Perhaps the most luxurious aspect of knowing how to get into shape is also the most dangerous; that I have the ability to live in a lesser state of shape from time to time – until I feel enough is enough at which point I earn my way out of it. Now is one of those times.
Understand, I’m ahead of the game for 53. I workout regularly, I workout hard, and do so in a way that is both beneficial and sustainable. I’m currently lifting poundages, in some case, heavier than I ever have. I put in 30-60 minutes on the StepMill daily, at a rate of 72 steps per minute. I ride my bike to and from work daily in temperatures below freezing, and often in wind gusts in excess of 50 mph. My balance and flexibility are far above average, and on those rare occasions when I tuck my shirt in, I can still pull it off.
Being in a lesser state of shape for me has less to do with working out, and more to do with eating. It’s worth noting I’m far from obese. I currently weigh about 185 lbs., at roughly 17% body fat. The only six-pack I have is in the fridge, but I’m far from being overweight. I have spent most of this winter so far eating inconsistently with my value system – at least on the weekends. This has everything to do with depression, discontent with my current life situation, and college football season.
Like many, even trainers are subject to the internal demons such as depression, the external forces that can ruin a good day, and the temptations of the weekend. Beer me. Though Monday through Friday it’s been meat and veggies, my relationship with Saturday and Sunday is largely based on barley and cheese.
Each day though, for the past month or so, when I wake up I tell myself today will be the day I right the ship. By 3pm it’s time for hummus and candy. Oh well.
Where I once let this define me, I no longer do. I am a good father – at any body fat percentage. I am a good neighbor – despite my 3am nachos. I am good trainer – even without a six-pack.
Can I do better…? Yes. Do I need to…? Those are expectations I put on myself. My clients, my neighbors, and my friends all think I’m just fine.
I’ve cycled through these breaks for many years now. I’m not talking about being out of shape. I’m just talking about not being lean, jacked & shredded – living in a lesser state of eating. Every so often I take my foot off the gas for a few weeks, or even a month, knowing that when I put it back down, my sports car will blow most anyone else’s SUV off the road.
For me, this cycle occurs about every two years or so. I almost think it’s psychologically necessary. I work hard staying in prime shape most of the time because my physicality is tied directly to my livelihood. Sometimes though, I just need a break. It’s both Ironic and coincidental that these breaks often occur during difficult times in my life. Or maybe not.
I’m going to workout with weights later today, and follow that up with 30 minutes of rigorous cardio. After that I may enjoy a spinach omelet, or maybe a pizza. Who knows…? This morning finds me in particularly good spirits, and for that I am grateful. It is though, still football season — so all bets are off. Be well… rc
Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Talking Heads. Enjoy…