I’ve been striving to get smarter every day for my whole life.
Lately I’ve been just as dedicated to getting stronger every day.
I’ve never been that unfit or that overweight. But I realized that I had been gaining some weight that I wanted to lose and I just wanted to improve my overall strength, endurance and agility. I knew I wasn’t eating as well as I should, wasn’t exercising as I ought to, so I just decided to do something about it. So for the last 7 or 8 months I’ve stuck to eating better and doing an hour of calisthenics, 5, 6, 7 days a week.
I don’t own a weigh scale, but every once in a while when I visit friends with one I’ll get on it. Weighed myself last month. 104 kilos (230 lbs.). At the start of the year I was 117 kilos (260 lbs.). My weight is edging back up again as fat gets replaced by muscle.
I’ve been really conscious of how much sugar I consume. And other not good for me food in general.
I think for me part of the appeal is the aspect of continuously improving. Where you once struggled to do 1 rep, a while later you can do 5, and a week later you’re doing 20.
It’s all very gradual. The loss of the weight. The building up of strength. The improvement in appearance. Little by little, you see flab going and muscle appearing. It’s time consuming, ache inducing, and frankly kind of boring. But I’m really happy with the results. More than any visual aspect, it’s more of a psychological thing. You feel better. Movement is easier. Agility improves. Endurance improves.
And another motivator for me is seeing how weak and frail and unflexible my mom is. She spent decades essentially sitting in a chair. Never used most of her muscles. I don’t know how long I have, but I hope that if I make some use of the muscles I have now, and stretch, and flex, and balance, that those capacities will diminish at a slower pace. Or that hopefully my quality of life, doing the things I enjoy doing, will still be possible.
I’m not particularly dogmatic about the exercise or the eating. I often make a game out of the exercise. Waiting for a minute for something to warm in the microwave? Do some squats. Do a plank during a commercial. Do some pushups or leg lifts while you watch TV. Do some crunches while you wait for water to boil. Something you can hang on? Grab it and do a chinup. Or just hang there and lift you legs to your abdomen. I also don’t bother with gyms or gym equipment. I just do calisthenics. No fees, no expensive equipment / laundry collectors cluttering space. There are 50 variations on pushups, dozens of abdominal exercises, dozens of leg exercises. That you can do anywhere. For free. Just requires some motivation. Fill a back pack with book or jugs with water and lift various ways. Etc.