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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Workout: Day Sixteen

I think one of the things that always bothered me about the whole 'fitness' thing is how it's been sold to me over the years.

It's always either '10 minutes a day' or 'an entire lifestyle overhaul'.

The 10 minutes a day crap came about many years ago, when I was far more sedentary (and also 250+ lbs). Oh, I tried a great number of different devices: rockers, squeezers, pullers -- and, surprise, none of it worked. Certainly not in '10 minutes a day'.

Then, years later, once I'd begun my first real attempt to get myself into shape, started going to the gym 3 days a week, started Rock Climbing the other 3 days a week -- hell, at the time I was 220 lbs and able to do chin-ups. Not many chin-ups. But I could do 2 or 3 consecutive (which... to this day, I'm amazed at that fact).

But what 'ruined' it for me was this idea that I wasn't 'doing it right'. I was doing all this working out, all this exercise but all these folks started coming out of the woodwork, telling me how I should be eating this and counting that and basically... took a lot of the fun out of it for me.

I actually tried to do that too, started seeing a nutritionist who gave me these incredibly intricate (and, food-wise, expensive) meal plans. Eat five times a day, protein here, carbs there (very few carbs) lots of liquids here. And I did my damnedest to stick to it. I spent a lot of money (actually more than I was spending by eating out almost every day) and I did start to see results... but I don't know, it just... wore on me. Having to remember to eat, having to only eat specific things -- can't enjoy myself when I'm out with friends.

It was only a matter of time before I fell away from it.

I think I've finally managed to strike a balance here -- something that, at least for me, is working. I've decided that I'm going to keep eating what I'm eating, doing what I'm doing. If I want a beer, I'll have a beer. But at the same time, I'm more conscious of what I want. You see, now that I'm older, I realize that I'm not about having that crazily cut body, the rock-hard abs with 5% body fat.

I'm a big guy, I accept that. My goal right now is to get in shape. Get my heart, my body, my mind healthy.

So I eat what I love... just less. I know enough to go easy on the carbs, eat a small bowl of pasta or rice instead of the mounds I used to consume. Eat more veggies, eat more meat -- and, no, not always lean meat 'cause, as it turns out, Saturated Fat is actually, well, good for us. Very good, actually.

I've made myself aware of what I'm eating.  Not obsessive, not calorie counting, not stressing myself out if I go over 1500 calories (or whatever).  I understand now that my body, like so many things, is all about give and take.  Just do the work, feed it well, and it'll, largely, take care of itself.

So that's what I've been attempting to do.

Every day I'm putting forward an intense physical exercise -- just an hour, or less -- and then I'm eating with a bit of common sense all the things I love.  Sometimes my weight goes up a bit one day, within a day or two, it'll go down again.  But -- and this is the key thing here -- it's always going down.

Will I plateau, will my weight loss peter off?  If I allow myself to get complacent, to stay at my current level, probably, yes -- already, I managed to get in a full 35 mins on the 16% at 3.7mph workout that's been my nemesis lately.  I'm getting better, getting stronger, getting my confidence back.

I think that at some point we all have our choice to make about what we're willing to accept about our physical performance; at what point we lay down our guns and say 'well, this is it for me'.

On my end, I've laid down those guns a fair number of times -- had more than a few false starts, talked myself out of so many potential victories.  But this... this time, I think I'm finally ready.

I've found my equilibrium.

You know, it's kind of funny because I look at this whole thing, this event, and I see so many parallels in other parts of my life.  Places where I've talked myself down -- or let others talk me down.

I know I've brought it up before about how I can be my own worst enemy sometimes; about how I can go about wrecking my own success -- and even now, looking back on the close calls that I've had, it's amazing to me sometimes just how hard it can be to ride out a good thing; to have the confidence to say Yes and keep saying Yes and just let myself be amazing.

*fingers crossed* I think I've finally got it figured out.

Here's today's stats -- note, I only had time for a 45 minute session today, so I tried to squeeze as many calories as I could into the time that I had.

- User
Age = 31
Weight units = 230

- Workout
Elapsed Time = 45:00
Avg Heart Rate = 172
Max Heart Rate = 186 <-- Throughout the whole bloody workout I'd managed to keep my heart rate at 182 then, with literally 5 mins left in the stupid thing, it spiked up to 186... *scowl*
Avg Speed Units = 3.7 mph
Max Speed Units = 3.7 mph
Avg Pace = 16:23 /mile
Distance = 2.75 miles
Calories = 977

- Cool Down
Elapsed Time = 2:00
Avg Speed Units = 4.4 mph
Max Speed Units = 5.9 mph
Distance = 0.15 miles
Calories = 23

- Total
Elapsed Time = 47:00
Avg Heart Rate = 172
Max Speed Units = 186
Avg Speed Units = 3.7 mph
Max Speed Units = 5.9 mph
Avg Pace = 16:23 /mile
Distance = 2.89 miles
Calories = 1001

Subtracting today's workout from yesterday's total (15762) I've got 14761 calories left to burn in 14 days.

Cheers all,
Brandon

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