Last week, I was in Telluride with my buddy, Mark. He asked me a question, very much on point…
Aren’t you afraid you’ll gain weight?
Why yes, I am terrified!
The context was my current “far less than I used to” training program. Sure, I was scared, and that’s why I kept the volume rolling for so many years.
However, like so many fear-based quirks in my life, my fears proved groundless.
Further, creating a lifestyle catered to misplaced fear crowds out a lot of useful work!
Get Off the Wheel of Sugar
AC has been crushing with a series of threads encouraging athletes to improve their stamina and fat burning. The lessons run much, much deeper. Creativity, cognition, and metabolic health – all benefit from working on the low-end of our fitness.
Many of us use training protocol as a way to justify our food choices. With the best intentions, we remove a food group, and end up replacing it with sugar.
Starting to train, we shift our nutrition towards “sports nutrition.”
My buddy, Jonas Colting, calls this getting caught in Gel Hell.
Not a win.
Two tips work here:
Aim to eat more veggies than my vegetarian pals.
Stay below my sugar threshold.
#1 requires a bit of effort, but not too much. My main gig is salads and stir-frys.
#2 can be scary – it implies less total duration, less intensity.
Both these changes nudge us towards sustainable choices and, as we age, reduce the risk of ruin from following a Chronic Endurance lifestyle.
Back in the day, folks used to debate the utility of strength training for endurance athletes. Do y’all still do that?
I’m not into debating, I’d rather use something that works.
Strength Training Works.
There is a conscious, and unconscious, attraction to people who move powerfully – moving well, is attractive.
You want to be more attractive, trust me (see below).
Being attractive improves our self-image, which sets up a virtuous circle in our larger lives.
Trying to change everything at once leaves me feeling scattered and distracted.
It doesn’t work.
Again, here’s what works:
One person, one habit, one pattern, one choice…
Each of us has a habit, relationship or pattern that we can eliminate, for gains.
2 beers before bed
A basket of bread with lunch and dinner
Bread + cheese = pizza 😉
A friend who’s a feeder
Don’t try to do everything.
Don’t think you need to change “forever”.
Simply take a break for 30 days and pay attention.
With all this stuff, letting go of my fears seems daunting.
One of the most poignant memories of my childhood is being a “fat kid” and wishing that I could have a second chance with my body. I’m certain childhood pain drove a lot of my ambitions as an adult.
Across my life, I’ve been given second, third, fourth, fifth… chances at health and fitness.
It’s only been the last eleven years that I’ve managed to hold a stable weight.
Towards the end of January, I noticed that I had edged over my “winter ceiling weight.” I have a range that I move between (165-170 pounds).
Because my weight can move 4 pounds in an hour, I watch trends over time. For example, I need to be over 170 pounds for a couple weeks before I’ll take that weight as real.
Typically, when a little heavy, I will schedule a week-long cycling trip and sort myself out by adding a ton of exercise. However, that’s not possible this year so I needed to come up with something different.
I start by looking at the low-hanging fruit…
The week before I decided to take action, I had eight beers and four dinners of Pad Thai noodles. So I latched onto that and came up with the cleanse.
The fact that I was choosing a lot of beer and noodles told me something about all of my choices!
Keep everything the same, ditch two things that are holding me back.
The game is..
Little changes, early, before I need them
Microchanges are more of an inconvenience, than painful
The result => I’m highly likely to make the changes stick
Then sit back and see what happens.
This leads me to the next stage and I’m reminded that…
Good things happen slowly => I thought I’d be off this thing in less than a week but, absent excessive exercise, my body changes slowly.
Look at the why => week three of living without the “comfort” of beer and Pad Thai showed me that they really weren’t comforting at all. I feel the same. Maybe a little better!
These two “facts of life” are obvious from the outside but I’m prone to fooling myself and need reminders.
This cleanse is relatively easy. The tougher changes are the one’s that touch on our spiritual, emotional and intellectual nutrition!