We all watched during Christmas as your belt size exploded in real time. Sweet potato pie, shortbread cookies and soaked rum-balls fueled your gluttony like Godzilla at a Denny’s. You could not be stopped, and now you have a mountain of regret, not to mention grotesque lard, to contend with.
Don’t feel too bad. Well, maybe you should feel a little bad. And while I am absolutely not fat-shaming anyone, it is perfectly natural and beneficial for fat people to feel shame. Yes, I’m aware that I’m probably not a very nice person.
So now that 2020 is upon us, it’s time to turn that rusty bus that is your life directly into oncoming traffic and watch people aim for the ditch. Alas, the time has come to plow your way to glorious victory. This article is for me too, as even genetically awesome fitness reviewers need goals.
Want to loose a few pounds for January? Well good for you. Sigh. For pity’s sake, if you want real life change, think bigger than that.
As a guy who pays too friggin’ much for a gym membership, it fascinates me to no end how the place is crawling during the first two months of the year. Quite literally, on January 2 gyms explode in attendance. Historically, saturation point is expected around the end of the month. But for all the good intentions, by mid-March the place will look like someone yelled “fire”. This is a wonderful time, as I can finally get back to using the equipment without all the sweat stains and deep indentations from fat people using them.
I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to wanting to loose a few pounds. As a 47 year-old guy, staying trim is getting substantially more difficult than it used to be. But if your goal is only getting to a certain point and then stopping, long-term failure is all but assured.
The best possible piece of workout equipment on planet Earth is one thing; an accountability partner. What is accountability? These days, that’s a perfectly fair question, since a growing majority are unaware of the concept. Let’s say you make this thing called “a decision”. Now think of someone who sticks around to help you follow through. This has the unfortunate side-effect of building character and self-control. I know, I know…your college dorm-mates may have a hard time knowing how to handle the new you.
This year, my accountability partner is my seventeen-year-old son. He’s almost two inches taller than me and grows muscle so fast it’s like watching a cake rise. My goal is to keep up with my genetic offspring, and it’s a goal I may have to quickly adjust to reflect my aging physical reality fairly soon.
The point is, when I don’t want to work out, he goes and I have to follow lest I endure shame upon our family name. Likewise in reverse. We’ve been doing this for some time, and the results have been incredible. Body-fat has gone down and muscle has gone up to previous decade levels. It’s also fantastic for relationship building as I probably want to strangle him a good 25% less than usual. Truly, I need to write a parenting book.
Down the Road
This is taking that long-term thinking and putting a practical face on it. In my case, a smug face with antlers.
My son, bless his soul, wants to go on an elk bow-hunt in heavily bear-infested woods late this fall. He’s a better archer than Hawkeye, and this is his big dream. Me? I’ll be his bodyguard, packing a pistol-grip shotgun and shooting at whatever damn thing that comes out of the forest and decides we’re what’s on the menu. That means I need to be able to handle 5 days in the back-country edge of the Canadian Rockies with nothing except what I can carry, and not die a horrible death by Grizzly mauling.
Such an endeavor will require substantially increased leg strength and cardio which a job as a systems analyst does not provide. So I’ve been doing squats. Lots of squats. Legs twice a week worth of squats. Did I mention squats?
Now imagine if my son is successful and we drop an elk bigger than both of us put together. We’ve got to carry hordes of meat for days back to the truck. Want to know what is more tempting to predators than a couple slow-moving humans with pounds of free meat? Nothing.
I get it, you’re not a hunter and prefer to get your factory-meat from a Chinese shipping container. That’s cool. But try and see what I’m getting it; fitness is a form of survival. What you do today will effect how you live tomorrow, and quite frankly I don’t relish the idea of being in a seniors home in my 70’s because I’m too immobilized to wipe my own backside. Well, not unless the nurse is cute.
That means for the next few articles, I’m going to cover some foundational principles; food, supplements, equipment, sex and psychology. The intent is to help you take short-term goals and turn them into a way of living that will stack the deck in your favor to live the best life possible.
Next up, RETHINKING FOOD.