Picking Things Up and Putting Them Down

Picking Things Up and Putting Them Down

Dec 03, 2019    

This summer I hit a point where I was genuinely uncomfortable with my weight. Efforts to get in better shape through good habits like using my DIY Peloton were not working. Through diet and exercise my weight has yo-yo’d back and forth since college. The benefit of having had a Fitbit scale for 7 years is that I have fairly fidelity measurements of my inability to maintain weight loss after even a few months. That data tells some personal stories, but the big takeaway is that even with the best of intentions I fall back on bad habits quickly. Maintaining anything more healthy is going to take more. It reminds me of this quote I heard recently on a trip to Charlottesville, VA:

“If you want something you’ve never had
You must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

– Thomas Jefferson

This past August, I stopped all alcohol consumption for a month and tracked my food with MyFitnessPal to shock my system and behavior into weight loss. That month I made an effort to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, which was a big change.

In September, after watching a lot of fitness Youtube, I decided to mix in strength training in an effort to make holding off weight gain not so dependent on the deminishing returns of steady state cardio exercise. On the recommendation of a neighborhood friend, I joined my local Cross Fit gym (box). Given the high-intensity exercise, this moved my activity level to over 200 minutes a week if one credits multiple minutes for high-intensity intervals (which my sports watch does)

I reached a much more comfortable weight of 195 in mid-October and have now maintained that into December. I’m proud of what I’ve done, but the biggest challenge will be if I can stay healthier with good habits past this dip rather than repeating my normal patterns of putting the weight on gradually and steadily over the next few years.

10 years of recording my weight
10 years of recording my weight

Cross Fit is new and different. I’m hoping the group aspect and changing workouts will keep me from getting bored or complacent. There are more health metrics than weight to track, but if I can stay under 200 for a year it will be the first time since college I have managed to do that.

I never thought I’d say this, but now I just have to work on my lifting form.

Ugly deadlift
An ugly deadlift at 235 lbs