It is no secret that the path to health is a good diet and moderate exercise. What “good” means and what “moderate” means is left up to someone else to sort out. Mostly I think that is because a one size fits all model is not applicable. Over the past two years I went from having my weight and body fat really dialed in well to everything going to shit. There were ups and downs in my exercise levels. There were ups and downs on my diets. There were some unavoidable life events too. Is there something that I could learn from all of this data that would give me some definitive indication of what is going wrong?
A month ago I gave myself a call to action. Unfortunately that turned out to be more theoretical than practical. I actually did manage to do some calisthenics in the beginning but that fizzled. I need to try to get back to daily exercise if I’m going to beat back the weight. I didn’t clean up my diet as much as I’d like, but I did manage to clean it up a little bit. The net effect is about one more pound of fat on my bones but no more muscle.
I have two things on the horizon that I am weighing to use to jump start my process. The first is the idea of signing up for a half marathon for late March. It’s far enough away that training is reasonable. I really don’t have any more marathon ambitions, while I still regret not achieving my extra long goals in that area, and half’s are still challenging enough that I have to keep moving forward. That seems like a great path to take. However it doesn’t address the problem I was having in getting my butt to do proper cross training and strength training. Running is better than nothing, but it will not help slow down muscle atrophy caused by aging.
A second idea is to do monthly contests with friends. I have seen this work wonders with people in the last year. People set targets for themselves and then win, or lose, based on how well they hit their targets. The targets have to be mutually agreed upon and reasonably challenging. What good is it for someone’s target to be to lose ten pounds and the other to lose none over that same period of time? When done in larger groups cash purses have been what I’ve seen done. Perhaps on a smaller scale it could be something like buying a dinner or something along those lines.
Either way, I have yet another month of increased size, increased fat and at best plateaued muscle mass. I need to reverse these trends sooner rather than later. It’s no mystery why they are happening: I’m not eating as well as I should and I’m not exercising at all. The longer I wait to actually start doing these things the harder it will be to correct.