Saturday, 28 March 2015

Moderation

My dad had a few saying that stuck in my memory. Some I've decided were unhelpful like, "don't do anything half-assed" (to the point mom and I now joke about doing things full-assed) and over time I have matured to find better mantras for my life such as, "good enough is good enough".

One saying my dad had, I have found is very true, especially when it comes to health and wellness. He used to say "everything in moderation, including moderation" at least once a day almost every summer weekend to absolve himself of guilt when over indulging in alcohol. It started to get on my nerves. It grated as only those who have known someone who says "variety is the spice of life" Every. Damn. Day. can understand.

Years later, I can now look on this mantra as a source of wisdom. It's obvious that too little of everything will hurt you. Little food, little exercise, soon you're a walking skeleton. Too much of anything is equally bad. Everyone knows too much food leads to obesity, but too much strenuous exercise also leads to health issues. These things were simple to discover, but it took years for me to realize that completely controlled moderation will also cause trouble.

Our bodies are marvellous. They can take many blows and keep ticking along. The one thing they can't seem to do well is boredom. After so many, many years becoming efficient at not only converting food to energy, but also storing that energy for lean times, and doing work with the least energy expended possible.... it's really hard to convince your body to loose the fat it stores.

What has been proven is that whether you're trying to beef up or trim down, if you do the same thing all the time you will hit a plateau. You can be working more than you eat and not loose a single pound past a certain point because our bodies are amazing at adapting.

The same applies to weights. If you keep using the same weights you will not gain any strength once you plateau. Now if you're not trying to get stronger, using the same weights may prevent you from sliding back... but if you haven't reached your goal yet, you're just wasting your time.

My commitment to health may look strange to those who are eating steamed rice and fish every day, or scouring Pinterest for new "guilt-free" desert recipes that will quell their sweet-tooth. It will probably look equally strange to the gym-rats who pump iron every other day like clockwork and drink protein shakes every two hours.

I plan to enjoy becoming healthier and stronger. I plan to say yes to full fat, full sugar cheesecake without the slightest qualm. I plan to spend relatively little time lifting weights or using cardio machines and surprisingly more parked in front of a screen. I plan to walk often to enjoy the nice weather as it arrives, but not force myself out in the rain when it comes.

All this is going to happen AND I am going to meet my goals of becoming stronger and more fit overall. My beginning fitness assessment is scheduled for Monday morning. Stay tuned for the details.