I’ve been in the same 5-pound weight range since January. I was on this same plateau years back at a stressful job. While fear-based goals like “I’m in terrible shape, I should change that” are effective, those goals fade when the fear subsides. Success-based goals, like “increasing fitness functionality,” also subside after vague accomplishment. I need a new goal. Something more concrete… maybe: “I want to become the best version of myself that I can.”
Fitness isn’t universal. What works for me might not work for you. Within 6 months, I should return to my former apex of rowing hour-long sets, which is not something most people would enjoy. Instead of being frustrated over not being able to do that, focus on what you can do with what you have, for your intended results. I see rowing as a tool that can help me do what I want: more universal tasks.
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!
When all systems are working, the temptation is forgoing maintenance. Everything’s working, after all, right? I’ve been tempted by that sin before. My poor rower is long overdue for a thorough repair. Everything’s still in working condition, so I’m starting a maintenance schedule that works for me. I’ll do a sweep, clean, and check every Saturday with a more detailed version every month. I just need to build a dedicated kit, including manuals and schematics.
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!
Repetitious consistency is boring. Rowing is repetitious, and unless you’re in the mindset to constantly reproduce consistent results with each row, it’s also boring. So is taking vitamins, eating healthy, reading books, meditation, resting, and doing things that don’t have immediate results. Since I’ve shifted most of my mindset toward delaying gratification over the past year, as I keep the same consistent “1-2-3 pace” in everything I do, I can eventually achieve the “98-99-100 results” I crave.
I’ve had trouble for years with consistent exercise. My record was exercising daily for 48 days, then 16, before something would block my progress and I’d revert to my sedentary lifestyle for months. Thanks to this weekly column, I’ve kept exercising almost daily since March. A few days off aren’t too bad when I’m otherwise trying to exercise at least three times a day with “51” of the most intense rows I can give to the rowing machine.