I am two pounds away from weighing my lightest in ten years. Counting my calories, with clear implications that the more I snack the further I’ll travel away from my goals, has especially helped me burn off that weight. Does that weight loss necessarily correlate with my long-term fitness goals? Let’s return to 873 days ago. That’s when I first considered why I wanted to write about health and fitness: so I can better enjoy life.
“Likely anything that is quiet and not going to have a lot of downward vibration should be fine.” It’s been 52 days since I last rowed. My rower is a great piece of machinery, it’s just too loud. My community gym is a good option, it’s just in a location that’s not convenient for going there then going somewhere else. An ideal option would be somewhere I can row at 4AM and 8PM without vibrating concerns.
Lifting each of these 10- to 15-pound boxes up today reminded me of when it used to be easier to move boxes. My muscles have atrophied. Just slightly, but enough to notice. My bones crack more. I feel lazier. Now that my job has stabilized, I’ll soon to be ready to get back into rowing, whether it’s at the company gym, the community gym, or acquiring a new, quiet home rower. I’m getting the rowing itch.
I’ve had this belt throughout my entire professional career. It experienced my 60-pounds-in-6-months weight loss, where I cut out another rung. It experienced me gaining 67 pounds from that zenith of fitness. It is now experiencing me comfortably tighten it daily- unless the day’s stress is too overwhelming for me to consider its simple fitness reminder.
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot change it!” For years, I just casually monitored my calorie intake, and did decently… until recently. Investing the time in learning how to work with numbers in spreadsheets, even rudimentarily like tracking calories, has paid off substantially for me. Seeing objective examples is helping me understand my subjective reality. Once I start rowing again, we’ll see more substantial changes, although these spreadsheets are also reminders to be careful.
“I’m an emotional eater, too.” If I couldn’t find a good rowing option for the short-term, I needed to address my fitness from the weight loss perspective rather than purely the aerobic perspective. Ideally, I like rowing twice daily. Until then, I must eat under 2000 calories daily, because even after I find a rower quiet enough for my oddball hours, I will have to learn to restrict my diet to prevent long-term obesity-related health issues.
Until recently, sugary snacks seduced me before doing any big task, even writing essays. After last week’s realization that I must moderate my caloric intake if I can’t exercise frequently, I started counting calories again, which is more useful for me keeping a rigorous structure to my eating habits than numbers-based metrics. Until I find a good way to quickly and accurately track my calories, I’m borrowing an accountability idea from my daily writing schedule.
I have many excuses that impede my ability to row. Some are excusable; most are not. An acceptable excuse is “I don’t have the time to row before going somewhere with a short timeframe.” “Not feeling like it” is not. Even on days when I have had abundant time, I have not been consistently going to the gym, so even though I enjoy rowing, I shouldn’t berate myself for not going. What can I control?
I have two ways of expressing my stress in positive ways: writing to deal with the subconscious feelings that weigh me down and rowing to deal with the physical sensations that weigh me down. Writing only helps so much. There is something amazing that happens during the rowing process where my mind clears, my empathy resets, and I am awoken to a profound sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. I am otherwise curmudgeonly.
I spent all day Saturday on my feet, running around, talking to people, without drinking my usual gallon of water per day, only eating a small breakfast and a small dinner, after a week of rowing 15-minute sets somewhat consistently, for the heaviest weigh-in I’ve had in nearly one year. It’s easy to critique myself, consider all my efforts to be wasted, and consider this whole thing to be a waste. Instead, let’s consider unexpecting.