Another stressful shift. Years back, I’d go to some stores on the way back home to buy things to entertain me. Years before that, the liquor store. Now that I have some semblance of sanity about me, I know when those oppressive feelings obliterate any sense of normalcy, the last thing to do is binge on anything. These aren’t even the best times to row. It’s better to calm down and sleep. Row while calm.
I’ve burned off nearly 50 pounds since the start of this Rowing Machine adventure in late March 2017. The problem is I don’t have much proof that I once weighed 267 pounds and now weigh 219.5 pounds, other than one weigh-in, some photos showing a heavier me, and my memories. I have less evidence of my “60 pounds down in 6 months” achievement of my early 20s and my 67 pounds up in my mid-20s. How can I still claim such “miracles?”
Even though I don’t agree with all of it and skipped some sections, Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body is perhaps the best book on amateur fitness. Through breezy anecdotes, Ferriss invites anyone through a journey from having no knowledge of health and fitness to mastering the basics, practicing the intermediary concepts, to even self-actualizing into a sport that can help you attain and sustain your fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight, becoming healthier, or becoming superhuman.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the Internet. I have studied physical fitness for ten years, read medical articles amateur and professional, and am a rigorous self-experimenter. If there’s one result I have constantly seen to improve or vicissitude my health, it’s my overall water intake. If I’m hungry or thirsty often I’ll be sick in close proximity. If I drink water, eat small consistent meals, exercise, and rest, I’m unstoppable.
Hate and fear often circulate my brain. These thoughts press out any positivity. How do, or can, I cope? During these times, I’ll think of how others handle similar situations. When I worked at a newspaper, impossible though it was to break into the journalists’s inner sanctum or profession, I saw insider secrets. Posted with pride along one printer wall was the most ludicrous hatemail. Gloriously crazed individuals complaining about nothing. Emblazoned: “WALL OF HATE.”
I’ve put on a few pounds since last week. Besides addressing some lingering stress, holding onto other stress, encountering more stress, drinking some high-fructose corn syrup drinks, and eating an entire bag of “healthy” snacks over a three-day period, or less, it’s just been a rough week. That said, putting on a few pounds isn’t like breaking sobriety. It does tell me, however, that I need to more careful. If untended, I could become unhealthier.
“Are you pregnant?!” “Not that I’m aware.” When I tell people about my peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, inspired by the Mr. Saturns, they’re usually a little boing’d out. When I tell them about how I prep them all at once, eat them because they’re an efficient balance of nutrients, and I like ’em, they usually admit that it’s smart. There’s a “mesmerism” with eating predictable foods at predictable times. I don’t feel hunger often.
Since getting the new rower, I decided to go all out with an average set length of 30 minutes per day. Sometimes fifteen, sometimes zero, but 30’s my target almost daily. I can be honest enough with myself to differentiate laziness from fatigue, so on those “off” days, I probably give even more of myself than on the other days. I’ve also been watching videos while rowing, which… is that cheating? Should I row meditatively silent?
Although I was pushing a cart, was wearing a hat, and shaved off my beard, I walked past one of my top five favorite managers in a store without being recognized. I dropped forty-four pounds in the two years since we last talked. Weight management has always been a problem for me. I’ve burned off weight before but put it back on due to negligence. I’m confident that now I can retain this fitter identity.
A few hours after this essay’s publication, I will have a new rower. A second rower. I still have the air resistance Model B – a beautiful piece of engineering, with a great feel, which cuts through air louder than a washing machine. This new rower is, admittedly, inferior. There are things about its design I will have to acquiesce to using. However, it is quiet enough where I can row more than once a week!