Fat Not Fit
A year ago, I realised I was looking, well… a bit different than I had in my youth. That I had a long way to go to reach my dream — 20 lbs to go in fact. Not only that, but I was headed in the wrong direction. My dream was getting more distant by the day. How did this ever happen?
Apparently, it happened sometime when I wasn’t watching. Sometime when I was taking my health for granted and watching boxing videos on youtube, rather than getting out and doing the sport I love.
A year ago, I decided this could not continue and it was time to turn it all around.
Fit Not Fat
So what was I ultimately aiming for? To become once again the boxer of my youth! To pound 15 rounds on the bag and never break a sweat. Do endless press ups as in days of yore. Jog like the Flash. Strike fear in the hearts of boxers everywhere when I darkened the gym door. (Hm. I’m not sure it was ever quite like that…)
A Watershed Moment
What was the watershed moment that changed it all? I noticed an ad online and clicked on it. (Crazy, I know. But you know how marketers are always tracking your data and then showing you adverts in the sidebar they think you’ll be interested in? Well, this time they got it right.) The inset included a story and photos of a 70 year old man – with the body I wanted to have.
If he can do it, I can do it, I thought. I’m competitive like that.
So I did.
Here are the steps that worked for me:
- Admit defeat. Yes, watching boxing greats do their thing was fascinating (I love to study boxing strategy and technique). It might have been giving my brain a workout – but was not doing anything for my health.
- Find a gym. The gym that’s right for you. I’m no good at willpower. So I googled till I found a gym with the equipment that would make me want to go to the gym. And…location, location, location. It’s best if the gym you’re committing to is a short walk from either where you live, or where you work.
- Get a friend to drag you there. Having a friend to push me there the first time was helpful. Somehow, there’s a mental hurdle about showing up the first time.
- Go to the gym. Okay – going once a week is better than never going. And twice a week is better than that. But if I only aim for a couple of times a week, I find there’s always a reason to put it off till tomorrow — a tomorrow that never comes. Resolving to go to the gym 5 times a week, means… I’ll probably get there 4 times a week. So I pick up my resolve and my equipment bag, and go. For me, that works.
- Cut the carbs. Moderate alcohol. Reduce the bread and pasta. This was pretty painful for the first week. But after that, it got easier. I’m still open to treats from time to time, but I take care to let it be just that — a once in a while enjoyment. The memory of how tough it was to get through that first low-carb week keeps me on track. I don’t want to have to do that twice.
That’s about it. One year later, I’m feeling good — and like myself again. There’s real wisdom in Mens sana in corpore sano. And no reason to stop as we get older. Good health is a lifetime journey. I’m in it for the long haul.
Have you ever had a fitness watershed moment when everything changed and you resolved for a new future?
What do you do to stay fit? How do you find time in your schedule?