Worldview: What’s my hangup?

So, I’ve been having this running battle for a while now about exercise. There are a not small number of people who have concluded, and not without justification, that I am opposed to exercise. While this is not really true, I don’t think I’ve explained myself well enough to help anyone come to a different conclusion.

In the midst of that battle, the issues I have been trying to figure out for myself have been lost in the face of the fact that I am, ultimately, looking to solve my weight and fitness goals in ways most other people aren’t. It’s helpful to layout what I am trying to do in the hopes that the dialog can help me figure out what I am trying to do.

First, let me be clear: I detest the traditional fitness routine most people follow. This is not an indictment of the fact that other people follow it, but the idea of exercising for exercise’s sake offends me on a level that has proven, given my state of weight and fitness, to be self-destructive. And this is not some kind of arbitrary revulsion. Over the course of years, I have discovered that the traditional fitness routine does not produce the results for me that it does for some people. The result has been that, for the time and effort invested, I see mediocre results, which leads to my secondary problem of torturing myself with all the things I would rather be doing instead of wasting my time with exercise that doesn’t produce results.

Now, some people will say this is a problem of the fact that I haven’t found the right routine, and I agree wholeheartedly. Hence my hangup. I realized years ago that the only way I am ever going to achieve any kind of level of fitness is if my exercise is my work and if my work is the thing I would rather be doing instead of wasting my time with exercise that doesn’t produce results.

In fact, I did that. I am now the proud manager and operator of a sustainable farm that I can assure you presents daily opportunities for activity that can meet or exceed the demands of all but the most extreme exercise routines. It’s such an effective program that last summer I lost nearly 30 pounds.

So, what’s the problem?

If you’ve ever carried a large amount of excess weight, you know that there are two problems to losing it; problems I refer to as hurdles. The first hurdle is losing enough weight that it actually starts making you feel better. How much weight that might be depends on the person and the circumstances, but for me, 30 pounds wasn’t enough yet. Feeling better is probably the most effective motivator out there, so not feeling better becomes its own special kind of demotivator.

The second hurdle is the fact that those first pounds can be very, very hard to lose. This hurdle leads directly back to my hangup: while my job on the farm offers the kind of activity I need–especially once I am more fit–my current level of fitness means that I need more activity than what I am currently able to do on the farm to see results. Achieving that level of activity means exercising for exercises sake.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

What all of these things then mean is that I need to find some sort of way to add the extra activity I need for long enough for it to matter without giving up because I hate it. As of yet, I have not discovered what this activity might be, and so I continue to struggle.


Read more at my Worldview site...

Worldview: Seven Stone

While it’s uncomfortable to put such an admission out into the public space, the fact is that over the past decade and a half, I’ve gained a lot of weight. Frankly, I’m downright fat. There have been a lot of causes for this fact, some of which are my own fault and some of which are not, but the fact remains that I am overweight and, as a result, in declining health.

This year, I’ve decided to do something about it, and I’ve decided to share that experience with anyone interested in reading about it. Along the way, I hope that maybe my experience will inspire others to do the same.

I’m calling my effort “Seven Stone”, which is a reference to an old weight standard and the amount of weight I intend to lose. A stone is about 14 modern pounds, and yes, I intend to lose 98 pounds over the course of the coming year.

My method is simple. I bought a membership to the local YMCA to have access to its indoor track and weightlifting facilities. I’ve already been walking for about a week and a half, averaging about 1.3 miles per session and 7 sessions over the past 10 days. I bought a pedometer that connects to my computer and created both a HealtVault and WalkMe account to track my progress in real time. I’m also modifying my diet by dropping the habit I have of eating quick when I need to be eating healthy.

There’s no reason I can’t do this, but to make sure I’m putting it out here for everyone to see. If I fail, you’ll know. If I succeed, you’ll know. And maybe, we can work together to make ourselves better over the coming year.


Read more at my Worldview site...