Dental hygiene, like exercise, is a time-sink with seemingly invisible results. Both can be multitasked. Unfortunately, you have to dedicate your full attention to either task to get the most thorough results, otherwise, if your attention is diverged, you’ll most likely forget to floss your back row of teeth or just give mediocre effort to your set. Fortunately, the results for both speak for themselves: don’t do either one for a while, and you’ll notice!
I forget the last time I ate pizza. It’s not like a sobriety counter or anything, and I’ll probably have more. This slice was probably the greasy food court pizza necessitating dabbing off napkin-full after napkin-full of oily fats. I’ve since rejected a handful of thank-you slices of pizza. It’s never personal. It’s just irrational for me to eat food I don’t enjoy that I know will just needlessly distract from my long-term fitness goals.
It’s been close to a year now of weekly fitness updates, originally just purely essays and now featuring some technical or somewhat anecdotal fitness information, and I can now officially say that I’m regularly and comfortably tightening my belt loop one loop! I used the previous loop basically as long as I’ve has this belt, other than my 6 month, 60 pound weight loss period, along with its surrounding months, so it’s a huge achievement for me!
How do we build positive routines? My method consists of two halves. First, I define then refine the routine to its most essential elements: if I want to row twice daily, then I try many different routes, learning what works, what doesn’t, in order to find my most efficient route. Second, I omit free will or opinionated subjectivity from the routine. I simply must row twice daily. Unless my health will suffer, then… row lightly?
“Maybe it is all the heavy metal inside of you that shows on the scale!” As much as I don’t want to be influenced by ephemeral external motivators, it’s still nice reading the occasional positive vibration. The number on the scale is just an external unit of measurement for my internal success: if I put on two pounds, but I feel as though I was more successful with my health, did I fail? Objectively? Subjectively?
Words mean nothing in fitness. Similarly to wanting to become a writer yet never practicing writing, you must put in the work not just for fitness but anything in life, in order to achieve the results you want. Fortunately, once you start putting in the work, it becomes easier and after a while, you can’t even imagine life without doing that work as often as you can. It’s a positive feedback loop with subtle results.
Ten years ago, I couldn’t have imagined where I am with my fitness and wellness. Owning a rowing machine? Exercising [almost] twice daily? Being able to do more, think clearer, and react quicker? Where even my sick days are just resting up, compared to having days obliterated by everyone’s flus and common colds? And it only took falling to my lowest physical point, twice, to finally solidify my resolve for fitness and wellness last March.
You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
There’s a point along your fitness journey where people start noticing. If you work with a professional trainer like I did years ago when I burned 60 pounds in 6 months, the spotlights quickly shine curious optimism on your efforts. That first journey accidentally recessed 67 pounds due to lacking discipline. I’m going at a slower pace for this journey, in ways that should allow my health to shine brightly for years, and people are starting to notice!
I dropped all fitness excuses when I started this weekly column back in March. While it’s been demanding, I’m seeing results I haven’t seen in years! This time last year, I could barely do 22 rows in one set, and now I’m averaging 165.9 rows per 5-minute set. It’s not all physical, either. I have more mental focus, resilience, and I’ve made some friends along the way. Let’s drop the excuses and get inspired to exercise more!