1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, Co-Founder of Suave Lover International and Author of The Essentials, 28 years old. I am a private relationship-and-social-dynamics consultant in the areas of public health, fitness, and social dynamics, a writer and editor for Ask Men.com, the interpersonal relationships columnist for examiner.com, and a Group Systems Analyst for a large hospital.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My mother and father were the first step to my personal inspiration to eat healthy and stay fit. I respect both of them completely and I am thankful every day that I grew up in a loving and supportive home. There was a time when my parents thought they knew a better direction for me to go and I persisted despite their disapproval, but never without their support. Many people don’t get that type of opportunity.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
Role models are practically non-existent. I was extremely lucky to have parents that emulated specific traits that have been crucial to my growth and success but taught me to appreciate lessons from others, in books, movies, religious studies, etc. They taught me how to learn, value knowledge and experiences. I was encouraged to play sports, the violin, sing, learn another language, travel, and more. They taught me how to explore.
In regards to health and fitness my mother and father didn’t tell me not to eat specific foods or workout. Other than just being an active family, evening walks were the norm, my mom took me on her morning jogs and I learned from her daily workouts that fitness was a lifestyle. My father was also very active. He use to take me to his construction jobs and taught me how to play sports. Then, when I was playing on specific sports teams, my father would always make sure I could get to practice and games, even if he had to drive for 2 hours, stay the entire time and drive me home. I can never thank him enough.
As for food, I wasn’t forced to make healthy choices, and whole wheat didn’t come into the picture until I was much older, but meals were basically healthy, portions were proper and there was not an abundance of junk food. I learned to love drinking just water, value cooking and was given weekly chores I had to fulfill. I was taught to be respectful, hardworking, independent and financially responsible through how they acted. I don’t quite remember how I became as passionate and dedicated to a goal as I am (which I coin the reason to my success), but I do know I was happy and had the support and direction I needed.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Their lessons, as much as I can remember, formed the foundation I needed. It made me moral, enjoy an active lifestyle, goal oriented and responsible. I am unsure where my passion came from, but I know that I wouldn’t have known what direction to take without starting out on the right road.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
Kids use to become apprentices in a specific trade and learn life lessons and skills. Now kids are taught they can be anything, but this anything has very little direction without the role models of the past. Sadly the media tends to focus and highlight the antics of personalities like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and these are the people children attempt to emulate. I convey that role models today are not people but specific skills.
One of my professional careers is instilling and consulting/coaching towards those types of positive lessons; how to find the right path, what people display the traits and skills you need to get there, how did they develop these traits or skills, how can you, who do you have to meet to learn these traits or skills, how to keep improving, how to form relationships, instill happiness, etc.
I also try and do the same in my personal relationships. I offer business consulting as well as dating and relationship consulting to my friends in a less professional manner. If you focus on leaving everyone better than you found them, you will not only have more fulfilling relationships but a very strong network to help you reach your own goals.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Create a plan that is not set in stone, but leads towards something. Find people that have the skills that can help you get there. Figure out how to develop those skills (read, watch videos, join groups, network, etc.)
I also highly suggest learning how to mediate and once a day without any distractions think about yourself, your goals, your relationships and anything that you would like to figure out for at least 20 minutes. Ask yourself for answers with a clear mind. After the time passes write down what you’ve discovered. We don’t take enough time away from our cell phones, social media, errands, social life, etc. for ourselves. How can we ever truly know how we feel or what we need when we don’t give ourselves the time to even listen to our own thoughts or advice?
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?