Riffed by Dr. Geek
from an idea by Vitriol


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the fitness update I wanted to write yesterday

I know, I know. I was supposed to write an entry yesterday about my continuing struggle to stay physically fit. I'm going to blame the delay on the fact that I listened to Kevin "K-Fed" Federline's (you know, Mr. Britney Spears) new rap track on his MySpace homepage. It took nearly 24 hours to finally squash the signals being sent to my hands from my brain to grab the nearest butter knife and attempt a self-inflicted lobotomy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

With respect to my fitness goals, I am making slow but real progress. I've lost a few pounds since January 1 and I'm now about 10 lbs off my peak weight in the last 18 or so months. Like the baseball team slowly climbing out of the cellar in the standings, not every day has been a win in terms of what I ate or how much I exercised, but I put enough good days together here and there that its had a noticable effect on both my physique and my morale. I'm lifting more weight and able to do cardio for longer periods with few ill effects. I feel that I am now at a point where my level of fitness allows me to push myself more regularly at the gym... and the real work to improve myself can really begin.

That said, there is still work to be done. I was pleased that I was able to stand up for two hours at the concert on Sunday night with few ill effects. Notice, I said "few" and not "no" ill effects. I did have some lower back pain. Part of that is due to some of the other stresses going on in my life right now. Part of it also has to do with the extra fat hanging around my middle. It doesn't take a genius to see that extra weight hanging off the front of my belly is going to cause extra strain on my back.

I was reading an article the other day in Time Magazine about new measurement techniques that scientists are using with well known health problems. One of the new approaches is to use waist size to correlate with health problems associated with obesity instead of the traditional height/weight table. I've never particularly liked looking at a table for my weight given my height because I've weighed more the table says I should since I was about 19. Interestingly enough, I started working out when I was about 19, and the Time Magazine article notes that the table has always penalized people who work out because they do add dense muscle to their bodies and increase their weight.

While that notion is of some comfort to me, I need to work harder over the next few months. I need to lose the weight around my middle... which is the last place that men lose weight. This can only be to the good; high blood pressure and cholesterol run in my family, and as I approach the age of 40, it is time to begin taking these things into account. That weight loss around my middle will also have one big practical effect: a lot of my clothes will fit better. I'm all in favor of practical results.

The longer I go on with this, the more I see that fitness is about life change. It's one thing at 20 or 25 to say "I want to be in better shape". The fitness road was easier back then... I regularly biked to school (or work) and I still had a metabolism that made waistine management a more manageable task. Doing it at 37, forces acknowledgement that fitness is an every day commitment... past all the ups and downs, illnesses and stresses, and especially a lot of restraint when it comes to eating high calorie foods. That last one is really the killer for me... I wish I could eat like I did when I was sixteen. I can't.

said drgeek on 2006-03-22 at 1:59 p.m.


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