is bad because there is the constant tension and a fair amount of guilty feelings when I have a failure of willpower.
Question: What was your lifestyle like before taking on the Indy Fit Challenge?
Kammen: Honestly… too much junk food, too much fried food, too much alcohol. Cutting back on all three, for me, was the key.
Question: Why did you want to participate in the Indy Fit Challenge?
Kammen: More of a whim, honestly. When Dana wrote the initial article, I responded more to write the response, which focused on the stresses of my practice more than any thought that I’d get selected. I was honestly very surprised to be chosen. Then, I was wondering how people would respond – would my golf buddies bust my chops? (They did.)
Question: What is your lifestyle like now?
Kammen: Not too different honestly. My travel dictates a lot. I am much more conscious of what I eat, especially on the road. I try to avoid big, meaty breakfasts and eat more egg whites. More salads for lunch, fewer steaks and wine for dinner.
Question: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from this experience?
Kammen: While it is hard for me to diet and make healthier choices, especially when traveling, it can be done. It does take a fair amount of thought because it can be hard to eat healthy food when traveling.
Kammen lost 15 pounds during the Indy Fit Challenge and would like to lose 15 more in the next few months. To read more about Kammen’s participation in the Indy Fit Challenge and others who had success with the challenge, check out this article.