Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Sometimes I wonder if I’m hardcore enough. The other weight loss blogs hosted by men seem very serious.  They’re all “high intensity” and grunty.  It’s got me thinking I guess.  Where do I stand on that whole deal? 

I think that people, like any other animal, are very trainable.  When our actions result in a positive feeling we will repeat those actions.  I say “feeling” instead of “result” on purpose.  Results are often too slow or vague to flood our brain with goodness and thereby hardwire a behavior.  Feelings are immediate.  Unfortunately the feeling associated with “high intensity” training, for me and many others, is pain.  So there seems to me to be a problem with the logic.  Even a rat knows not to push the hurty button after doing so once or twice.  Instead it learns to push the button that rewards it with some sort of delicious rat-treat. 

Now I know we are not rats (apologies to any readers who are), and should be able to look into the future and say, “An even bigger treat is out there somewhere, and I’m going to push this hurty button until I get it.”  But as anyone who has tried to lose weight over and over knows, it’s easier said than done.  Hard enough that many of us have failed for not just years but decades,  even though the topic of weight loss was in the forefront of our minds the whole time. 

So, what do I believe?  I believe we need to learn to eat correctly.  I’m not talking extremes here either.  I’m talking about cutting out some stuff that’s just horrible, and slimming down portions of what’s left.  We need to cut out unnecessary calories like those from beverages.  Your not going anywhere drinking 500 calories a day.  I also believe we need to move more.  Preferably in ways we enjoy.  Play sports or walk or jog.  Whatever you like.  Keep those feelings positive. 

Now I’m not saying the hardcore fitness community is wrong in any way.  Eat five small meals of lean protein and vegetables a day.  Drink tons of water.  Avoid sugar.  Mix cardio with resistance training.  High intensity training will maximize fat loss while preserving muscle.  Yes, yes, yes.  It’s all true.  I know that.  But until you get results?  That lifestyle sucks.  Well, for me.  Always cooking and eating, always sore,  forty-five minutes of torture high intensity excercise a day, no food that I like, choking down water constantly.  Let me just say that if I had this kind of discipline I never would have gotten fat. 

That’s how I feel about hardcore dieting in a nutshell.  It’s great if you can do it.  If you can’t I think that’s fine.  You don’t have to climb straight up and over the mountain to reach your destination,  you can also walk around it.  Here is my idea of a natural and comfortable progression to good health. 

Step 1.  Learn to eat inside of your bodies needs.  Move more.

Step 2.  Cut out unnecessary calories.  Start a moderate fitness routine.

Step 3.  Work on eating consistently over long periods of time.  Elevate your workouts so they’re still challenging.

Step 4.  Cut your diet further, try to cut sugar and eat less salt and fat.  Set fitness goals like lifting a certain amount of weight or running a 5k.

Step 5.  Your diet should be pretty good.  Track it and tweak it.  Keep pushing your fitness.  Challenge yourself. 

Step 6.  Get a job as a greek statue model.

Step 7.  Freelance super hero work.