Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Twelfth Night’s Day Status Report on the Resolutions

As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t hit the ground running on New Year’s Day. Everything was working according to plan, though. I had been running with pre-resolutions of a sort since October, tweaking this habit and that, working at losing weight and increasing productivity. The holidays were understood to be “cheat days,” and setbacks from these periods would be accepted, acknowledged—and overcome. 

New Year’s Eve and Day were such a setback.

They have since been overcome.

So, although, I missed doing my 100-push-ups per day on New Year’s Day, I haven’t missed since. The idea is five sets of 20 pushups throughout the day. I’ve found this works best when the afternoon/evening news comes on. If I do the sets as closely together as possible, I get nice and “swole” as the weightlifters say. That is to say, I can feel my chest, arms, and shoulders swell and expand, establishing a tight, firm space where flabby, jiggly fat used to be. 

It doesn’t always happen that way. Yesterday, I did scattered sets throughout the day. Although my reps totaled out at 100, the effect wasn’t the same. I should be doing these sets in tight groups earlier in the day for maximum effect. 

I’ll start that today. 

The main idea here is to make this elementary exercise a habit. Running a continuous daily caloric deficit—the ONLY way to lose weight, and let no one tell you otherwise—runs the risk of burning muscle tissue along with the fat. As I have no desire to be “skinny-fat,” that is, slender, but weak, I need to do these to maintain tone.

Unlike many, I’ll be saving money on a gym membership. If you have Earth-normal gravity where you live, and a floor big enough to accommodate your body, you can get into shape. No special equipment needed at all. Your workout need be no more elaborate than push-ups, sit-ups, and walking.

There’s still plenty of 2016 ahead. As of this writing I’m still 23 lbs overweight at 187. I hope to be showing six-pack abs by Twelfth Night 2017. I expect they’ll look laughably out of place on my 50-something body, but they will be a refreshing change from the usual pale mini-moon overshadowing my waistband. If one must be different—and I must—it should be a positive, good different.

One last thing, and the lesson is yours—it was sometime late summer, early autumn, I forget which, that I decided I was sick and tired of existing as a generic middle-aged fat guy with a beard. I don’t remember the date I shaved and resolved to quit the in-between-meal snacks. It’s not important. The point is that I started. I didn’t wait until the New Year.

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Twelfth Night. You could start now. Or on the Ides of January on the 15th. Or the day after Super Bowl Sunday. That is, if you need an arbitrary date to get going on improving the rest of your life.

Or you could start now.

In other news, the RCA Android tablet I got for Christmas is helping. I did a lot of trash reading on the Internet at my workstation. Not so much, anymore. Taking my trash reading out of my office and upstairs in front of the TV to do during commercials of my favorite shows has doubled my productivity. 

Oh, I’ve had this one for a while.
I’m pinning stars on it now.
If all this comes off as self-righteously self-serving to you, that’s because it is. Also, I’m not pretending to be perfect. We miss some things, we overcompensate in others. Everyone should know the old Buddhist drill by now: the trick is to keep get up more times than we fall down. I’m not wasting time hating on myself for missing something when I can be making it right.

I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to have everything together and looking good before I die. It might take me until the end of this year, or even the next, but I will have this. 

Merry Christmas, one last time.