Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The key to staying in shape

My wife is quite a few years younger than me, and we have two of the cutest girls in the world. I often joke with my friends I did this so when I'm old I'll have someone to care for me. Although I was joking, I really wasn't far from the truth.

Having kids, and a younger wife, is even more of an incentive for me to stay in shape. To me, though, staying in shape doesn't necessarily mean being ideal body weight. I think the IBW system is flawed anyway, and is only good for medical workers doling out medicine and tidal volumes. This system doesn't take into account muscle mass, which to me is a major flaw, considering I'm 100% muscle anyway (so I lie).

Anyway, having kids is an incentive to keep in shape. For one thing, my 11-year-old is at an age I can go out every day and play catch with him in the summer, or play catch with a football, or in the winter go sledding. I find if I'm out of shape I waddle around and this sort of takes the fun out of these activities. They become a job more so than fun.

That's why back in February of this year I decided to make good on my promise to get into shape. I started the body for life program once again. Only this time, instead of my wife doing it with me, she's carrying an unborn baby around. I'm also doing it without the friends who normally get in shape with me.

I tried working out when during previous pregnancies, although I ended up gaining weight right with my wife. This time, however, I was bound and determined. I think one of the things that really helps me along is all the pessimism. I've had more than one person tell me I will never do it, that I will fail. So, that alone provides me the incentive.

Yet, despite that, I have lost 10 pounds since February. Again, my goal is not to lose weight, but to get in shape. To me, the two do not go hand in hand. Yet, losing weight is a good incentive to keep going, considering if you are losing weight you know you're doing something right.

That said, after losing almost 10 pounds after signing up for the biggest loser contest at my work, I dropped zero the next month. And, despite losing zero, I have continued to work out. And, even though I have hit a rut, a plateau, I have continued to muscle it. This is proof to myself that I can do it not just on my own, but without losing weight.

However, even though I've lost up to 40 pounds 4 times doing the bfl, I have basically completed the 12 week program once again, only losing 10 pounds this time. Yet, to give credit to myself, I took a few more days off because a) I have kids and they come first, 2) I have a wife and she comes first, 3) I work and that comes first, 4) I have a life, 5) I'm doing this alone.

So, considering all the obstacles, I'm actually doing quite well. This brings me to the greatest question of all regarding working out and eating well: How do you keep it off.

I actually think I've found the answer to that: don't lose weight to fast; don't give anything up; take some days off; enjoy life; do the best you can with what you have.

I think if you do a crash diet, you're going to gain all the weight back. Yet, if you eat well every day you can, and take a few days off here and there, and continue this year round, you can keep it off. That's the hard part: keeping it up.

So, instead of quitting my workouts and my diet now that the 12 week mark is up, I've decided to start another 12 week workout. Lord knows I'm not going to be perfect, and that might be the key to a lifetime of success -- at least for a normal person like me.

Yet who knows, I might fail again.

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