Thursday, January 19, 2012

Better than you've ever been

I want to be as good as I've ever been. While in reality, that may not be a lofty goal (I never was that good at anything), I still have a ways to go to be as fit as I once was. 5-6 bodyweight pullups? Not quite there. Sub-20 minute 5k? Some work remains. 34 inch waist? Close.

I'm working towards re-achieving some old benchmarks. But then, why not be better? Is age really a factor? Sure it is. But not as much as we give it credit for. At 35 years old, I'm not that old. I really can expect to live another 35 years and a minimum. As much as I refuse to accept that taking medication to correct chronic diseases caused by nutritional wrongdoings, I refuse to accept that I've been the fastest, strongest person I could be. And I think the key is to eat right (paleo). That's why anyone who trains with me needs to begin to learn what right eating is.

Jason Ferruggia emphasizes that "Shitty food makes you look and feel like shit. There's no two ways about it." Eating right, sleeping enough, and exercising hard has worked to keep many high-level athletes performing past the age at which they're "old" athletes. I encourage you the read the whole article here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Resolutions, anyone?

I hate resolutions. They've never resolved anything for me. Not one resolution has resulted in... well... results.

So why have I made them again this New Year's? Because, that's why.

Actually, my resolution has nothing to do with the new year. I have set these goals into motion months ago with my first fad diet.

Before I get into more on my story, I want to bring up a couple of other points first.

First, my weight gain didn't happen because I overate, have a genetic predisposition, or experienced the "normal" metabolic slowdown that occurs with age. It happened because I damaged myself. I ate poorly, slept poorly, drank too much, and stressed too much. Simply put, I did what felt good until it didn't feel good anymore.

Illustration: I'm a firefighter. Some days in my job, we do little else but wait for someone to call. Sounds like a dream to some, I know. I have literally spent all day in a recliner. If you've ever really done this, you know the truth in what I'm about to reveal. I have literally spent all day in a recliner and felt worse than if I'd worked all day. Muscle soreness, low energy, etc.

This applies in some respect to all aspects of life. Procrastinating on some project is the easy, feel-good (for the moment) way we go about starting. But it usually results in stress, worry, failure, and a poor quality result. I've found that with fitness and wellness, the easy and feel-good way usually results in more pain, poor results, or worse. If  someone follows a lifetime of the "that's too hard" or "I don't think its worth it" excuse they will pretty much inevitably end up with metabolic syndrome. Those excuses won't cut it when the same person is forcing down fistfuls of medications to combat their ever-increasing blood pressure and sugar.

It is work to eat right and exercise hard. But it is not difficult. Difficult is quitting an addiction, battling cancer, etc.

The damage I spoke about earlier is referring to a phenomenally simple, yet eye opening blog post by Dr. Michael Eades ( wherein he speaks to damage that occurs to the metabolic machinery of our body. Please read.

In addition to the metabolic damage, I believe that hormonal dysregulation is another key component. I intend to work within the limits of my damaged metabolism and optimize my hormonal function. If I am able to  do that, I will accomplish my goals.

So... my resolutions (goals):

By July
Strict press a 32kg kettlebell
Six-pack abs

Where I am now:
Today's (1/9/2012) stats:
I am 6'4" and weigh 219lbs
Waist measurement: 41"
Hip (love handle): 46"
Chest: 43"
Neck: 14"
Thigh: 24"
Bicep (for the girls)14"